DVD Review: Nyan-Koi! – The Complete Series
15/02/2016 Leave a comment
In our latest review we take a look at MVM Entertainment’s DVD release of Nyan-Koi! – The Complete Series; so is it worth your playtime or is it one best suited for a cat-nap. Well lets take a look.
Saying that Junpei Kosaka’s allergic to cats is something of an understatement. Just thinking about cats can make him sneeze – a fact that seems to be lost on his mother and sister, who both ADORE cats. And if that wasn’t bad enough, when Junpei inadvertently damages a statue of a cat deity, he becomes cursed with the ability to understand felines. Now Junpei must perform one hundred great favors for cat-kind or face the fate of being turned into a cat himself!
Life quickly becomes a purrfect hell as every cat in the neighborhood starts sending Junpei their list of “requests.” But it’s not just the cats: the local Yakuza’s daughter is playing cat and mouse, the monk’s daughters are acting catty, Junpei’s childhood best friend is ready to use him as a scratching post, and the girl he has a secret crush on is as cat crazy as the rest!
Like cats? Then you will probably enjoy what Nyan-Koi has to offer. Jokes aside this is a fair assumption judging from the events that unfold; but wrapped around this insane cat-disaster is a budding love story that evolves into an unresolved harem. It’s colourful, it’s strange and it has a quirky-cast of characters but unfortunately none of it pulls through to make it memorable or any good. In my eyes its one of those shows you watch just to fill the void until something better comes along…
Ignoring the negativity for a moment; Nyan-Koi is a story that revolves around the average high-school student Junpei Kosaka, who, after breaking a cat deity statue, finds himself cursed and must complete the requests of one-hundred-cats in order to break the spell he is now under. The punch-line however is that if the curse is not broken he will find himself turning into a cat; which – for someone who is allergic to them – isn’t exactly easy. So; thats pretty much the setup. A normal student must now take requests from cats in order to stop himself turning in to one; but as luck would have it he decides not to deal with requests in fear of his allergic reaction to them and as such it’s a cat and mouse (pun intended) game with the cats chasing Junpei for his assistance.
It’s actually a pretty decent setup, and would’ve led to some interesting situations – some of which we see – but instead the story tends to focus more on Junpei’s love interest; fellow classmate and friend Kaede Mizuno. This is where the harem element of the series comes in to play; as other female characters, such as Kaede’s classmate Kanako Sumiyoshi, and upperclassmen Nagi Ichinose, soon start to show interest in Junpei when he helps them out with their cats (no pun intended). This harem continues to get bigger when the priest’s twin-daughters (Kotone and Akari) find out about Junpei’s curse and decide to help him; and as such this many girls – and cats – results in plenty of inaccurately lead assumptions and situations being left explained; well to the girls at least.
Basically; lots of amusing stuff happens but hardly any head way is made. On one side we have Junpei’s curse looming over his head, which sees him (potentially) helping cats in secret, while on the other side we have a harem between multiple girls all trying to guage the interest of Junpei – and of course Junpei only has the eyes for one girl. Some comical situations come about, including one that involves a post-woman, but for the most part its a relatively uneventful story that could have gone somewhere more interesting and whats even more annoying is that the ending itself isn’t the one you were hoping for.
Seeing as this release is spread across three DVD discs I expected to see a variety of bonus content; unfortunately however the only content included is a selection of trailers for other Sentai Filmwork releases and the inclusion of textless songs.
In total six trailers, all of which use the opening theme songs as a base for the trailer, are included but what’s interesting is that none of them have received a UK release. These trailers can be found on the first DVD disc where as the textless songs can be found on the second DVD disc. You can consider Nyan-Koi a relatively barebones release; but considering the limited amount of content this franchise has received then it’s not surprising.
Media: DVD 9 x3
Running Time: 1:43:00 (Disc 1 & 3), 1:43:01 (Disc 2)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps
Despite the front-cover of this release suggesting it’s a story about a female character the story actually revolves around Junpei Kosaka; an average high-school that accidentally breaks a statue of a cat deity and finds himself under the spell of a curse. How does he fix this issue? Well he must complete one hundred requests from cats and if he doesn’t he will find himself turning in to one. Being a cat doesn’t sound so bad; but for Junpei Kosaka its a death sentence due to him being allergic to them. As such we see Junpei trying to lead his normal life while avoiding (and sometimes helping) cats in order to get rid of the curse.
Unfortunately this series isn’t that simple; as overshadowing this “cat curse” storyline is the element of romance disguised as a harem. It starts off with Junpei attempting to express his feelings to the girl of his dreams (Kaede) but when a childhood friend changes her appearance, and realises the good deed he did for a cat, she becomes jealous of Kaede and attempts to stop them from becoming an item. Over the course of the series things get out of hand and it even gets to the point where all-sorts of girls are after Junpei’s affections; or thats what it looks like at least. In actuality its just one girl jealous of junpei and somehow it all manages to work out. It’s a relatively common story and the cat-curse adds a rather ‘unique’ spin to it; but its not very memorable – sure enough there is a few entertaining merits but nothing we haven’t seen before.
Elements of the storyline aside this DVD release by MVM Entertainment, which uses discs originally authored by Sentai Filmworks, is as you would expect it to be. The limited number of episodes per disc means that the picture quality remains consistent throughout with no obvious issues to report. This release of Nyan-Koi also includes the English Dub and despite my inital doubts it isn’t half bad; sure enough some lip-flap movements /timings could have been better but on the whole its actually a pretty decent dub that, in some episodes at least, manages to be better than the Japanese audio track. Eitherway both Japanese and English soundtracks are provided and each have their own merit of worthiness. Of course those option for the original Japanese audio will be glad to know that English subtitles are included and they work as you would expect them to.
Nyan-Koi offers the possibility of a fun colourful show with quirky characters and while this may be the case it doesn’t really offer anything worth staying for. Sure enough the tasks that Junpei must do in order to please the curse can be quite amusing but they are constantly overshadowed by his daily life which is actually quite dull – if not predictable. The release by MVM however is pretty much flawless and its easy to see that it will benefit from the Blu-ray release that this series is getting. If you are looking for something to fill the void, or fancy a light-hearted type of anime with a quirky side, then Nyan-Koi! Is worth considering.
Nyan-Koi! – The Complete Series is now available on DVD and Blu-ray within the UK.