Jan 12, 2022
The pastel-colored world of “Kero Kero Chime” is a world of wonder and adventure, teeming with a diverse array of friendly, funny creatures. It is a world where conflict is born only from misunderstandings, and no one is truly evil. Everyone can be forgiven; everyone can become a friend. And no matter what difficult situation you may find yourself in, you can rest assured that the outcome will be A-OK. As long as you don’t think too much.
This series is about a boy named Aoi who suddenly gets “cursed” by a “wizard” so that he becomes a frog whenever he comes into contact with water.
The “wizard” then tells Aoi to come to his world and look for a girl named Mimori, who he says can turn him back to normal. So Aoi goes to this other world and after a lot of searching, finally comes across Mimori, who is the princess of the Frog People. However, she has no clue how to undo the spell, and so the two set out on a grand adventure across a goofy, exotic world, meeting new friends and getting into trouble along the way, in search of pages of a magic book that may contain the spell to undo the transformation “curse.”
The premise of the series holds promise, and did get me invested in the series as I progressed through the episodes, wondering what strange creatures/beings they would come across next, what trouble they would get in, and how they would get out of it. (Because they would always get out of it; this is that kind of show.) More than that, however, I wanted answers to the fundamental questions of the series: why did the “wizard” turn Aoi into a frog? Why did no one seem to know any details about the “war,” even though it happened only 10 years ago? And why did everyone think that the Frog and Snake People were enemies?
Saying specifically whether any of these questions were answered or not may go into spoiler territory, so, to make it vague, I will just say that the ending is anticlimactic. They avoid explaining the difficult plot points, take the easy way out and make the whole thing a gag, which is disappointing after all the buildup.
Ending aside, what about the rest of the plot? Well, most of the episodes are enjoyable, as long as you don’t question too much. Plot holes and deus ex machinas abound. Sometimes it seems as if the writers are just making things up as they go along. But through each episode, there’s a comforting, peaceful feeling that assures you that everyone will get out of whatever predicament they’re in just fine, and the show never really takes a “dark” turn. “Kero Kero Chime” is comedy- and gag-laden; one of my favorite gags is how the character Makaeru enters the scene on a flying/floating chariot, but his derpy-looking horse is always accompanied by “clip-clop” sound effects. Most of the other main characters tend to have catchphrases or other defining comedic traits: for instance, the crystal ball Shoko and her cousin, Shotaro, often speak in English, which can be annoying at times, but also hilarious. The main “villains” of the story display Team Rocket-levels of incompetence.
Character interactions can be frustrating at times, however. Mimori is incredibly naive, to the point where she doesn’t understand basic concepts like “battles” or “dates,” and, of course, this gets her in trouble, and Aoi is often scolding her because of this. Leap apologizes a lot, and also often argues with Shoko, which is supposed to be humorous, but the humor feels forced. If it’s convenient to the plot, characters may act out of character and in ways that defy logic. There are a few unnecessary comments about Mimori’s chest size (she’s 14… there shouldn’t be any comments of that sort at all).
As for technical aspects, the animation is fair. Not the greatest, but it gets the job done. The art has a fairy tale-like washed-out pastel look. The character designs are nice. Non-human characters are mostly round and silly-looking.
The first OP and ED are decent, though I don’t really care for the “sexy” line while showing Mimori in the OP. The second OP and ED, which are both sung by Mimori’s voice actress, aren’t as good. The second ED, in particular, is almost like a music video, showing live-action shots of the singer, and doesn’t really fit the tone of the series.
The best technical parts of this series are the sound effects and background music. Both of these are great, especially the BGMs. They’re memorable and appropriate for each scene.
Finally, the voice acting. Most of the characters are voiced by people whose main line of work is not voice acting, and it shows. Others just had bit parts in around half a dozen anime over the years. The people who voice the two main characters, Aoi and Mimori, have the most experience, but Aoi is usually just yelling or spouting off about something, and Mimori’s voice doesn’t have much range, either. Makaeru’s voice almost sounds wooden at times. However, there is one major, major exception to all of this, and that is a relatively minor character who shows up and joins the group towards the end of the series. This character is a pirate captain, and is voiced by none other than the voice of Luffy herself, Mayumi Tanaka! Since this series aired a full two years before One Piece started, perhaps her performance in this role had something to do with her later landing the Luffy role. In any case, we get to hear a proto-Luffy of sorts in the last 5 episodes of the series, which is a treat.
Overall, this show could be considered a palate cleanser. If you’ve watched something dark and/or depressing, or a psychological show that made you think so hard that your brain needs a break, relax and give “Kero Kero Chime” a try. It’s far from perfect, but who needs perfection when you have a happy, colorful adventure, surrounded by happy, colorful friends in a happy, colorful world?
What did you think of this review?