Nyan Koi! – 01
「ブサイクな猫と呪われし高校生」 (Busaiku na Neko to Norowareshi Koukousei)
“The Ugly Cat and the Cursed High School Student”
Nyan or meow? What sound do cats actually make? If you read Omni’s Fall preview, you probably already have a good idea what Nyan Koi’s about. In fact, his short blurb about it basically sums up this entire introductory episode minus the character details and comedic outburts.
At the core of the series, we have a high school romance comedy. Unlike Kampfer though, the pitch here is that our male protagonist Kousaka Junpei (Asanuma Shintaro of Da Capo II) is horribly allergic to cats whereas his love interest Mizuno Kaede (Iguchi Yuka of To Aru Majutsu no Index) absolutely adores them. On his way home one day, Junpei accidentally defiles the shrine of the local cat deity by decapitating its statue and finds himself cursed. As a very, very cruel twist of fate, he now understands what cats are saying and has to help a hundred of them with their requests or suffer the punishment of being turned into the very feline creature he despises. In short, he has cat problems in every possible literal sense you can imagine.
If you found that Kampfer wasn’t for you and are looking for a romance comedy this season, Nyan Koi may just fit the bill. This is obviously more so if you’re a cat lover. That said, the cats are really cute both design and personality wise. The two main ones, Nyamsus and Tama, are played by Tanaka Atsuko (of GitS fame) and Fukuyama Jun (of Lelouch fame) respectively. While most people are probably used to Jun spouting out lines about the United States of Japan, he’s actually very capable of playing the “cute” role like he does here as Tama. In general, the comedy is very light and unassuming but is pretty consistent throughout. Whether it’s Junpei’s innate proximity sensor, Kaede’s cat ravaging, or general misunderstandings from yelling at cats, the show definitely has its moments. Nothing has been “lol funny” yet, but I see the potential. The comedic highlight of this episode was undoubtedly the dialogue from Junpei’s dream becoming a reality, except not quite the way he had imagined.
There are still a bunch of characters who haven’t shown up yet, but with a cast that includes Tomatsu Haruka, Shiraishi Ryoko, Satou Rina, Kobayashi Yuu, and Sakakibara Yui (who also sings the OP theme), it gives me something to look foward to. In particular, I want to see when these two girls show up to spice things up. For a series such as this though, you can’t really expect much out of the romance portion aside from constantly being teased about it. However, if you don’t mind a light comedy about a guy suffering his way through his feline endeavours, it may prove to be pretty entertaining. Production-wise, I felt AIC did a good job with the first episode. The characters designs were good too, which is pretty key since it’s a HUGE downer for me when they’re not.
Anyway, I’m not a huge fan of Iguchi Yuka in lead roles, but I was already convinced I’d be watching this series a couple of weeks ago. Whether or not I’ll be providing detailed weekly coverage on it is another story though.