「天国は待ってくれる？」 (Tengoku wa Matte Kureru?)
I know it’s somewhat cheesy when they play the opening theme near the end of a finale, but I actually like the whole “coming full circle” feel it gives off. Sure enough, Junpei’s curse does just that as he gets transformed into a cat completely before having the curse’s severity reduced. He’s human again but not free from it entirely, leading us to the biggest surprise at the end of the episode — a second season has been greenlit!
For an episode devoted primarily to Kanako and Junpei, the title “Friends” is almost like a spoiler in disguise. I must’ve been unconsciously expecting something to happen though, as this was a mere afterthought.
「ガールズ・イン・ザ・ウォーター」 (Gaaruzu in za Uootaa)
“Girls in the Water”
For an episode titled “Girls in the Water”, surprisingly only half of it was devoted to swimsuits and such. As some people have already pointed out, the anime is taking its own spin on things and skipping around the manga a fair bit. This week we start with chapter 14 for the first half and jump all the way back to chapter 8 for the second, but they did a pretty good job from a continuity point of view.
「炎の個人教授ランナー」 (Honoo no Kojin Kyouju Rannaa)
“The Blazing Private Instruction Runner”
Female underwear comes to save the (comedic) day! It was not a mistake in believing a mere bra could turn the tide, but having the Kirishima twins undoubtedly helps too. All they really had to do is make themselves at home at Junpei’s place with Kotone declaring herself as his future bride. That alone gets the ball rolling, but Nagi takes over soon after and steamrolls things along. Oh yeah, there’s more Junpei x Kaede going on and a cat problem to boot!
「暗くなるまで待って」 (Kuraku Naru Made Matte)
“Wait Until It Gets Dark”
Junpei never gets a day off, not even when he’s on a school field trip in Kyoto. After helping a cat named Masa return there, Junpei soon finds out that word on the neko streets is that he can help them with requests. Before long, every cat in the city is seeking him out for help.
AIC doesn’t cease to amaze me with their work here. Their animation is so detailed, clean, and crisp that it makes you think you’re watching some high budget BONES production. It takes a while to notice that you’re actually not, and seeing this level of quality in a comedy series of all things. Now if only all studios could produce work at these standards.
I’ve been on the lookout for this PV for the past two weeks — basically ever since the single was released (09-10-21). After seeing Sakakibara Yui with nekomimi on the CD cover, I just knew it was going to be some crazy cute & sexy overload and I was not wrong in believing so! Yui is no stranger to cosplaying, plus she’s ridiculously cute to boot, so her PVs are usually ones to look forward to. I know the same can’t be said about a lot of Japanese PVs, but Yui’s all about choreographed dancing and even baring her midriff at times. She’s definitely got the physique for it. While she doesn’t show any midriff here at the neko-maid diner, we are treated to an amazingly cute cat-like dance. Like seriously, OH, MY, GOD, cuteness explosion. She even winks and does pouty faces here and there to tease us. To spice things up, there’s a short dance intermission partway through, which is absolutely scandalous with the way she flicks her skirt… and tail! Ranka Lee Nyan Nyan CM, eat your heart out!
As for the song itself, I’m going to take a random stab and say it was written specifically for the anime. The title alone would make anyone think as such. In addition, the statue of Neko Jizou-sama appears in the PV, with its head falling off and everything. If you’re not familiar with Yui’s music, it has a unique, almost childish sound to them because of her singing voice. Surprisingly though, her natural speaking voice sounds absolutely nothing like it. It’s actually a lot lower than you’d imagine, in a kind of sexy sultry way. Pretty dangerous combination when she can do both cute and sexy impeccably if you ask me, but I’ve seen both and can confirm her “deadliness”. That said, I’ve been listening to the full version of this song for the past couple of weeks and just find it so god damn catchy. It totally reeks of cuteness, but when you picture Yui behind the voice, it somehow puts things into a different perspective. (i.e. Hot) Did I manage to get anyone to fall for her? Sakakibara Yui is Nyanderful-TASTIC!
P.S. For those who don’t know, she happens to be a seiyuu too. Probably one of the cutest ones out there.
Aside from her role as Solva in NEEDLESS, I admittedly don’t know much about Imai Asami. Based on her previous work, she’s been a fairly low profile seiyuu in the anime industry for the past eight or so years. Her more notable roles have been in video games, with Kisaragi Chihaya in THE IDOLM@STER standing out in that department. Despite her relatively uneventful career, I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Asami in anime, since her psychotic portrayal of Solva is absolute money. (Oh I can just hear the “Magnetic World” screams now!) Because of her role there, it’s hard to believe she can sound as sweet as she does here for the Nyan Koi ending theme, but she has displayed some incredible range voicing Solva.
In undoubtedly Nyan Koi style, the PV features a cat to increase the cuteness factor. As for the song itself, “Strawberry ~Sweet and Painful Tears~”, I didn’t think much of it when I first heard it, but it’s surprisingly catchy the more you listen to it. As such, I’d recommend giving it a few more listens if you’ve been watching Nyan Koi but haven’t really bothered taking notice to this song. It may just grow on you like it has for me.
For those interested, this PV was released along with the single about a week and a half ago (09-10-21).
「四角関係の刻（タイムズ・スクウェア）」 (Shikaku Kankei no Koku (Taimuzu Sukuwea))
“Square Relationship Time (Times Square)”
I was so wrapped up in the amusement park date that I completely forget one of the twins was going to show up. Tomatsu Haruka did have a line during Kirishima Akari’s brief appearance, but more importantly, Kaede knows about Junpei’s curse now!?