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[Tokyo Pig]
AKA: Hare Tokidoki Buta
Genre: Children's comedy
Length: Television series, 61 episodes, 23 minutes each
Distributor: R1 DVD from Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Content Rating: G (nothing objectionable)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Hamtaro, Tonde Boorin
Notes:
Rating: One Star
 

Tokyo Pig

Synopsis

Nine-year-old Spencer draws a pig named Sunny, which comes to life! This series is the ongoing story of their wacky misadventures.


Review

When I first heard of the licensing of "Tokyo Pig" a while back, I found myself hoping that Tonde Boorin had been licensed. Not so, as this series is the adaptation of an entirely different series called "Hare Tokidoki Buta", which translates roughly to, "Fairweather Occasional Pig".

The difficulty of this translation should have been the first clue that Tokyo Pig was a show whose rapid-fire nonsense Japanese gags were totally unsuitable to translation -- the entire thing has obviously been rewritten to accomodate American children, except that the bulk of the "funny" in this show has been apparently replaced by "stupid". It feels like some schmuck at Buena Vista looked over a catalog, said, "Hey, let's license this cute pig show!" and had to pull something out of his nether regions real quick to actually get this thing on the air because they'd already invested too much money to scrap the project.

As it is, the simplistic visuals are going to appeal mostly to children, as the simplistic antics are superficially funny. Sadly, the acting is entirely irritating, and I couldn't last through more than an episode and a half at one sitting before turning on my PlayStation II and popping in an Ace of Base CD to ease the pain. They must've borrowed one of those helium-filled Japanese recording studios for this dub job, because these voice actors were squeakier than a maze full of mice. (Or Mouse.) The music is a non-factor, and the plot ... well, between the dubbing and the localization, it was sort of hard to tell whether there was a plot to begin with. A glance through the staff list pulls up some very familiar names (Watanabe Shinichi, Daichi Akitarou) but this won't be considered one of their greater works considering the content and its treatment in the West.

Though I'm really trying to avoid writing preliminary and partial reviews now, I don't see how this is any different than other sites that review by the DVD and never get past volume one because the show sucks -- and Tokyo Pig sucks, more than it has any right to. Certainly the original show may have been entertaining and silly and fun to a Japanese audience, but only kids (and some very forgiving adults with tastes quite different from mine) are going to find anything worth championing in this dubbed version.

As for me ... I'll stick with Tonde Boorin and reruns of The Muppet Show for all the crazy piggy antics I could ever want.

I have no way of telling how good the original series was, because the English dub is so completely off the hook. Anyone up for some tonkatsu?Carlos Ross

Recommended Audience: NOT FOR ADULTS. Actually, a select few may be amused by the silly jokes and antics, but this show is really best for the under-sevens. Nothing objectionable in the episodes I screened, at least on a content level.



Version(s) Viewed: Broadcast, English dub (ABC Family)
Review Status: Partial (2/61)
Tokyo Pig © 1997 SPE Visual Works
 
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