Sorry for the long wait between posts, but life has been quite busy lately. Today I’m going to review a DVD set I received last month as a gift: the Nyan Koi Complete Collection.
Nyan Koi is a series that was broadcast in 2009 by TBS and animated by AIC. It’s a romantic comedy that features conversations with cats as its signature difference between it and other harem series. It was the second anime series that I watched after getting back into the style and the first series I debated importing on Blu-Ray.
Sentai Filmworks licensed the series for distribution in North America and released all 12 episodes on a 2 DVD set last December 14th. On Right Stuf, it’s appeared a couple of times as a top-selling item so sales appear to be well. In Japan, the series sold somewhat decently with 2,482 average DVD+BD sold per volume.
Getting onto the set, Sentai uses the special volume 6 cover art image of all the main female characters in “cat girl” costumes as well as cover art from the JP first and fifth volumes for the discs. Other than the art and two discs, there is nothing else physically in this set.
On disc 1 are episodes 1-6, which introduce the main character and all of the girls that have some romantic interest in him. There’s the obvious main girl, childhood friend, tsun/dere twins, older female, and masculine archetypes, but all are executed extremely well.
The general plot involves comedy coming from Junpei, the male protagonist, and his troubles after breaking a cat statue while walking home from school one day. He has to perform 100 good deeds for cats before the curse will turn him into a cat himself. The catch: he’s allergic to cats, and thus can barely stand to be near one. His life is on the line for these good deeds.
On disc 2 are episodes 7-12, which finish the set. Most of these episodes focus on the tsun/dere twins as well as the main character Mizuno. The progression to the final episode is carried out well compared to a lot of other shows I’ve seen. The final episode reflects back over the season and then gives a hint as to a second season.
I can’t say that any episode is really wasted as they put a lot of chapters from the manga into this adaptation with an original ending. The plot itself is simple, yet well executed enough to make the show tolerable at least to watch. Even in the bits of fanservice, there is a lot of good comedic moments (mostly surrounding Nagi) that allow the show to retain a constant state of hilarity.
The art style shifts between detailed scenery and defined characters to what I could describe as a 4-coma “flat” style for comedic moments. While it doesn’t hurt the show, the change is often drastic and sometimes unwarrented. When the show wants to be visually fantastic, it can have wonderful moments like in the opening scene. The DVD carries over most of the image quality, but remains a bit flat at times where a Blu-Ray adaptation would emphasize the extra colors.
The set only contains the original Japanese audio and subtitles for English-speakers. The original cast has surprises such as Yuka Iguchi as Mizuno where she’s actually more cute than annoying (unlike Index) as well as her Railgun counterpart Rina Satou as an older postal worker. The scene-stealing role goes to Yu Kobayashi and her fantastic performance of Nagi. All audio sounds perfectly clear to my ears.
Included on the set are the clean versions of the Opening and Ending animations as well as credits for the DVD and previews for other Sentai shows. That’s it for the limited amount of extras. The English translations are done very well and provide enough Japanese background to understand some of the obscure references.
To sum up my feelings on this set: I really like the show and think it’s under-rated, but the bare-bones release isn’t much to my liking. That’s more of an issue with Pony Canyon than Sentai however. The only extra that could have been translated was the 3-12 page booklets and the character song CDs, both of which are cost-prohibative to mass-produce. It’s a good set at a good price, so if you like a romantic comedy give it a try.
More screencaptures can be found at my Photobucket album as usual.
This entry originally appeared on Cartoon Leap and has been copied faithfully (minus image locations) from the original content.