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K e r o - c h a n   n i   O m a k a s e
Reviewed in April, 2001 by Mark Vallen, Jeannine Thorpe, and John Lentini . Screen shots generously provided by John Lentini.
(Comments by Jeannine Thorpe) What makes the Card Captor Sakura 2nd Movie truly a well rounded film is that it balances the intense emotion and drama of the feature film with the funniest animated short I've yet seen, Kero-chan ni Omakase. Just like the short at the end of each TV episode of the same name, this short directly following the film is devoted entirely to the always exciting world of Kero-chan. But unlike the TV shorts, this movie short focuses on Kero-chan's other favorite thing besides admiring battle costumes, food! In this brief but extremely fast paced and hilarious segment, Kero-chan and his dark guardian counterpart Suppi-chan (Spinel Sun) are completely obsessed with and will do anything to get their mouths around the yummy Japanese treat, Takoyaki (grilled Octopus dumplings). This obsession results in the funniest scenes Kero-chan has ever been involved in, topping even the infamous "Brandy Chocolate" episode of the Card Captor TV series! What was particularly great for me watching this was that I hadn't seen much of Suppi before, so seeing the two "guardian beasts" together was a special treat. A delight to watch over and over again, I know fans will be chuckling about this short for years to come!

(Comments by Mark Vallen) This is one of the funniest animated short films I've ever seen! The fast moving story has all the energy, vitality, and imagination of early American slapstick animation classics like the Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, or Road Runner cartoons, but there's also a Rube Goldberg feeling to the plot. Goldberg, the American Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist once said his creations were "symbols of man's capacity for exerting maximum effort to accomplish minimal results."

And maximum effort is what Kero-chan and Suppi have to expend in order to achieve the minimal result of eating a highly prized delicacy. The fun begins when the two are presented with a plateful of takoyaki (grilled octopus). The gluttonous Kero-chan nearly finishes the entire stack of grilled dumplings before thinking to offer the indifferent Suppi a taste. Upon eating the second to the last takoyaki, Suppi develops a craving for the grilled octopus that's as strong as Kero-chan's.

A fight then ensues over possession of the last dumpling... with the prized morsel inadvertently getting tossed out the window! From then on the two characters compete with each other over who will catch and eat the ever bouncing, rolling, and flying dumpling. Each chase scene unfolds into an even more impossible situation, with the two constantly frustrated in their attempts to eat the delectable treat. At one point the kinetic takoyaki arcs through the clear blue sky... shedding it's dumpling casing to reveal the glistening Pink and White Octopus morsel within. It's a moment of truth for the now almost insane duo, who nearly faint at the sight of such perfection!

The two never do catch up with the object of their desires, and so they unhappily retreat back to their abode. In their discouragement they mope around until Suppi eventually falls asleep. Then in a wonderful touch of irony, the two are once again presented with another plate of takoyaki... so the anime ends in much the same way as it begins! Kero-chan ni Omakase is a quintessential Japanese anime whose non-stop humor hinges upon one of Japan's most beloved culinary treats. Even so... if you've never had Japanese food, you'll still marvel over the excellent quality of this animation, its exaggerated caricatures, break neck speed pacing, over the top chase scenes, and insanely funny storyline. Yeah, this one's a gem!
(Comments by John Lentini) Do you hear what I hear? Well, yes, that's Kero-chan whoofing down food again, but listen closely. That would be Yamazaki Takashi telling another off the wall story, he is very good at stretching the truth. Of course, Mihara Chiharu would just tell everyone his stories are nothing but lies, but Yamazaki's stories are very entertaining if nothing else. But wait, isn't this a short story about Kero-chan and Suppi-chan? Well, yes, you're correct again, however there is one thing that is often overlooked in the fantastic world of Card Captor Sakura. Mihara Chiharu and Yamazaki Takashi have to be about the cutest little couple in anime, that are not the focus of the anime series. So overlooked are these two, there wasn't even a clean shot of them both in this short.

Though that didn't stop another Yamazaki's story, or Mihara called him a liar yet again. So next time, you focus in on Card Captor Sakura, remember the great star of the show, Sakura, or in this case Kero-chan. But also remember that the best anime series have a fully rounded cast of characters to support the show and make it that more enjoyable for the viewer, much like a well prepared plate of food.

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