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 Afringe Home / Reviews / Parappa the Rapper: The Animated Series 06/13/2024 



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Parappa the Rapper: The Animated Series
TV Broadcasting (Japan)
30 minutes
Production IG
In the rain or in the snow, I’ve got the funky flow, but now, this anime really blows.
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
Parappa the Rapper: The Animated Series
By Jake Forbes

Karate-master onions, rap-battles for toilets, seafood birthday cakes? The seminal Playstation music game, PaRappa the Rapper, is certainly among the most bizarre games ever made. Can the brand new anime series based on the game possibly compare to its surreal parent? You've gotta believe… it can!

The opening "animation" (and I use the term loosely) features a paper cut out of Parappa stuck on a Popsicle stick bouncing back and forth to the music. After a few cel animated shots with the series logo, the paper Parappa is joined by the rest of the cast who bop in unison in front of a bopping paper skyline. This is the only reference we get to the paper-thin style of the game.

The cast of characters includes the daydreaming dog PaRappa, his love interest, Sunny Funny, the sassy Katty Kat, the narcoleptic P.J. Berri, a younger, arrogant Joe Chin (or a relative), and a new character that is some kind of female animal with small, pointy ears. Lammy and her friends are noticeably absent, as are Chop Chop Master Onion and the other Teachers from the game.

The episode I watched opened with PaRappa and Joe fishing at the lake while the girls looked on. Joe caught fish after fish, while PaRappa only caught a shoe. In a hilarious daydream, PaRappa catches a fish that's bigger than the lake, impressing the girls and leaving Joe dejected, but his bubble is burst when he catches yet another piece of junk. Or is it? This time he pulls out a mysterious locket, which he gives to the flower girl of his dreams, Sunny. It seems like a normal locket until Joe trips on the sleeping P.J. Berri, causing the locket to open up a interdimensional warp which takes all six characters to a bizarre jungle which is home to a hideous green thing in a loincloth. This thing used to be really mean and kill everything he saw with his pointy spear, until one day he saw this girl and fell in love, but their parents refused to let the green guy marry the girl, so his heart is broken. Apparently the locket that Sunny wears used to belong to this girl. After a 5-minute flashback sequence composed ENTIRELY OF CRAYON DRAWINGS, the gang of characters transport to the marriage of the green guy's girl (who in his flashbacks looked human, but now was a flower like Sunny).

Apparently the girl's father, king of the Apes, is marrying the girl to a bear prince, who happens to belong to the kingdom of dogs. When the wedding is disrupted the armies of dogs and monkeys wage a terrible battle. Before everyone can kill each other, the foot of God descends from heaven (causing PaRappa to daydream that he's Jesus!). The entire cast of characters boos like contestants on a game show when God reveals himself to have the ugly head of a… Gnu? God then proceeds to chop onions on his heavenly cutting board, causing everyone on the battlefield to stop killing and start crying. Problem solved. Green guy and girl can now get together and our heroes can go home.

While the storyline is crazy and the art appropriately bizarre, where the PaRappa show fails to live up to its name is in the music department. You would think that a show about a rapper would maybe have a rap song. Nope. There's no unique music here at all.

Overall, this show is aimed at a very young audience, and because of the low production value, it's not likely to appeal to the American fans of the game who are mostly older teens and adults. Die-hard fans of the game hoping to check this series out will probably have to find it in its raw Japanese form, as it's an unlikely candidate for licensing or fansubbing. The sequel game on PS2 is set to come out soon, and unless it's a hit, the PaRappa anime is likely to die a quick death in Japan. Let's hope that if a Space Channel 5 show is ever made, that Ulala get's better treatment than PaRappa.

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