- For the main character of the series, see Keroro
Keroro Gunsō (ケロロ軍曹 Keroro Gunsō?, Sergeant Keroro), released in English as Sgt. Frog, is a manga series by Mine Yoshizaki. It was later serialized into a TV anime series directed by Junichi Sato. Both the anime and manga are comedies that follow the attempts of a platoon of frog-like alien invaders to conquer Earth. Sergeant Keroro, the titular character, is the leader of the platoon, but is at the mercy of a human family of three after he is captured while trying to hide in one of the family member's bedrooms. In both the manga and anime, Keroro is forced to do meaningless chores and errands for the family after his army abandons his platoon on Earth.
The series takes its comedy from a combination of wordplay (particularly puns and homophones), physical humor, situational irony, and numerous pop culture references (especially to Gundam, Space Battleship Yamato, Dragon Ball Z, and Neon Genesis Evangelion and many others). Various anime, games, manga, and other aspects of pop culture are parodied/referenced throughout the series as a bonus to older viewers. Both the manga and the anime are laden with pop-culture references, and even in the same story the references often vary wildly. The anime does not explicitly refer to Evangelion or other animations to which Bandai does not hold the copyrights, but only recreates the "feel" of famous scenes from these anime. The anime is much more detailed and direct in its Gundam references, however, since Bandai does hold rights to the Gundam franchise.
Both the manga and the anime focus on the steadily deteriorating conditions of the Keroro Platoon, a group of two-foot-tall frog-like invaders from the planet Keron of the gamma storm cloud system, who continuously try to conquer the world, but fail miserably each time. The platoon's leader, Sergeant Keroro, is easily distracted , and would rather spend his time making plastic Gundam models and surfing the Internet than destroying Earth, much to the chagrin of the bellicose corporal, Giroro. Aside from Keroro's laziness, the largest obstacle in the way of their mission is the Hinata Family, a trio of humans in whose care Keroro finds himself after the Keron army deserts him on earth. Keroro is kept busy with manual labour and constant abuse, primarily from the family daughter Natsumi. Aside from Keroro, there are four other members in the Keroro platoon. Each one of these find themselves in the care of a human, who are all tied to the Hinatas in some way throughout the events in the Anime and Manga.
Production and awards
Sgt. Frog is published in Japan by Kadokawa Shoten, serialized in the magazine Shōnen Ace, and published in English by Tokyopop. The anime is produced by Sunrise, and has been aired on Animax, TV Tokyo, and TXN at 10:00 A.M. until 10:30 A.M. every Saturday since April 2004. In addition, 4 full-length theatrical movies have been released:
- Keroro Gunsō the Super Movie (超劇場版ケロロ軍曹 Chō Gekijō-ban Keroro Gunsō?) (2006)
- Keroro Gunso the Super Movie 2: The Deep Sea Princess (超劇場版ケロロ軍曹2 深海のプリンセスであります! Chō Gekijō-ban Keroro Gunsō 2: Shinkai no Purinsesu de arimasu!?) (2007)
- Keroro Gunso the Super Movie 3: Keroro vs. Keroro Great Sky Duel (超劇場版ケロロ軍曹3 ケロロ対ケロロ天空大決戦であります! Chō Gekijō-ban Keroro Gunsō 3: Keroro tai Keroro, Tenkū Daikessen de arimasu!?) (2008)
- Keroro Gunsō the Super Movie: Crushing Invasion, Dragon Warriors (超劇場版ケロロ軍曹 撃侵ドラゴンウォリアーズであります! Chō Gekijō-ban Keroro Gunsō: Gekishin Doragon Woriāzu de arimasu!?) (2009)
- Keroro Gunso the Super Movie: Creation! Ultimate Keroro, Wonder Space-Time Island (超劇場版ケロロ軍曹 誕生!究極ケロロ奇跡の時空島であります!! Chō Gekijō-ban Keroro Gunsō: Tanjou! Kyuukyoku Keroro, Kiseki no Jikuu-jima, de arimasu!!?) (2010)
All five films were directed by Junichi Sato and produced by Sunrise.
At present, 20 English manga volumes have been released by Tokyopop. ADV had previously announced they had acquired exclusive rights to an English dub of Sgt. Frog. However, on July 4, 2008, it was announced that rights to the English release were transferred to Funimation Entertainment.
The manipulative anti-hero and title character, who spends most of his time making Gundam models and doing chores for the Hinata Family. Born Dec 9th, he and the platoon were sent to Earth to conquer it but have had little luck so far in making any progress towards that goal. When they first landed on earth, they got separated while doing their jobs, and they rejoined later after much searching. Despite being the leader of his platoon he does little to help and lets his subordinates do all the work. Keroro often uses the militaristic phrase "de arimasu".
He serves Keroro without question. He adores Keroro and is portrayed as the cute and lovely character of the show. Tamama has a split personality, much like the human he stays with, Momoka Nishizawa, and will revert from being cute and adorable to a violent berserker at something as small as a normal housefly. He is also jealous of anyone who gets near the Sergeant, especially the planet destroyer Angol Mois who also adores Keroro. Tamama is often seen gritting his teeth and grumbling "That woman!" (あんの女! anno onna!?) when Angol Mois gets close to, or helps Keroro in any way. Private Second Class Tamama's signature moves are his Tamama Impact, Hyper Tamama Impact and Jealousy ball (嫉妬玉 Shittodama?). Tamama loves snacks and sweets. Tamama's speech is distinctive in his very frequent use of "desū", a "cute" form of "desu".
Perhaps the only sane individual in the platoon. He is the group's gunman with deadly accuracy, and he's exceptionally good at cooking sweet potatoes. He is often frustrated with Keroro's laziness and is disgruntled by Keroro's indecisiveness with regards to the invasion. Giroro is in love with Natsumi, and this also gets in the way of the invasion. Keroro often gets Giroro involved in schemes he would likely not be involved in by using Giroro's affection for Natsumi to his advantage. He is very easily agitated. Giroro does not have as significant of a speech pattern as the rest of the platoon members, but he sometimes uses "da", a form of "desu" typically used by men.
The platoon's intelligence officer  and inventor. He is gloomy, insidious, unpopular, and disliked by most, who see him as depressing and malevolent. He makes most of the platoon's inventions and in spite of his malevolent nature, none of his inventions have any permanent effect, though he claims that most of them have a "Berserker-Mode". Kululu loves Japanese curry and is often seen eating it, and has even been shown bathing in it in one episode. Kululu has some signature speech patterns, such as his weird laugh ("ku~ kuku"), frequent use of "da ze", and the tendency to grope around on the ground saying My glasses, my glasses (めがね、めがね megane, megane?) whenever they break. Kululu is good friends with Saburo to whom he gave a pen that can cause the physical materialization of anything that is drawn by it. His glasses shatter whenever he hears something that he dislikes. He lives in his own laboratory full of his alien junk.
The fifth and final member who follows the way of the ninja, after being rescued by Azumaya Koyuki from a trap he got caught in while he was separated from the rest of the platoon. Dororo, formerly known as Zeroro, has known Keroro and Giroro since their childhood. Dororo is often abused and mistreated by Keroro, but still follows Keroro's orders because of their friendship. Due to these childhood abuses however, Dororo often falls into a deep but temporary state of depression (called his "trauma switch") whenever he is reminded of something bad Keroro did to him during his childhood. Dororo is often overlooked or forgotten by the others(which also triggers his "trauma switch"). Dororo graduated as the top of the Keron assassin squad, (even though he used to be weak as a child) due to being constantly pushed to his limit by Keroro with the word Friend (友達 tomodachi?). His signature move is Assassin Magic, with which he can assess the relevant details of any situation, or power up to accomplish more powerful feats. Dororo's signature speech pattern is that of someone from the feudal era of Japan (i.e. he uses "de gozaru" and he refers to himself and others very formally).
Opposing and controlling the Keroro Platoon is the surprisingly normal Hinata Family. The son of the family is Fuyuki Hinata, who is obsessed with all things paranormal and supernatural. Fuyuki is Keroro's friend and often reminds him of their friendship when Keroro is about to execute a plot to invade the Earth. The daughter is Natsumi Hinata, talented in physical education and the main thorn in Keroro's side, often getting in the way of Keroro's plans for invasion and his desire to build Gundam models. The mother, Aki Hinata, is a manga editor who takes a liking to Keroro due to him becoming an inspiration for her new manga.
In addition to the main cast, Sgt. Frog features a wide array of secondary characters, including the wealthy Momoka Nishizawa and her butler Paul Moriyama. They are friends of the Hinata Family, and Tamama lives with them. Momoka secretly admires Fuyuki Hinata and tries all kinds of ways to make him fall in love with her. Other human friends include the radio show host Mutsumi Hojo (Saburo in the anime) and the kunoichi Koyuki Azumaya. A friend of the Keroro Platoon is Angol Mois, the Lord of Terror, who was sent to Pekopon (the Keron name for Earth) to destroy it, but is now forced to protect it for Keroro, who wanted her to stop destroying it after Fuyuki reminded Keroro that if Earth gets destroyed he would no longer be able to build Gundam models. Other humanoid aliens include the space detective Kogoro (556) and his sister, Rabbie, but is called Lavie in the anime. Sumomo is a recurring character in the anime and is a highly popular singer often idolised and featured on talkshows, while in the manga she only appears in a bonus chapter. The anime later sees the arrival of Alisa Southerncross and Pururu, another childhood friend of Keroro, Giroro and Dororo.
Also in Keroro are many of the relatives of Keroro and Co. and their team, such as Garuru, Tororo, Zoruru, and others. Some are criminals, some are also earth-conquerors, and some are both. However, they are always defeated in some way.
Notable differences between the anime and manga
The transfer from manga to anime is somewhat uneven, as some episodes strongly resemble the manga while others only borrow the basic story or even use it only as a starting point.
- Perhaps the most subtle difference is that in the manga, Earth is referred to as "Pokopen", whereas in the anime, it is "Pekopon". "Pokopen" is a derogatory word Japanese used to describe China during the Sino-Japanese Wars, and has since been banned from TV programs by the mass communications authority in Japan.
- Whereas the manga is somewhat oriented towards teenagers, the anime is toned down to a level acceptable for children.
- Because Giroro, Kululu, and especially Dororo and Koyuki are introduced in the anime much earlier than in the manga, several storylines not featuring them at all were modified to include them.
- Because of the time difference between the start of the manga and the anime, Angol Mois' backstory is somewhat modified. Everything up to the point of Mois telling Nostradamus about her destroying the earth was true but she ended up being five years too late (2004 instead of 1999 (2009 in the Funimation dub).
- Mutsumi (623) still has his radio show in the anime, but he is a student in Natsumi's class instead of a high school dropout, and his last name is Saburō (326) rather than Hojo. Also the fact that he is the host of the 623 radio show seems to be a secret from Natsumi and other listeners of the show.
- In the manga, Keroro gains access to the Kero Ball early in the plot, but in the anime Fuyuki keeps it. This means that some Kero Ball-centred episodes of the anime did not happen, or found another way to happen, in the manga.
- In the anime Sumomo is a hit intergalactic popstar who appears in several episodes, while in the manga she is a female 'Ahotoran' who appears in a bonus issue.
- Dororo and Koyuki live in a house next to the Hinata's in the manga whereas in the anime they live in the woods near Momoka's estate and can see the Nishizawa tower from their home.
- Some of the Sgt. Frog anime episodes are originally not found in the manga.
- In Volume Three of the Manga, in an Extra, Sumomo lives with an unknown girl with a father who exploits Sumomo for his comics just like Aki Hinata, in the Anime version, Sumomo buys a house in Malibu.
- In the beginning of the anime Fuyuki is a grade schooler in the 6th grade and Natsumi is a 8th grader. In the manga Fuyuki is already in 7th grade and Natumi is already a 9th grader.
- In the manga Fuyuki has an occult club in grade school and has a lot of members. When he enters middle school he joins a manga club to follow his mom, Aki's steps. However in the anime Fuyuki has an occult club in middle school and only has one member which is Momoka.
- In the manga it never shows the Narrator at all and is sound only. But in anime the Narrator makes appearances.
- In the manga Dororo's rank is Corporal, whereas in the anime Dororo's rank is Lance Corporal instead.
A signature element of the manga series is its frequent Gundam references, ranging from Keroro's Gunpla obsession to the Keronian military equipment, which is based on those of various Gundam series. As a result, the series was picked up by Bandai, who have supported it with an extensive line of merchandise. For example, Keroro action figures are called "Keroro in Action?!", a play on the long running "Mobile Suit in Action!!" Gundam action figure line. Indeed, the Keroro name on the packaging is even designed to appear to be hastily pasted over the MSiA!! name (referring to the recurring theme of get-rich-quick schemes in the show). Other such lines include the forthcoming Keroro FIX (based on Hajime Katoki's popular Gundam fix figuration) and Keroro model kits, formally dubbed KeroPla in honor of Keroro's beloved Gunpla, which come in two distinct lines:
- Keroro figure models depicting the Keroro Platoon members themselves (up to the recent Musha Kero line), along with newer characters like Dark Keroro and Lt. Garuru, which include rotating eyes to depict facial expressions made famous by the anime ('scheming' Keroro and 'trauma switch' Dororo, to name a couple) and special neck joints to allow the user to place the heads on various Gundam kits.
- Keroro mecha models, depicting the Mk. I basic robots, the Mk. II mecha, recolors of the Mk. I line dubbed the Real Type series, and the samurai-themed Musha Kero mecha. The latest Pirate Keroro series consists of vehicles instead, all able to sprout arms or legs for a "mobile armor" form. Each set of five mecha have a combined mecha form (the Pirate line is the only one that combines to form a larger vehicle).
Spin-offs and guest appearances
Popularity of the series has spawn two popular MMO games in South Korea: Keroro Racing, racing game and Keroro Fighter, a strategy-and-fighting game. Other spin-offs include a manga called "Musha Kero" that has recently been adapted in the anime. The series has also spawned a magazine called "Keroro Land" that promotes toys, games, media, and events based on the manga and anime. Sgt. Keroro, Tamama, Giroro, Dororo and Kululu also make cameo appearances in the movie of Kaiketsu Zorori Keroro and Tamama also have appearances in the OVA of Lucky Star, and Kagami also spends almost all her money on a grip-claw-game trying to get a Keroro doll.
ADV Films had originally added a brief teaser page to their website, announcing their licensing of the anime. The site turned to static before playing a short clip of Keroro dancing to "Afro Gunso," then leaving the message "hacked by the frog." This was followed by a press release from ADV on November 20, 2006, stating that they had licensed all Sgt. Frog properties (except the manga, which was already licensed by Tokyopop) for the US. It was once confirmed that the anime dub would be released on DVD in the United States in February 2007. However, ADV Films had never confirmed a release date. ADV announced at Comic-Con International 2007 that the US release date had been delayed because of TV negotiations but would not comment on which networks they were talking to. In a DVD included with the December issue of Newtype USA was an English-language trailer for Sgt. Frog released by ADV, with voices for Keroro (said to be voiced by Vic Mignogna), Natsumi, Fuyuki, Aki, and the narrator. However, as of July 4, 2008, the English license for the anime was transferred to Funimation Entertainment.
Funimation released one episode as a test on YouTube to be reviewed by the viewers. Many instances of regional name changes were observed; Natsumi is renamed Natalie, and Giroro's cat was renamed "Mr. Furbottom," (despite being female). Additionally, the word Pekopon was changed to Planet Wuss, Pekoponians were referred to as Wussians, and Keron changed to Frogulon. The frogs' names remained the same as the Japanese version, though shortened by one syllable (e.g. Keroro changed to Kero, Tamama to Tama). The test episode had mixed reviews by fans involving the voice acting, jokes, and name changes.
At Otakon 2009, the first five episodes of Sgt. Frog were screened, where the original versions of the various names that were changed were used. The voice actor for Sergeant Keroro in the test video, Chris Cason, was swapped out for Sergeant Major Kululu's test actor, Todd Haberkorn. Kululu was changed to Chuck Huber, and the narrator also appears to have been changed. FUNimation stated at their panel that they were going to keep the anime as similar as possible to its Japanese counterpart, and claimed to only change references from Japanese pop culture (save for those Americans were already familiar with) to references from American pop culture. Those present at the showing seemed to enjoy the changes, and the reception of the official dub was very positive.
No information has been released by FUNimation as of yet as to if they will dub past episode 52, but considering the positive reception of the first 51 dubbed episodes, as well as the amount of merchandise FUNimation is releasing, it's likely that episodes 52 and beyond will be dubbed as well. It was recently confirmed by Todd Haberkorn that new episodes ARE being written and the cast is in the process of recording them, although for confidentiality reasons exact details cannot be given out as of press time. However in a recent ANNcast interview with Lance Haskell, he stated that the series is doing well but they are not dubbing anymore episodes due to sales. If sales increase, more episodes will be dubbed and released. 
On July 31, 2009, Funimation added the first 4 dubbed episodes of the series to their online video portal. After a considerable delay following between the release of the first dubbed episodes, Funimation began making dubbed episodes other than the first 4 available on the portal. Currently, the first 51 subtitled episodes are available on the Funimation video portal and Hulu. The 51 dubbed episodes have since expired.
The Season 1 Part 1 DVD set was released September 22, 2009. It contains episodes 1 through 13, and all the character names and references to Gundam remain the same as the manga. Season 1 Part 2 was released November 24, 2009, and contains episodes 14 through 26. Season 2 Part 1 was released on January 26, 2010, contains episodes 27-39. In addition, Season 2 Part 2 was released on March 30, 2010 containing episodes 40-51.
- The English version of Sgt. Frog by Animax, entitled "Sergeant Keroro", has been broadcast in India (July 1, 2008), Indonesia (July 1, 2008), Malaysia (July 1, 2008), the Philippines (July 1, 2008) and China. The only noticeable difference between this version and the original Japanese version is that "De Arimasu" is translated as "Sir, yes sir!" (which is also used in Funimation's subtitled version), Natsumi refers to Keroro as "Reptile" instead of "Stupid Frog" and Mois refers to Keroro as "Cousin" rather than "Uncle".
- In Hong Kong it was initially broadcast by Cable TV, then by TVB. It was dubbed in Cantonese separately by the two stations. The Chinese terms introduced in the Taiwanese version (mentioned later) were only applied in the TVB dub.
- In Indonesia, it was licensed and dubbed in Indonesian broadcast everyday on antv since August 11, 2008, named simply "Keroro". Only the first season was aired, but was shown in its entirety. In Indonesia, The manga has been licensed and released up to volume 15 by Elex Media Komputindo, under the title "Sersan Keroro".
- In Israel, the anime recently began airing on the "Children's Channel". "De Arimasu" is translated as "iim kol hakavod" which means "with all due respect". The names were changed slightly - Keroro was renamed "Kerero", and his rank was changed to Captain (resulting in the show being renamed "Captain Kerero"), while Giroro's rank was changed to Sergeant (although in season 2 his rank was changed back to corporal). Also, Natsumi calls Keroro a stupid toad instead of a stupid frog. The Children's Channel aired the first season in its entirety, with the exception of episode 30. The second season is currently airing.
- In Malaysia, the series is broadcast since April 27, 2007, dubbed in Malay on ntv7, known simply as Keroro. There are notable changes in the dubbing of the series. For example, Keroro does not address his human captors with honorifics. The series is aired since July 2008,dubbed in English with Malay subtitles on Animax, known simply as "Sergeant Keroro".
- In the Philippines, it is dubbed in Tagalog and aired as Sgt. Keroro on ABS-CBN on June 4, 2007.
- In South Korea the anime is aired on Tooniverse as 케로로 중사 (Keroro Jungsa). As with most Japanese anime targeted to younger audiences there, the human Japanese names were changed to Korean-sounding ones. Aliens' names were generally the same (in pronunciation) as the Japanese names.
- In Taiwan, Keroro was broadcast in Mandarin on Cartoon Network and CTS. The names of Keroro and the other Keronians are transcribed in Kunrei-shiki romanization rather than into Chinese characters; and "Pekopon" is translated as "the Blue Planet" (Chinese: 藍星; pinyin: lán xīng) while Keroro's signature de arimasu is translated as 是也 (shì yě).
- In Thailand, the anime is broadcast on TITV's Cartoon Club slot between 9.00-9.30 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays under the title Keroro Lingo (เคโรโระ ขบวนการอ๊บอ๊บป่วนโลก). The manga is published by Siam Inter Comics under the same title.
- In Middle East, the anime recently began airing on Spacetoon. The names had a slight change, example: Keroro became Kero; Dororo became Doro etc.
- In France, the anime is aired on Télétoon under the title Keroro, mission Titar. The human characters' names were changed from Japanese to French-sounding: the Hinata family is renamed as Monaté, with Fuyuki, Natsumi and Aki as Artus, April and Anna respectively. Momoka is called Garance Beller, Mutsumi as Mael while Koyuki is Énéa Azuma. "De arimasu" is translated to "Sauf votre respect" (or "sauf mon respect"), which translates as "With your/my respect". In the manga, published by Kana, the names are the same as the Japanese version.
- In Italy, the anime series was broadcast on Italia 1, beginning September 11, 2006 under the title Keroro. "De arimasu" is translated as "Signorsì" ("Yes, sir"), Mois called Keroro "Sir Keroro" in anime and "Mio signore!" ("My lord") in manga (edit by Star Comics) and only in anime "Stupid frog" was adapted in "Brutto Ranochio!" ("Ugly frog!")
- In Spain, the anime is aired in Spanish (Castilian dialect) on Cartoon Network, starting on November 6, 2006 under the title Sargento Keroro. In Catalonia, the anime is also aired in Catalan on public broadcaster TV3; and in Galician on public broadcaster TVG in Galicia. "De arimasu" is translated as "¡A la orden!" ("By your command") in the Spanish version and as "¡A formar!" ("Fall in!", in the military sense) in the Catalonian version. The manga is published by Norma Editorial under the title Keroro. There are no name changes in either the manga or the anime.
- In Portugal, the anime is aired in Spanish and subtitled in Portuguese on Panda Biggs.
- In the United Kingdom manga is published under Tokyopop. The release of the anime is tied with Funimation's release.
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- ↑ Norma Editorial: Catálogo: Keroro
- Keroro Gunsō website (Japanese)
- Sunrise's Keroro Gunsō website (Japanese)
- TV Tokyo Keroro Gunsō website (Japanese)
- Official Keroro Gunsō Movie Website (Japanese)
- Keroro Gunsō episode guide
- Official Animax India website
- Official Tokyopop Sgt. Frog manga website
- Sgt. Frog's Official English Website
- Sgt. Frog (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Keroro Gunso (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
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