Nyan Koi Complete Collection (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Friday, December 10, 2010
Release Date: Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cursed by a cat statue, Kousaka must do a hundred requests for the cats of the area less he turn into a cat himself.

What They Say
When cat-allergic Junpei Kosaka damages a statue of a cat deity, the cats don't just get his tongue, they put theirs in his mouth! Now cursed with the ability to understand felines, Junpei must perform one hundred great favors for cat-kind or face the fate of being turned into a cat himself! (Hey, would you want to spend the rest of your life licking your own backside?) Life quickly becomes a purrfect hell as every cat in the neighborhood starts sending Junpei their list of "requests." And if the kitties weren't already whipping him into a catatonic stupor, the women in his life are making things even worse. His sister, mom and the girl he has secret feelings for are all cat-crazy; the local Yakuza's daughter is playing cat and mouse; the local cat-owning monk's daughters are acting catty; and Junpei's childhood best friend is ready to use him as a scratching post! Get ready for the ultimate catfight on the road to purrdition in this cataclysmic complete collection of Nyan Koi!

The Review!

Audio:
The monolingual release of this series is presented in its original stereo mix encoded at 224kbps. Though the show has a fair number of physical pratfalls and comedic elements, it's by and large a dialogue driven shown, but one with lots of loud moments and over the top reactions. The mix handles it well, giving it a big feeling when needed, while still handling the regular dialogue well with decent placement and even a fair bit of depth when required. The cat voices are done nicely since they generally feel like they're properly placed though sometimes it has a less than clear feeling as it seems to be disconnected from where they're standing. The mix does good with the music as it has the best full feeling and overall the show is about what you'd expect with a clean and clear problem free presentation.
 
Video:
Originally airing 2009, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1,78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. It's spread across two discs in a standard six/six split that gives it a decent bit of space to work with. The show has a very good production design to it and it shines through well here with bright and solid colors that are very appealing. Characters and backgrounds have a good bit of detail to it that's shown well here as AIC has made this stand out more than your average production that you would expect from a show like this. There's some noise to be had in general, though nothing that stands out too badly, with only some of the minor darkened scenes being the most noticeable. But that's minimal overall as the majority of the show takes place in well lit areas with strong looking designs.
 
Packaging:
NyanKoi! has a standard single sized keepcase design with a hinge inside to hold both discs of the series. The front cover is an attractive piece as it features nothing but girls, girls, girls. And girls in skimpy outfits with cat ears on them and a variety of expressions. It's a busy cover since there are six of them here but with the heavy skin showing we have and some basic colors, it all comes together rather well and with a good nod towards the cat element. The back cover follows other recent Sentai releases with a good amount of small text here for the summary which goes into more detail than may be necessary. The top goes for the cat pun while the rest of the cover has either a number of small shots from the show or a really cute picture of the twins. The production information fills out the bottom just above the technical grid, all of which is clean and clear and very easy to read in order to figure out what the set contains. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.
 
Menu:
The menu design for the release is pretty cute as it uses a couple of cat themes along with the pinks and orange colors from the front cover along with a dash of blue to tie it all together. The navigation on the left has the episode numbers with a cat cursor while the right side has the character artwork that's nicely detailed and different on each volume and throughout the submenus. The layout is quick and easy to navigate with nothing on either disc outside of the episodes themselves and the special features section. Everything loads quickly and is easy to load. With it being a monolingual release, the player presets are a non-issue.
 
Extras:
The only extras included in here are the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences on the second volume.
 
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the manga series by Sato Fujiwara, Nyankoi is a twelve episode series that runs with a predictable storyline but manages to stay fresh and fun throughout. With only five volumes of manga material to work with, and still ongoing as of this writing, Nyankoi offers up some potential to do something fun though you know that it's not going to be truly brought to a conclusion here simply because of the opening premise. Curses and all that's associated with it is fairly traditional and marrying that with teenage romance and confusion isn't all that much of a surprise. What makes it work is that the characters are fun and AIC put together a really good looking production here.
 
The series focuses on high school student Jyunpei Kousaka who leads a pretty good life and is generally happy, though not without his problems. Living with his mother and sister, his main problem at home is that he's allergic to cats and lives in a very cat heavily family. His allergies get strong but he's able to cope simply because he has to. In his school life, he's your average student who is in love with a fellow classmate named Kaede Mizuno. Mizuno's an attractive and smart girl who is a bit socially out of step since she's missing some basic cues given by people and doesn't quite get that Kousaka is interested in her. She's a fun character who unfortunately lives in a family who loves dogs while she's got a bit attraction to cats.
 
What throws Kousaka's life for a loop is when he accidentally knocks of a cat statue outside of a shrine and finds himself cursed by them. The curse works on a couple of levels, the first of which is that Kousaka can understand the cats now. The main cat that informs him of all this is Nyamsus, the family cat. What he learns is that like the hundred ghost stories that are out there, there are also a hundred cat stories. And Kosuaka must deal with a hundred requests for help from cats in order to lift the curse. If he doesn't, he'll slowly turn into a cat himself, which is really going to be a problem since he's allergic to them. His mind races to a visual of seeing himself turning into a cat and sneezing himself to death.
 
Naturally, he can't tell anyone of this and the cats come to him continually in order to get things fixed in their lives, whether it's getting off a diet their master put on them or telling someone that they really care. Or telling the scary lady that she's holding them wrong and feeling trapped by her affections. Kousaka can understand it all and does his best to try and keep them all at a reasonable distance so he can discuss it with them without kicking off his allergies. And while trying not to look like a loon talking to and understanding cats. And the more he does help, since he doesn't want to turn into a cat, the more his reputation spreads and more cats seek home out. Some days he can't get a good night's sleep or deal without problems at school. And forget a school trip to Kyoto as there are cats there that have heard of him.
 
Kousaka's life can't face just the challenge of solving the problems of cats. No, he has to deal with romantic issues as well. While he's got the hots for Mizuno, and she has an inkling of interest in him, he also has to deal with his childhood friend of Kanako Sumiyoshi. Initially she's a really outlandish piece, but she calms down a bit to something more reasonable as she wants to take on Kosuaka as a manservant for herself as she wants to get closer to him, knowing that he's more interested in her friend Mizuno. Some of the confusion that ensues pushes things a bit with Mizuno and Sumiyoshi trying to not read too much into each others relationship with Kousaka while wanting more with him yet still being friends with each other. And it's kind of sad watching it since Kousaka really has no interest in Sumiyoshi yet she keeps throwing herself at him.
 
The series introduces a few other women into the mix as well that causes some confusion along the way. Kousak's friending of Chizuru Mochizuki is amusing as she's a college aged young woman who has a part time job as a postal carrier that's continually lost. Kousaka helps her out at one point and she makes a number of repeat visits to help out at the right time. Also showing up in the series is Nagi, a very male-ish young woman who has been hurt by love and went natural to such a degree that she wears track suits and people are surprised to learn that she's really a she and not a he. The addition that amused me the most at first, but wore on as time went one, was the twin sisters of Kotone and Akari where Kotone is very much interested in Kousaka and has Akari messing it up from time to time. The pair are cute and Kotone has an amusing personality as she pursues Kousaka at first in a more serious manner.
 
While Nyankoi hits up a lot of predictable moments and plot points, both with the cats and their requests and the girls with the relationship material, it's all brought together with a really nice job on the animation production. The characters have a lot of detail to them while making sure they've got a bit of height, something that keeps it from looking like a lot of typical high school comedies where they're reduced in stature just a bit for effect. The show is kept mostly real world when it comes to the designs, with only Sumiyoshi pushing it a bit with her make-up early on. There isn't anything out of this world with the storyline so the settings are familiar places that are again well detailed and colored, giving it a lived in feeling that you wouldn't be surprised to see if you visited there. AIC has done a very good job with the look of the show and has even made sure to change up the characters outfits on a regular basis. And outside of some panty shots and the occasional boob-grab, they kept it from being a huge fanservice fest as well.
 
In Summary:
Nyankoi runs in some familiar patterns and with it still being an ongoing manga, you know it’s not going to get a complete and true ending, though they do work things nicely here so that it builds up to something but doesn’t become overly serious or dramatic like some comedy series do. The romantic side of the show is fun and the girls outside of Nagi don’t bother me all that much when new ones are added. The humor is cute, the interactions with the cats made me laugh regularly and Kousaka is a fun enough character to pull off being the lead without being a real wimp. He’s not the most outgoing guy, but he knows what he wants and he knows what he doesn’t want. Nyankoi was more fun than I was expecting it to be and it had me smiling throughout. 

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening, Clean Closing,

Review Equipment

Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.
 

 



Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
MSRP: 49.98
Running time: 300
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Nyan Koi!