At one school in Japan, clubs reign king. Volleyball, swimming… they’re the notable ones. One of the lesser known cliques is the Ping Pong Club. Filled with foul miscreants (including one foul-smelling American), this team must fight for the right to keep their room, get the girls, buy porn, and the other things clubs tend to fight for in anime and ’80s movies.
The Ping Pong Club is often referred to as a Japanese South Park as they both have underage, over-the-top characters. After watching the first few episodes, I can refine that comparison: Ping Pong Club is South Park, minus the social commentary, plus the animation of Bobo-bo Bo-bobobo.
Make Way for the Ping Pong Club comprises the first batch of episodes, featuring such thrilling plots as the girls’ takeover of the ping pong club training room, the decision between buying new ping pong balls or porn, potential hookups with potential hotties ruined by your friends, etc. The stories aren’t too imaginative or out there, but don’t worry: the characters are.
Having grown up on Beavis & Butthead, South Park, and Jackass, I’m more than accustomed to, as Kevin Smith so eloquently put it, “dick and fart jokes.” The Japanese take on them definitely provides most of the humor in this series. In parallel to Jackass‘s Hot Wheels entering bodily orifices and South Park‘s alternative eating, you have The Ping Pong Club‘s display of a turtle laying eggs. (Why do you think they need to buy new ping pong balls?) Only this cast could pull these things off, which makes the scenarios funnier (or not, depending on your point of view).
The extras are light, but there is one notable one. Alongside the standard issue trailers (including one for the now-defunt Big Apple Anime Festival — I never thought I’d see Rudy Giuliani on an anime disc; who’s next, Shirley Franklin?), credit-less intro and endings, there’s a commentary by the characters, which is good for a chuckle. Commentaries are good, people. Surprisingly, the disc has DVD-ROM features, including a lackluster Art Gallery (all the pics in it are on the DVD cover), scripts, and cast/production credits.
It’s a wickedly funny series that deserves to be up there alongside the Jackasses and South Parks of TV. I mean, a man busts chopsticks with his butt cheeks. That really says it all.