is Widget Series
directed by Shinichi Watanabe
. It originally aired on Animax between November 26, 2000 and May 29, 2001. It was animated by Studio Shaft
and produced by Animax and Genco.
The story - as it is - involves the title character Koni and his gang having lots of crazy and incoherent adventures
(from fighting with their 'Lovely Teacher' to kicking a can, dealing with samurai fish, driving a taxi, or saving the world) in their equally crazy world. It has No Fourth Wall
, and lots of Lampshade Hanging
and Parodied Tropes
The cast consists in five main characters that deconstruct known tropes: Koni is The Ace God-Mode Sue
, High is your usual Hot-Blooded
anime hero (who is always suffering one way or the other
), Moro is Ms. Fanservice
with some sort of crush
on Oblivious to Love Koni
, Nari is a self centered rich guy
with a fixation for rounded things
(therefore, with Koni
), and Afro the dog, yet another self-insert of Shinichi Watanabe
.Practically unnoticed in its country of origin
, the series was a hit in Latin America
, especially in Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Argentina. This is probably due to its outstanding localized translation note
, which can be easily compared to what American Dubbers did with Samurai Pizza Cats
Being just an obscure Gag Series in Japan, the Lat Am
dub turned into a cult-classic and is more generally appreciated by fans. For reference, there is more information on the Spanish version of The Other Wiki
about this series than the English and Japanese wiki combined.
The series provides examples of:
- The Ace: Koni, played for comedy.
- Bare Your Midriff: Moro
- Baseball Episode
- Bland-Name Product: "Koke Kola".
- Christmas Cake: Lovely-sensei.
- Hair Decorations: Moro and her hair ribbons.
- Fille Fatale: Oh, Moro.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: A lot. Especially everything Moro does.
- Hot-Blooded: High. This is even literal, to the point where he catches on fire multiple times. Sometimes his partners use him as a source of heat. He also has an appropriate hairstyle.
- Hurricane of Puns
- Kavorka Man: People seem to love Koni, even if he doesn't do anything to win their love.
- Names to Know in Anime: Kujira (Koni), Showtaro Morikubo (High), Omi Minami (Nari), Yukari Tamura (Moro), Kotono Mitsuishi (Lovely-sensei), Shinichi Watanabe (Afro-dog)
- No Fourth Wall
- Noodle Incident: Everything regarding the fish samurai's past. This is specially noticeable when he fights the Egg gang, and talk about two "Egg-headed-girls" we have never heard of before note and the fish samurai starts having flashbacks.
- Oblivious to Love: Koni doesn't seem to notice Moro or Nari's love.
- The fish samurai Meromero doesn't seem to be aware that Emi is in love with him.
- Potty Emergency: High's whole gig in a certain segment was looking for a bathroom in Koni's home... and not finding it until the VERY last moment.
- Robot Girl: Emi the TV. She is a walking flat-feets robot with a TV for a head.
- The Scrooge/Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Nari has all the money in the world AND MORE.
- Shout-Out: Lots of them.
- Stalker with a Crush: Moro and Lovely-sensei.
- Team Pet: Afro-dog.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair
The LatinAmerican Dub provides examples of:
- Black Comedy Rape: In the "Chinese tale" episode, Emi comments that monsters might kidnap her and forcefully plug in their VHRs , DVDs, Playstations and Nintendos, which can be considered rape since Emi is a Robot Girl. After saying this, Moro and Nari reply that, since there is nothing she can do about it, she should just relax and enjoy it.
- Cultural Translation: Since the series is full of Japanese puns, a literal translation would have been pretty unsuccessful. The Lat Am dub replaced many hard-to-translate puns with allusions to Latin-American pop culture. It worked brilliantly.
- Dub Name Change: The Armored-guy is refered to as "El Tal Iván" (lit: "That guy called Ivan"). This is a pun, since "El Tal Iván" sounds exactly like "El Talibán", which means "The Taliban". (since, you know, he is the bad guy and all)
- Also, the fish swordsman is called "El Mero-Mero". This is yet another pun, since Mero means "Fish" but it also means "The best", so he is "The best of the best" or "The best fish".
- Double Entendre/Unusual Euphemism: There are A LOT OF THIS. Since this is a children's show, things are usually mentioned by other name, but it's very clear what they are talking about.
- Gag Dub: MANY parts of the dub makes fun of the animation of the series itself. Cheaply drawn background characters, exaggerated special effects, sudden improvement in quality of the art, and so on.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Lots and lots and lots. Besides what's been mentioned in the original Japanese version, there are lots of Unusual Euphemisms referring to things that parents will get but most children won't. See Double Entendre/Unusual Euphemism above.
- Hurricane of Puns: Oh god yes. Every 5 seconds or so.
- Parental Bonus: Many of the Shout Outs are things kids are not likely to understand (like the fact that Nari's balls-obsession is a metaphor of homosexuality), recognize (like the He-man reference) or a lot of sexual things.
- Shout-Out: Again, many of them.
- To many Lat Am songs.
- "Allá en la fuente, habia un chorrito"
- "Muévelo, muévelo (qué sabroso) muévelo, muévelo (cómo lo hace)"
- "Si yo fuera rico"
- "Levantando las manos, moviendo la cintura"
- "Tú te vas por que yo quiero que te vayas"
- "Qué calor, qué calor que tengo".
- "Es casi una experiencia religiosa".
- "Borondongo le dió a Bernabé, Bernabé le pegó a Muchilanga".
- "A mover el rabo" -> "A mover el culo".
- When they sing "A patear el bote" sounds like the rhythm of "A mover el culo". Have in mind "bote" is an Euphemism for "ass".
- This song about a toy store, is suspiciously similar to the jingle of a real Mexican toy company.
- The Super Sentai episode was changed in name to Koni Rangers, since Power Rangers is better-known in Lat Am.
- Moro says she would rather be watching Pokémon than being on a episode.
- In the Dragon Quest episode, after seeing the sword, High says "for the power of Greyskull!"
- "Ivan el terrible" episode is named after "Daniel el terrible". (Most likely the American version)
- The female-wrestler is called "the cousin of Aníbal Lecter".
- Koni is told to "patear la lata (kick the can) forever, batman!".
- An episode is named "Taxi Driver connote Koni DeNiro".
- The episode named "Hormiguitaz" (little Antz).
- The episode named "Los Indoblables" (the unbendables).
- The grasshoppers ("Grillos") band "Los Grittles". High lampshades this.
- Koni is said to be better than the Atomic Ant, and he replies that he actually played in the "Bascas-boys".
- More threatens to go and start working in "Chapa y 1/2", a clear reference to "Ranma y 1/2"
- The chapter in which Koni appears staring mangas has many, some of them which were changed in Lat Am due to being too obscure
- Dragon Ball Koni is even named "Dragon Ball Z" by hide.
- The football manga which appears (based on Captain Tsubasa) is called "Los super koni-campeones", where as Captain Tsubasa J is called "los super campeones" (super champions) in Lat Am.
- The tribute to Love Hina (called Love Koni) was changed to Sailor Emi.
- Koni cards is a clear tribute to Yu-Gi-Oh!. The other cards called "Garbash y Rascauele" is a tribute to "Magic the gathering".
- There is a tribute to Detective Conan.
- Unusual Euphemism: Besides the Double Entendre examples above, there are a lot of words referred to in a weird way, by very unusual euphismis. This is because they sound funnier that way, and allow to use different puns.