Fall Anime Review – Nyankoi!
Posted November 3, 2009on:
Nyankoi! reminds me of the “good old days” of light-hearted comedies like Tenchi Muyo! and El Hazard, which really isn’t surprising because it is from AIC, the same studio that gave us those old favorites. It’s a bit predictable, and it certainly won’t win any awards for originality, but it’s a lot of fun that shucks the recent trends of excessive fan service and rampant lesbianism.
Nyankoi! revolves around Kousaka Junpei, a generic anime boy who is defined by his horrific allergy to cats and his not-so-secret crush on popular classmate Mizuno Kaede. An unfortunate accident involving the local cat god statue gives him a curse that gives him the ability to speak to cats, and if he doesn’t the wishes of a hundred cats, he’ll turn into a cat himself (and, presumably, die from being allergic to himself).
The quirky premise lets the writers have some freedom with the characters and jokes, and the first episode is a great example of this. After receiving his first request from a local cat, Junpei is forced to try and explain to Kaede why the local cats don’t like her. The ensuing conversation is hilarious, as Junpei is caught between a feline peanut gallery begging him to tell off the girl of his dreams and a clueless Kaede, who doesn’t know he can talk to cats. Between a set of great visual gags and a good punch line where Junpei shouts at the cats to get away from him and ends up scaring Kaede into running away, I knew that I’d have fun with this show.
The last few episodes haven’t quite been as good as the first episode so far, but they’ve mostly been setup episodes, as new girls are introduced and, because there are Rules about these things, find a way to fall in love with Junpei. The general silly mood has been intact, and the show remains amusing throughout. The introduction of Ichinose Nagi has been a good addition to the show’s general comedy level, because crazy rich girls have always been fertile ground for great jokes (see: Hayate no Gotoku!).
The latest episode was pretty funny, but what surprised me was that the major relationships of the series make continual forward progress – most romantic comedies of this kind try and drag out the inevitable ending as long as possible in order to stretch out the material (I’m looking at you, Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu), but Junpei and Kaede may actually have a chance to work things out at the end. It’s a pleasant change from the usual formula, and I’m still happily watching each new episode without any reservations.
I’m going to keep watching Nyankoi! to see if it can live up to its full potential, which really isn’t asking much. It’s a very fluffy show, and as long as it stays generally likeable and funny, it’ll be everything I ever wanted: an enjoyable little romp I’m not embarrassed to watch.
– Solid romantic comedy that reminds you of the early ’90s (in a good way)
– The characters are likeable and crazy, without anyone being annoying.
– Actual character relationship progression, which never happened in the Ranma-style romcom.
– Nyankoi! is yet another high school romantic comedy in a medium dominated by them.
– For some reason, the producers posted graffiti drawings of poop at the end of the first two episodes.