For a more visual version of this review, check out this Youtube video: /watch?v=TmK2iWHdXWo
For those who are not familiar, DD Hokuto No Ken was a manga that parodied the famous manly series called Hokuto No Ken or Fist of the North Star. Instead of having our character drawn manly and realistically, we have these small chibis to represent and contrast from what we know and love. And Instead of a post apocalypse, we had the modern world.
Even with drastic change of location a scenarios, both the manga and the two anime that came out was not that bad. They had funny moments and did bring something new to the table for the Hokuto community, even if most of those where episodes formulas and plenty of in-jokes. But apparently, the 2013 anime was doing so well that it was blessed with another season.
Since you know, shows like Nichjiou doesn't deserve that kind of blessing unlike DD Hokuto No Ken. But I digress.
So what's the set up? Well the show is divided in two portions. DD Hokuto No Ken 2 and Strawberry flavour. DD 2 cover most of the episode and is divided into two sub parts that are around 9 minutes long and Strawberry just in 2 minutes. So basically DD 2 is the main presentation while Strawberry is the bonus. But let me tell you, the bonus is more redeemable than the 18 minute long Chibi fest.
In 200X, there was no nuclear war and the apocalypse never happened, which renders our hero Kenshiro, voiced by Kamina, useless. But he then find himself in the Private End of the Century Academy through Ryuuken, voiced by original Kenshiro. With his brothers, Raoh and Toki, they all fight to gain a pass so that they can officially be students and impress Yuria, the nurse.
Oh geesh, this does not sound familiar to the first one. Except that it’s now a school instead of a store and being a student instead of an employee.
Since this is a sequel, it’s expected that they throw in the same formula as before. However what I didn't expect of it was that it would be worse.
The creators really should had taken notes from other chibi types parody, cause I feel that this is more a parody of a parody than something we could be familiar with. It feels like it distant itself too far from the original, as its already well known and don't need any introduction to newer audience. You know, as it where like Dragon Ball. But even Dragon Ball SD knew that it needed to stay close to the original for the parody to work. I'm not saying that changing the scenario is bad, but it's alienates the people who likes the series.
But then we have Starwberry Flavoured.
This part, from the fan-made doujin with the same name, is about Souther. The holy emperor who inserting himself into other parts of the series where he doesn't belong and cause others and himself misery. Even doing outrages stuff that to get what he want, such as putting a small band aid on an open wound. And yes, it's the same voice actor who did him in the original, Banjou Ginga.
Now after mentioned what both are about, Which one do you feel more drawn to? The parody of a parody or the parody of the original?
But if you are unsure, let me explain this further.
If I could describe the comedy for DD, imagine that you are in the middle of shooting gallery. You are far away from the machine gun and it is aimed at you. But instead of firing bullets, the ammo are tourn teddy bears. And some teddy bears are burned up right before they even touches you.
The jokes are either delivered too fast or with no substance. Which is sad since some of these jokes sounds better on paper. There’s nothing wrong with the actors per say, it’s more the writing and the direction.
For the comedy of Strawberry, imagine the same scenario, but instead of a machine gun shooting teddy bears, it’s a revolver that shoots small marble.
The jokes feel spot on and have an atmosphere that really make it feel that we are watching an episode of Fist of the North Star. Even if the jokes are simpler than the other, it really knows how and when to strike a joke. I don't know but something with the idea of Souther trying to make Kenshiro his friend by giving him ridicules offers makes me snicker.
What can I say? Strawberry Flavoured is more for fans of the original, while DD 2 is for the fans kids who doesn't know what they are parodying of.
And to be honest, I'm not sure who is using who.
Is it DD 2 that using Strawberry to get more attention, or is it Strawberry who gets more positive feedback from viewers after been put up with DD 2. Either way, this is one of the low points of the Hokuto community.
Okay DD 2 can have some funny jokes and Strawberry might not always make you laugh. But if we would compare what actually came the closet of entertainment, Strawberry with Souther would had won easily, even if DD 2 had Akira Kamiya. I mean, most of the “characters”of DD 2 feels more like machines that spout out puns at every opportunity they could. Strawberry works as it’s carefully is based on established characters and flesh them out to the scenarios picked for their shorts. DD 2 treats the character mostly by name and only that, you hardly get invested in any of the characters after each episode. That would imply that you had the patience to sit through 12 episodes of this shit.
While DD 2 has plenty and fast in-jokes thrown at us, Strawberry takes it time and builds up an atmosphere which all fans are familiar with and even makes the silliest of jokes more natural. Even if it's used for evil.
If you like the first portion, its fine. I won't judging you since it least have one decent episode and that comedy is entirely subjective. But I would recommend you to watch other comedies like Otokojuku or Chromite high school if you want the scenario to take place in a school with manly men.
Or hey, if you want to see Kenshiro in a school, type "urusei yatsura kenshiro" in any search engine.
It will save you the time and you can thank me later.