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ADV Kids presents
Super Duper Sumos: Deep Sushi (2002)

"Hello, Bad Inc. How may we dominate you?"
- Ms. Mister (Deborah DeMille)

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: April 29, 2003

Stars: Matt Hill, Ben Hur, Cusse Mankuma
Other Stars: Richard Newman, Chantal Strand, Deborah DeMille
Director: Kevin O'Donnell

Manufacturer: MOFC
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (bodily humor, cartoons in sumo thongs, butt jokes)
Run Time: 01h:35m:00s
Release Date: April 29, 2003
UPC: 702727059827
Genre: animation

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ B-AB D-

DVD Review

I found the first two volumes of Super Duper Sumos to be less than amusing. I blame that, of course, on the fact that the show is obviously written with pre-teens in mind, and I have not been of the pre-teen mentality for at least a few months. I don't exactly dislike these early episodes, but taken together, they feel shrill and repetitive, and basically an excuse for gratuitous use of the word "butt."

This time around, though, I was much more entertained by the adventures of the flabby Sumo trio's battles with Bad, Inc., led by the devious Ms. Mister and her band of incompetent cohorts. The formula is still the same—the baddies concoct a scheme and the Sumos have to stop them by powering up with Sumo Strength, granted to them by their knowledge of the Phat. But there is a lot less posterior punning, to the point where I only noticed one or two comments per episode. Since the quality of humor was along the lines of, "Hey, you did [insert action here] to my butt!" I can't say I'm broken up about the loss.

What we get instead is an attempt at the kind of clever humor that entertains both kids and adults. For example, in episode four, there is a flashback gag as the villain, Genghis, attempts to convince the Sumos he is Kimo's father. His solution is to paste his head into old family photos, and his deceit is followed by a flashback that features a mobile character with a taped-on face. It's a simple, largely throwaway joke, but I appreciated the attempt to subtly reference the Sumos dimwittedness.

The animation is still as good as ever, and the bright colors and quirky characters distract when the humor isn't up to par. There are also some great visuals, like the image of the Sumos dressed up in hot dog outfits in the second episode, or the evil metallic octopus in the fourth. If the show continues to improve, I can optimistically say that it could be both enjoyed by kids and tolerated by adults.

This DVD includes four episodes (one less than previous volumes): Sumos on Ice, Back to School, Phat to the Future, and Honor Thy Phather. The 11th episode of the series, Yak Derby, was not included on this volume (Sumos on Ice is episode 12), though it isn't as if the show has continuity.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: What I've always admired about Super Duper Sumos is the bright, colorful animation, which transfers wonderfully to DVD. Colors are eye-popping with no cross coloration, and there is no artifacting, aliasing, or edge enhancement.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: The included DD 2.0 English mix is fairly basic, but suitable to the material (note that no Japanese track is included, since this show was produced for the U.S. market). Dialogue is always crisp and clear, and is nicely balanced with the music and sound effects. There's no action from the surrounds, but the front soundstage offers a solid presentation, though one that lacks definition.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 40 cues and remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Zone of the Enders: Delores, Saiyuki, Street Fighter, Mega Man, Knights of the Zodiac, Darkstalkers
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The only extra is a trailer gallery. There are spots for Zone of the Enders: Delores, Saiyuki, Knights of the Zodiac, and three series based on videogames: Street Fighter, Mega Man, and Darkstalkers.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

For whatever reason, I enjoyed this volume of Super Duper Sumos a lot more than the two prior. Though it's still no Powerpuff Girls, the writers seem to be placing more emphasis on clever humor and puns and less on butts, and how funny they are, and how funny it is to say the word. Of course, this could mean that kids will actually enjoy this volume much less. But there is still the "fat guys in thongs" factor, which guarantees hilarity.


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