Anime Review | Nyan Koi! (Lights, Camera, Action!)

By Drew Hurley 25.02.2016

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Nyan Koi! (UK Rating: 12)

Junpei Kousaka is living the average life of a Japanese high schooler. He's got a group of friends and a girl he's secretly in love with, but there's the small annoyance of his allergy to cats, which is slightly exacerbated by the fact that he is suffering from a curse that is turning him into a…cat!

This is all due to not paying attention when kicking a can, which results in knocking the head off a Jizou cat statue. The statue curses Junpei for this, and while initially this means Junpei is able to understand cats, it also means that he slowly begins turning into one. The only way to combat the curse is to complete 100 tasks for any felines that require his help. Thanks to his allergies, this transformation would be a death sentence for Junpei, so he begins the long task of accepting the requests of the cats. These tasks are often simple enough, like getting food for a local stray or saving a kitten from a tree. He has to be careful as he completes these requests, though, as should anyone find out about the curse, it will bring disaster for both Junpei and that person.

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The story is a classic harem romance and sees Junpei trying to help cats in the local neighbourhood whilst also trying to juggle his love life, with his harem of enamoured ladies steadily increasing throughout the show. The comedy romance aspects are great, mostly thanks to the characters in Junpei's harem. While they are filled with the typical anime archetypes, they are well developed and really help to make the show more enjoyable. Firstly, there's the object of Junpei's affections in Kaede Mizuno, a sweet and innocent girl that is just as interested in him, too, but the pair are constantly bashful and awkward around each other. There's also Junpei's childhood best friend, Kanako Sumiyoshi, who is quite the tsundere, running hot and cold, secretly in love with Junpei and, like any good tsundere, then showing her other side by beating him up at every opportunity. On top of this love triangle, the cast is filled out with a tomboyish head of a Yakuza family, a post woman with no sense of direction who gets 'handsy' when drunk, and a pair of twin-tailed twins who seem to have spiritual powers.

Along with the solid characters, the series also boasts some fantastic comedy, with plenty of really genuinely funny moments that are delivered with superb comedic timing. The production values are great, too, with some quality art and animation on the characters and the cats that really serve to enhance the final product. The series, sadly, is only twelve episodes, and a second season was never released. The source material manga has also been on long-term hiatus, which means that for the time being the story is yet to be resolved.

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Nyan Koi! was originally released in Japan in 2009 and it's great to see it finally hit British shores thanks to MVM now (released on 15th February in the UK). This release contains all twelve episodes in both an English dub and original Japanese audio with subtitles, along with the usual bonus features of promotional videos and opening/ending music videos.

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10
There may not be anything groundbreaking in Nyan Koi!, and those who don't enjoy these type of romantic comedies will find nothing here to change their opinion, but fans of romantic comedies will find it worthy of adding to their collection thanks to its solid quality. There are great production values, fantastic characters, and some special moments. The series is filled with real heart, comedy, and charm, and definitely worth a watch.

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