a.k.a. Bannou Bunka Neko-Musume TV
a.k.a. Nuku Nuku TV
Meet Atsuko Natsume, but you can call her Nuku Nuku. She looks like your average, every-day high school student in virtually every way. In actuality, she is a highly advanced android with the brain of a cat… literally! With the help of her creator, Kyuusaku Natsume, as well as her owner, six-year-old Ryunosuke, she’s going to do her best to become a normal student and citizen. Unfortunately, it won’t be an easy task. The maniacal forces at Mishima Industries are constantly testing new products to further their goal of world domination on a domestic and economic scale. With trial runs constantly running haywire, it’s up to Nuku Nuku to stop Mishima Industries as well as protect her new classmates and Maneki City…all while trying to juggle a “normal” life!
summary by L-Sama
Highs: Simple, effective humor; seiyuu work; some great episodes
Lows: Feels dumbed down; gets a little ridiculous; some poor episodes
I consider myself to be a solid fan of Nuku Nuku. The original OVA had a fun concept that worked very well and delivered some good laughs. So when I heard that there was a TV series featuring my favorite cat-brained heroine, I had to take a look and see what the commotion was all about.
Honestly, it was a bit difficult to come up with a proper summary for this anime. The entire premise of the series is simple… almost too simple. After the first episode, you could probably close your eyes and feel your way through the rest of the series without being too wrong about each episode’s plot. Granted, I wasn’t expecting something that would rival Ghost in the Shell: SAC, but several other comedies have been able to string a cohesive and decent plot. After the final episode ended, I could sum up Nuku Nuku TV in two sentences: “Nuku Nuku tries to assimilate in everyday society, while Mishima Industries tries to take over the world. Goofy shenanigans ensue.” Along with the simpler plot, it seems as though some of the characters have been given simpler personalities. It’s sort of sad when two six-year-olds appear to have more depth than the adults. A prime example of this is Akiko, whom I loved in the original OVA. She and her cohorts are basically reduced to your standard Saturday morning cartoon villains, and while it works in the grand scheme of things, it just doesn’t feel right for a character like her.
At the same time, it’s this very same simplicity that lends itself so well to this anime’s comedy. All one has to do is sit back and enjoy the laughs as they come. Fortunately, the jokes here aren’t going to make you think about what is being referenced. It’s all straightforward and to the point, which is quite all right by me. Megumi Hayashibara is in her element as our favorite cat-brained heroine, as she and the rest of the main cast put out a solid product that is perfect for a series that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Thanks to a rather eclectic supporting cast, fitted with equally appropriate and well chosen seiyuu, everyone is fair game for a few good laughs. Running gags also abound in this series, and while some get a little old after a while, they’re generally spaced out enough to where they aren’t a bother to see referenced several times in a shorter 12 episode run.
Comedy can be difficult to maintain on a constant level regardless of series length. Despite a shorter span of episodes, Nuku Nuku TV is unable to keep the laughs coming all the time. This isn’t to say that the whole series is a dud. Earlier episodes are quite enjoyable, primarily when Nuku Nuku’s classmates are the focus. Out of the entire series, the karaoke episode (episode 4 for those keeping score) is the bright spot. Watching everyone perform songs befitting their characteristics is nothing short of entertaining, and some of them are actually pretty good! Around the halfway point, however, it seems as though the staff is grasping at straws for plotlines. While some moments still made me chuckle, the plot devices and mecha concepts were getting more and more ridiculous and not in a good way. Even the head of Mishima Industries would be shaking his head in disbelief. When the final episode came on the screen, I was starting to wonder if there could be anything that would rekindle the humor from earlier in the series, and sure enough, something came along at the last second…literally. You’ll have to see what I mean.
As far as comedy anime go, the TV incarnation of the Nuku Nuku franchise falters on some occasions, but as long as you don’t go into it with expectations of rolling on the floor, then you’ll be in for a good show. Oh, one more thing. Each episode starts with Nuku Nuku describing the plot in her eyes. In actuality, she’s describing the plotline for DASH!, the OVA sister project to the TV series. Be warned: it is nowhere near as good as she makes it sound. Stick with the original OVA and this series.
All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku TV can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.
BONUS!!! All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku Music Collection, with music from all three Nuku Nuku productions, can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.