As I get older, I still find myself watching a lot of cartoons. New ones, blue ones, ones that I have no idea how they got made in the first place. So, with this practice I often run into cartoons that I have never seen but feel the need to give them a chance and see if they have any draw whether to kids, parents or me the cartoon nerd who enjoys such things. In my review pile, I stumbled upon one such cartoon and that was Pucca. From a critical eye, one might dismiss the odd characters and strange style rather quickly. However, to the careful eye one might find something a little more entertaining.
Pucca lives in Sooga Village. She is consumed by one thing and one thing only, the pursuit of love. Or more importantly the love of a silent ninja named Garu. Garu might run from her kisses but he can not deny the constant trappings of the kung fu queen. They each have a best friend. Pucca has Ching, a very cute and very happy girl who looks like a reject off the Powder Puff squad. The best friend of Garu is a Bruce Lee look-a-like named Abyo who manages to rip off his shirt every episode at the earliest convenience. Together they fight in a series of eleven episodes against various forces including Tobe, the deadly ninja who is trying to beat Garu at his own art.
This show is so darn cute. The cover screams Hello Kitty but really once you get inside you find something with a little more substance. The relationship between Pucca & Garu is akin to that girl in school who thought you were so cute and you ran away from her because she had cooties and she was a girl. But no matter how hard you tried, she always caught up to you and laid one right on you. Then they mix that in with some kung fu and a smattering of Japanese pop culture. My favorite character has to be Abyo as he provides one of the main talking roles and the obvious comic relief.
It’s charmingly endearing without being annoying. Each show runs about seven minutes long and all of the episodes in this package are centered around Halloween due to the timing of the release. Honestly, a lot of these episodes don’t really stick with the theme that much. They are good episodes but more or less just pad the release so that it can sell. High Voltage Ninjas is a good example. Tobe gets a shock of lightening and becomes a super-ninja as Garu tries to hold him off. It’s not a really Halloween episode, heck Pucca is only there to find a way to save Garu from Tobe, but it is included nevertheless.
The film is presented in 1.33:1 Fullscreen presentation. I tend to be critical of newer animation but this one is pretty decent. The colors are vibrant and characters move well. The action is fast and the video seems to keep up. I didn’t notice any problems and this is one cartoon that is very easy on the eyes despite the flash elements.
The audio has an English & Spanish 2.0 Mix. There is nothing special here but the dialog and action are clear and exactly what most would ask for. There are no subtitles provided but when the two main characters are mostly silent, there isn’t a strong argument for that to occur.
- Automatic Trailers: Pucca, Oban Star Racers – The Complete Series & Sonic Underground
- Pumpkin Carving Pattern : Certainly not a traditional extra, but in the Halloween spirit they decide to include a pumpkin carving pattern (and an extra incase you have two pumpkins or mess up) with instructions. Remember kids, carve slowly, it’s not a race.
Pucca has a few interesting concepts that will appeal to both children and adults alike. Kids can like the crazy antics of the main characters and enjoy the action. Adults can enjoy a very clean and non-offensive cartoon which has a lot of pop culture references and humor that even you can appreciate without getting dirty. As a reviewer, I would prefer a season set instead of these compilation disks which often end up in bargain bins to be grabbed by children running amuck at your local Wal-Mart. However, these eleven episodes are a fun way to pass 75 minutes and might persuade me to watch some future episodes on Toon Disney. I am left with one question though. Santa Claus, a frequent cast member is usually caught doing dry cleaning or other odd jobs during an average episode. Shouldn’t he be making toys or something? Enjoy and Recommended.
Ghost of a Kiss
The Usual Ching
A Force of Won
The Cursed Tie
High Voltage Ninjas
Itsy Bitsy Enemy Within
Funny Love Eruption
- DvdVerdict.com – “However, the episodes also have something for adults through various nods to martial arts films through extreme face close-ups and stylized villains, to Hollywood blockbusters through switching to letter-boxing for big action, and to Japanese horror films, like The Ring.”
- DvdTown.com – “The show bursts with vibrant colors to firmly lock onto the short meandering attention spans of youngsters, while adults can appreciate the gorgeous animation and humor.”