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CyanideBlizzard's Nyan Koi! Tv Review

Nyan Koi! tv Review

Story & Characters

Every now and again, I enjoy indulging in a show that isn't great or poor. Something that strikes along the lines of completely average. What's an even bigger treat is watching such a show, and having it end up being fairly better than anticipated. Back in late 2009, I found this in a series called Nyan Koi! While technically being a standard harem series topped with a chocolate fan-service layer on the outside, on the inside is a sweet, delicious crème of character development and comedy. In a sense, I'd consider Nyan Koi! to be more of a form of guilty pleasure than I would a previous show I reviewed.

Nyan Koi! (NK from here on) starts us off by introducing us to the evil eyed, chronically allergic to cats, slightly dense and somewhat of a jerk-but-with-a-heart-of-gold Junpei Kosaka. Junpei has a crush on the athletic, smart and rather adorable girl with big eyes named Kaede Mizuno. As the series progresses we are introduced to several cliché elements common in romance/harem series. The childhood friend who secretly has a crush on the main character (Kanako Sumiyoshi). The character who is mistaken for their gender and conflicts with the main character, but through an event falls for him (Nagi Ichinose). Along with two twins, one drastically different from the other (Kotone Kirishima and Akari Kirishima). We are also introduced to a character that feels more like a side character that is simply there for comedy and/or fan service (Chizuru Mochizuki). Here's where a key concept should be kept in mind. While NK is a harem series, it's actually more of a focused romantic story around Kaede and Junpei, with more girls thrown in to the mix.

NK starts right off the gate in very familiar territory. To the point that anyone who has seen a harem series will quickly recognize that NK is very much a cookie cutter representation of any harem series out there. So, with that in mind, what point would anyone have in watching a series that has already been done before? Well, there are two very critical concepts that we are introduced to that keep us not only entertained, but keep us watching throughout the series.

The first, and main concept behind Nyan Koi, is that Junpei kicks a can at a garbage can and accidentally ends up damaging a statue of a cat deity and ends up being cursed. The curse itself, is that Junpei can now talk with cats and is tasked with hearing out and fulfilling 100 requests from them. Should he not complete this, or should anyone else find out about this curse, and it will progress even faster. This would result in him turning into a cat and with his chronic allergy to cats, we know that this won't end well for Junpei. While this element itself may not keep you on the edge of your seat, it actually is a very welcomed addition. This is also a main source of the comedy and misfortune that isn't simply thrown around here and there. Roughly speaking, there is always a problem he must end up helping a cat with and as a result we watch him mature throughout the series through these requests. Granted that this concept doesn't provide much meat to it and ends up resulting in the story being fairly light, it's still a welcomed addition in what would of been a fairly generic series.

The second one is the characters themselves. While they generally are stereotypes of each respected category, the wonderful thing (for the majority of the main characters) is we're actually treated to some growth throughout the series. Nagi realizes Junpei's feelings for Kaede, and pushes her own feelings aside to aid her best friend in getting together with Junpei. Another instance is with Kanako and realizing that Kaede has feelings for Junpei, but still pursues him and shows not only guilt, but regret towards it. However, despite this she still pushes towards what she believes in. While this isn't an uncommon aspect to an anime series, it was a huge surprise when I first viewed this series and just as welcomed the second time I viewed it. However, it must also be kept in mind that generally speaking, each character does fit a fairly generic role and it's only when we're given these parts that they break the traditional mold and develop into characters that we may (or may not) care about.

Overall, NK covers itself nicely throughout the twelve episode season, however it is fairly obvious that the show wanted a second season, but since there has been no word of it we can only assume that there will be only one season. However, the show ends in an enjoyable way and rather fitting for the show, even if we're left with the feeling that not very much was accomplished. By far nothing outstanding and the show does feel rather typical half of the time, but it's nice to see both more important and smaller elements used to push this series a bit above average.

Rating: 7

Art

NK is a fairly well animated series.

Characters themselves are lively, each one being quite unique in look and body language wise. The show does use shortcuts from time to time, but nothing that isn't completely un-necessary for a show like NK. The overall look is rather colorful and vibrant, and it's through the art that we are greeting with the best part of the show in my opinion, the comedy and the cats. Characters are nicely animated during comedy scenes and facial expressions really capture the moment and put a smile on your face. Once again, with this show now reaching the two year old mark and being fairly above average in terms of animation, it doesn't hold up as well as some other modern harem shows, but not by much.

The cats are personally my favorite part of this anime, as the majority of very unique in design to reflect their personality as well as in terms of actions as well. The only cats that share similar looks are those from the same family, so it's nice to see creativity put into one of the key aspects of the show.

Backgrounds don't necessarily stand out and are simply there to push the scene along, so they do the job that they are suppose to and look pretty good too.

Rating: 7

Sound

Sound is where the show really tends to shine a bit more.

As previously mentioned in both sections, NK has several strong features going for it and that's the cats, and the comedy.

The cats themselves are what really stole the show for me in terms of vocals. Be it with how they would interact with Junpei, or the unique accents and personalities that they had, this is what really made what would of been a below average show into something that was complete above average. Of course, this is mostly in thanks to great VAs, and Atsuko Tanaka (who plays Junpei's cat, Nyamsus), Jun Fukuyama (who plays a male calico cat named Tama) and Koji Yusa (who plays Josephine, a feminish looking male cat with a wife back in Kyoto. He belongs to Nagi) are the three main individuals who should be thanked for it.

Aside from being a strong element of comedy, they actually are what help Junpei, played by Shintarō Asanuma, grow into a better person and mature. We can also see this in how Shintarō plays Junpei, taking him from generic male lead to his own character. Yuka Iguchi (Kaede) and Ryōko Shiraishi (Kanako) both do a fine job with their roles, but it's nothing that really makes them truly stand out as characters. However, Yū Kobayashi's portrail of Nagi is what really steals the show. Not only does she do a fantastic job using a deep voice to give the impression that Nagi is a boy, but also alternates between Nagi's desire to lose any femininity due to being rejected in the past, as well as her desire to hang onto that and still be feminine. It's really a character that was an enjoyment to listen to, even if Nagi simply took a backseat after awhile in the series.

However, one thing that really confuses me is the mixture of English into the script itself. Randomly English words are inserted into the script and I'm not sure what exactly the point was of doing this, but it's nothing that is terribly distracting from the show itself.

Background music is sort of like the backgrounds of the show. It serves to fit the scene they are featured in and push the show forward and for that it does a good job. However, like with the vocals I'm not sure why they have this tropical styled BG, but it's played throughout the show. The song itself is rather relaxing, but it just feels misplaced the majority of the time.

Rating: 8

Presentation

Nyan Koi! isn't going to win any awards, nor is it going to convert someone over to harem series if they weren't interested before. It has it's own share of fan service scenes, and typical cliche plot lines. Yet, within all of this we're greeted with an interesting concept and characters that develop within the twelve episodes we're given. Nyan Koi! would be what I would describe as a guilty pleasure through and through. It's nothing you'll remember several weeks down the road for it's amazing characters and great plot development, but if it fits the bill it will most likely be a series that you'll end up revisiting at one point or another.

Rating: 6

Final Verdict

6.83 (above average)

Reviewed by CyanideBlizzard, Dec 24, 2011

Comments

  1. angelxxuan Banned Member Dec 24, 2011

    another great review ! and I have to admit nyan koi ! was just precious, I won't lie I started watching it because of the kitties, by the time I realized that I was watching a bit more it seemed to not really bother me enough to even stop watching it. I have to agree with the review, I mean it wasn't all that bad at all, but over all I would suggest anyone that's into harem to watch. I wasn't the least bit bored with watching it and due to it's short nature I was able to finish it and not even bother with spoilers. there are times the moments are quite fitting with the fan service and just completes the scene/s somehow. can't wait to see what you might provide with us next :)

  2. SnickerdoodleNinja Retired Moderator Dec 27, 2011

    A guy cursed by a cat idol? This sounds golden. xD Though, I'll probably have to pass on this one, sadly.

    Personally, I really liked that you were able to bring out the defining aspects of the series while also acknowledging the cliche and generic aspects as well. Not to mention the advertising helpful links can help people find other series as well (I kid, I kid,really :) ). Anyhow, I also like how you handled the sound section, focusing on how it develops each character, as it was a bit different from how a lot of reviews handle sound. Nice job all around, and I look forward to reading your next review!

    Oh, and I completely understand what you mean about the random words in English part. Seems like it happens a lot in anime. I'm thinking about throwing random Japanese, French, or German words into my speech patterns now too and seeing what it feels like. :)

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