The first of two midpoint reviews. The second will be about Kimi ni Todoke.
Nyan Koi was one of the low-key surprises of the past season. Credits aside, it wasn’t about cat girls, and it turned out to be fairly mild on the fanservice. Instead, it specialized in the kind of “misunderstanding pile up” style comedy that made School Rumble and this show’s spiritual predecessor, Seto No Hanayome, so much fun to watch. Like the latter, it’s a formula show at heart, but one with enough real laughs–most of them provided by the cats–to make it enjoyable.
There are some things I hope the show will do in its next season, however.
I finally caught up with a few current season shows today, and it probably tells you a lot when I tell you which ones they were: Kimi ni Todoke, Kobato., and Nyan Koi. These were the sort of shows I needed to watch at this point in my life. Let me explain.
Well, episode 6 really wasn’t anything special. Not bad, just more of the same. The cast rounds out a bit more with the introduction of Kotone and Akari Kirishima, the twin daughters of the local (somewhat lecherous yet kindly) monk. Typical twin story elements occur (mistaking one for the other and etc.) as Kotone is attracted to Junpei because of his misfortune (maybe she’s a reverse vampire?) and Akari beating him up thinking he is a pervert.
Additionally the story from episode 5 continues with Mizuno trying to figure out if Junpei really feels the way Nagi told her he does, and what exactly his relationships with all these other woman truly are. That said.. nothing really develops on that front that wasn’t already established last episode aside from two new characters (the twins) to be confused by. Sadly, Nagi and Kanako have little screen time this episode as well. I say sadly because they are by far the most interesting characters in Nyan Koi (along with Junpei). They deserve more screen time.
Animation this time around is still great, though some might be upset because of the blatantly censored out pantsu shots. I wonder what they will do for episode 7 which looks to be the hot springs episode every comedic anime is required to have at least one of.
This would have been a review of Episodes 5 and 6, however I wasn’t able to view Episode 6 in time. My apologies.
If you recall from my last article, I really enjoyed episodes 3 and 4. I’m happy to report episode 5 is also quite good. This episode really gets the romantic comedy juices flowing as we now have three girls vying for poor cursed Junpei’s attention, while there is only one of them whose attention he really longs for. Classic (Clichéd?) harem anime plot device I know, but still fun and it really works here because all three girls are drastically different.
The problem with harem anime is that rarely by the end of the series is there a clear victory. Sure there is always a obvious leader in the race for the boy’s heart, but most of the time the anime ends with the more than one girl still clinging to him in hopes he will choose them over his destined love (Tenchi, Girls Bravo, etc). I’m sure most studios do this to spare the viewers from watching a character they love getting their heart broken, but still by the end of the series I want resolution dammit!
Junpei however doesn’t have this problem, which is a welcome surprise. While he is too shy to actually spit out his words and tell Mizuno that is likes her, he has no qualms about being blunt and telling this fact to Nagi while apologizing and saying he is flattered to her own feelings about him.
Another good episode, I don’t want to spoil much about it. I’ll just say this episode does wonders in expanding the relationship between Mizuno and Junpei. And of course it ends on a cliffhanger… D’oh!
Also no cat requests in this episode, but it is a two-parter, so maybe they are in episode 6.
Nyan Koi! continues it’s growth from its bland 1st outing, gradually improving with each subsequent episode. Episodes 3 and 4 continue this trend by fleshing out the feelings and motives of the main cast while introducing more characters (Typical anime formula, continue adding more and more characters each episode till you run out and then are forced to move forward with the plot). All of this while continuing the vague plot of Junpei solving cat problems so he won’t get cursed and die. Continue reading Nyan Koi! Episodes 3 & 4 – The Plot (and the Breasts) Thickens→
To be absolutely honest, none of the shows in this fall season’s lineup have resonated a real “Must Watch” vibe with me. It’s a little odd because I’m not picky with my anime, I’ll watch a bit of everything. My tastes cross many genres and titles, but some of my specific weaknesses are for moe comedies. The kind with a bit of sexy fan-service and a likeable/funny protagonist who is can’t seem to catch a break (e.g. shows like Dears, Girls Bravo, and Karin.). This season there seem to be a couple of those, but the brief plot outlines I read didn’t seem to differentiate these new ones from the hundreds of other shows that have come before… Still, I can’t call myself an otaku if I’m not watching something new each season. The union will tear up my membership card. So in the interest of holding on to my geek cred, the first show I watched was Nyan Koi!
I picked Nyan Koi! for a few reasons. It seemed to meet the criteria stated above, the animation style looked good from the preview, and the plot seemed… different. It revolves around a high-schooler named Junpei Kōsaka, who accidental defaces a sacred cat shrine and is cursed by a cat spirit. Now able to hear what cat’s are saying, he must help out 100 cat’s in need. If he doesn’t the curse will get progressively worse until Junpei himself turns into a cat, which will cause his death because he is allergic to cats and will asphyxiate due to his own fur. His first assignment is to stop a girl who causes “great misery” to a certain group cats, and this girl just happens to be his oblivious naive classmate, Kaede Mizuno, whom he has a crush on.
Usually, I have a pretty good idea if I will stick with a show devotedly to the last drop just by my impressions of the first episode. Nyan Koi‘s first episode did not grab me. It was typical, vanilla, same ole same ole, nothing to set it apart aside from it’s goofy plot. Even the opening theme song felt like I had heard it somewhere before, sounding eerily similar to Haruhi Suzumiya’s opening during certain parts of the tune. The animation was good and there were a few humorous bits involving what cats think or the priest of the cat shrine, but it wasn’t enough to save the episode entirely. I was disappointed enough I almost didn’t watch episode two, but luckily I did because it was a much welcome improvement over the first. Not the least of which was the introduction of Kanako Sumiyoshi, Junpei’s tomboy childhood friend turned foe who added some much needed spice to the somewhat bland show. It was also much funnier than the first episode and I caught myself eagerly anticipating a resolution of the antagonistic relationship between Junpei and Kanako. The second episode hooked me.
Overall, I worry that Nyan Koi! may get overly repetitive (cough, Rosario + Vampire, cough) with the cat requests, but I am going to stick around and watch a few more episodes to see how things play out before I pass judgment on that. I just hope future episodes are more like the second episode and not the first.