Anime Review: Nyanko Days

Nya1Welcome, one and all, to this month’s anime review. As you will have already seen, Nyanko Days came up short against Beautiful Bones in Crunchyroll of the Dive 2017. It was, however, a very enjoyable little episode … so, I decided to plough through it and watch it in one sitting. I mean, come on! They’re two minute episodes! Even if it turned out to be a bit naff, it wasn’t like I was wasting much time, right? So, how did the 12 episodes measure up? Let’s find out.

Nya2Background: The original manga is by Tarabagani and is serialised in Kadokawa’s seinen magazine, Comic Cune. The anime started airing in January 2017 and is by EMT Squared, who I believe produced a couple of episodes of re:LIFE.

The premise for the series is a simple one: Shy high schooler Yuuko Konagi has no friends but loves her three cats. Cute things happen. That’s about it really.

The Good: There are a lot of shows out there that essentially boil down to ‘cute girls doing cute things.’ There are also a lot of cute cats in anime. So, what does Nyanko Days do to differentiate itself from the rest? In essence, not a lot. The general set-up is nothing new, and the way it plays out is fairly standard. No, instead of trying to be the most amazingly new and ingenious series there is, it relies on one thing: quality. Yes, that may sound as simple as the story is, but it is multifaceted.

First of all, there’s the animation. Throughout the twelve episodes, this remains consistent. While not in itself anything stunning, it does do a fantastic job of presenting viewers with a vibrant, bright world. The colours pop and really help create a fun atmosphere for the show. On top of that, each character, whether human or cat, is given a suitably different colour palette to help them stand apart from each other.

nyankoIn terms of storytelling, everything is moved along quickly with most plotlines resolved within a single two-minute episode. OK, so some of the episodes spill over into each other, forming natural doublets, but that’s no bad thing really. If anything, it helps to reiterate that the series is well aware of the type of show that it is, and the limitations that the story presents. Rather than pad things out or make everything cumbersome, it chooses to leave the natural compression of the tale in place and in doing so prevents the episodes from ever outstaying their welcome. Even when binge-watched, it simply doesn’t drag because it works so well within the format.

The cats are also adorable. Drawn in a humanised chibi style, they don’t have the same appeal as some of the more feline cats in anime, but instead get by by presenting cat-like shenanigans in a slightly anthropomorphised way. Again, it’s simple, but it’s executed well enough to stick in your mind.

Nya3The Bad: I was lucky enough to go into this with no real prior knowledge as to what to expect. As such, I was not aware that it was classed a s seinen series. Now, when I think seinen, I think series like Black Lagoon, Jormungand and Dogs: Bullets and Carnage. Had I known that the series was a seinen, I would have been disappointed because it’s a far cry from what I’m used from the classification. That’s not a major criticism, but I’m sure I’m not the only one to equate terms like seinen and shonen with particular styles.

On top of this, the nature of the show means that it won’t likely be seen as a classic in the same way as some of the more well-known series. No, it won’t have the mass appeal of something like Death Note or Fullmetal Alchemist, and the setting itself will likely put many off purely through reasons of personal taste. Again, that’s not a major criticism at all, but shows like this do tend to start off on the backfoot when viewed from outside the anime community.

Subbed or Dubbed: Crunchyroll subbed version for me. To my surprise, not one character had an irritating voice. In fact, everyone did a decent job with their roles. Will there be a dub? I doubt it somehow, but that’s OK.

Final View: Despite some inbuilt shortcomings preventing it from becoming an instant classic, Nyanko Days is an enjoyable little romp through the world of cute kitties. The cast is likable, the character designs are fine, and the action on screen is suitably enjoyable. It won’t blow your mind, but it will be a breeze to watch, even in one sitting.

Final Score: 4 / 5

 

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