ANIME & MANGA - Review
15:08 - 27th June 2016, by NEO Staff

Nyan Koi!

Jyunpei Kousaka’s plight is revealed in flashback, where a moment of absentmindedness led to the beheading of the local neko-jizou-sama statue – the guardian deity of cats. Left forgotten, Jyunpei wakes to find he can understand Nyamsus, the family cat whose cantankerous mug is reminiscent of the grumpy cat meme. Having been cursed, Jyunpei must atone for his misdemeanour by performing 100 good deeds for the local moggies lest he too becomes a kitty. And here’s the rub, he’s allergic to cats and, in a cruel twist of fate, it just so happens that his classmate and crush Kaede Mizuno adores them.

Loosely based on the “100 ghosts” story (and Sato Fujiwara’s ongoing manga, incidentally), Nyan Koi! opts for the road less travelled, which in this case means risqué comedy. The impeccable timing and offbeat humour go above and beyond likeminded supernatural harem setups but swiftly devolves into a mélange of iffy ecchi.

The crux of the series is in reluctantly assisting the local cats, an occurrence which typically takes place between episodes. When the plot does deign to save a kitty, the events are wrapped up in Jyunpei fending off another woman’s affection. In so doing, it becomes more about servicing the harem than about atonement, redemption – or even cats, for that matter.
The girls are a motley bunch who fall flatter than the thrifty animation, and yet Kanako Sumiyoshi, a manba gal (whose presence itself is something of a rarity), is soon scrubbed up and returned to a more ‘acceptable’ representation, losing perhaps the strongest character in the process.

By the end of the 12 part series, the reset button is hit and we’re left more or less where we started. Jyunpei needs to help more cats, only now he’s got a conflicting harem to contend with.

All the cute cats, in-jokes and Sailor Moon references in the world aren’t enough to save this series from slipping into cliché and mediocrity.
SCORE: 2/5
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