New DVD Review
New TV Review
Search DVJ 2.0
I’ve watched Oh! Super Milk Chan several times in both English and Japanese – what IS the story?
Review by Honey Thunder
w/ additional comments by Matthew Anderson
15 Episode TV series
Company: ADV Films
Running Time: 135 minutes
Rated: R (language)
Five year-old superhero Milk Chan along with her robot Tetsuko and Hanage the slug trade random pop-culture references and wait for “missions” from Mr. President all while trying to avoid paying the landlord the past six months rent.
Or, is this a show about a bunch of vain, self important, smart-ass, violent voice actors each trying to screw one another over while working on a crappy anime?
What ever the hell it is, The Super Milk Chan Show is on the air?
DVD VISION TEST
VIDEO: Sharp and Clear. This psychedelic color explosion is bright with no pixel or jumping. All of the animation is fluid. The image quality in the live action scenes is excellent.
Neat, clean and consistent throughout. Disc One is English 2.0 only.
Disc Two has both Japanese and English 2.0 options.
EDITS: Think of Disc One as less of a translation and more of an adaptation. That’s why this release is a two disc set. Disc One has the live action “behind-the-scenes” featuring the amazingly talented folks at ADV Films. The English adaptation also contains a LOT more profanity than the original Japanese. The “Butter Sautéed Mushroom” segments have been removed the same fate befalls Milk Chan’s ubiquitous rally cry of “You Dumbass!” Luckily these have survived on the second Disc. The second disc is a more straightforward translation chock full of the original Japanese pop culture references.
EXTRAS: Disc One contains a cast commentary, hysterical character Q&A and previews of other ADV titles. On Disc Two, there’s the original Japanese animation opening and closing sequences.
STORY: I’ve watched Oh! Super Milk Chan several times in both English and Japanese – what IS the story? Hmmmm…..good question. I can summarize it succinctly yet that really won’t give you insight into the sheer awesomeness that IS the Super Milk Chan show.
Milk is a five year old superhero with no evident superpowers other that constantly evading her landlord. Milk’s partners, associates, well…they live with her, include Tetsuko, a water filled robot who’s chief talents are taking Milk’s constant abuse, landlord repelling farts, and wireless internet. Hanage the slug is a bit of a bon vivant trapped in a woefully unsatisfying marriage. Perhaps it is the sorrow that leads to his drinking and gives rise to Hanage’s Heart (a still voice of reason amidst the chaos).
Both Tetsuko and Hanage assist Milk in completing missions assigned by Mr. President. A leader so inept and well, just plain stupid that he’s actually likeable. (Lest you get any ideas Milk Chan first aired in 1998.) Missions range from long, drawn-out obscure pop culture ridden conversations about nothing to determining why middle school students get into so many knife fights. I haven’t really told you much by way of “The Story”. The only story I see forming is contained in the live action scenes. It seems slightly arbitrary at first, but the live action adds a dynamic to the whole Milk Chan experience.
ACTING: I’m slightly baffled as to why Marcy Bannor voices Tetsuko on the Disc One adaptation and Monica Rial voices Tetsuko on the Disc Two translation. Marcy’s Tetsuko is older, gruffer, slightly pathetic and wholly deserving of Milk’s cruelty. Monica gives Tetsuko a kind sweetness. The chemistry between her Tetsuko and Hilary Haag’s Milk is less cruel and more vaudevillian. The chemistry between Marcy’s Tetsuko and Hilary’s Milk is truer to the antagonism in the original Japanese.
Hilary Haag portrays Milk with more energy than Haruka Nakamura; her approach to Milk is considerably less hyper and her delivery is paced so slowly and deliberately that Milk sounds sleepy and gives the entire show an even more drugged out vibe. But the emphatic “You DUMBASS!!” is hysterical in any language.
FAN SERVICE: Not much in the way of scantily-clad, jiggly anime babes; but the mind-bendingly random pop-culture references in both the English and Japanese more than make up for missing T&A shots.
Super Milk Chan is funny and seriously messed up. Not Excel Saga weird but classic Space Ghost Coast to Coast weird. Which is a true credit to everyone involved with Super Milk Chan over at ADV. The Japanese version feels and is VERY Japanese, but the Steve Foster and the entire cast of writers and actors have taken it and made it so palatable and familiar to the American palette that The Super Milk Chan Show feels like it originated in Stateside.
In the cast commentary, writer and director Steven Foster states it simply, I’m paraphrasing “Don’t think of the English Dub of the Super Milk Chan Show as a translation. Think of it more as an adaptation.”
The English dub feels considerably more “American”. It has obscure American pop culture references, the humor is bolder and more vulgar, and the acting is more frenetic. The American Milk Chan would hold her own with the boys of South Park. To quote Steve directly “I felt like I hadn’t done enough drugs to do Milk justice.”
The character design is reminiscent of the Golden Age of American Animation, namely the designs of Tex Avery. It’s simple, whimsical and genius. There is such diversity between the Japanese and English versions that there really is no question of which is better. They are both spell-binding, mind-bending, psychedelic excursions into hilarity. It’s a show that can be over and over…and over and it never gets old.
The Super Milk Chan show could not have found a better home than nestled in the Sunday night Adult Swim line-up. Well, the only other better home would be yours.
©All information protected by DVD Vision Japan copyright unless otherwise noted.