Nyanko Days [Anime Review]

Title: Nyanko Days
Anime Studio: EMT Squared
Genre: Comedy / Slice Of Life
Konagai Tomoko is a first-year in high school and a shy girl. Tomoko owns three cats. The cheerful and live Munchkin Maa, the smart and responsible Russian Blue Rou, and the gentle crybaby Singapura Shii. Tomoko, whose only friends were her cats, one day becomes friends with Shiratori Azumi, who also loves cats. This is a fluffy and cute comedy about the daily life of Tomoko and her cats, Tomoko and Azumi’s friendship, and the interaction between cats.

Nyanko Days is based on the Tarabagani’s 4-koma manga, which is serialised in Kadokawa’s seinen magazine, Comic Cune. The anime started airing in January 2017 and is by EMT Squared, who most recently released Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear. 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.

I first watched Nyanko Days during the 2017 Crunchyroll of the Dice Tournament. The series went to a 6 – 6 draw with the eventual tournament winner Beautiful Bones, only to lose 8 – 6 in sudden death. What I saw was, however, a very enjoyable little episode. Running to twelve episodes, each only lasting two minutes, it turned out to be an easy series to binge.

Now, there are a lot of ‘cute girls doing cute things’ series out there. 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. Instead of trying to be the most amazingly new and ingenious series there is, Nyanko Days relies on one thing: quality.

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.

In terms of storytelling, everything moves 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 rather 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. Throw in that there’s not one cast member that does a poor job, and you’re on to a winner.

Overall, 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 likeable, 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. I give this a solid 3.5 out of 5.

 

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