The Best of Tokyo Pig (review)

If I didn’t know better (and I’m not sure I do know better), I’d say this hyperkinetic and slyly witty series from Japan is actually a sendup of the bizarre, frenetic anime that dominates the cartoon world at the moment. Visually, these eight wacky episodes ape the psychedelic style that’s been known to induce epileptic seizures in kiddie viewers, but the subversive stories and the snarky asides are so ripe with pointed barbs at the clunky, self-absorbed personality typical to the genre that it cannot be accidental. Spencer Weinberg Takahama lives in Tokyo (or maybe America), where his overactive imagination calls into existence a magical pig, Sunny, who helps him cope with being way too smart for third grade, and who cushions him from the insanity of his crazy family. Frequently deliriously silly and bursting with punny humor, this is a must-see for anime fans tired of the rut the genre is mired in. There are no extras on the disc, but this collection should bring a new audience to a series that was all but unseen during its cable run in 2002 and 2003.

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