In 2007, the manga "Nyan Koi!" by Sato Fujiwara was serialized in the free web comic "FlexComix Blood" and two years later, the manga receives its anime adaptation from AIC and makes its DVD debut in the US courtesy of Sentai Filmworks.
The series is directed by Keiichiro Kawaguchi (Kowarekake no Orgel", "Sket Dance", "Hayate the Combat Butler"), screenplay by Shinichi Inotsume ("Kowarekake no Orgel", "Hayate the Combat Butler", "Sket Dance") and features music by Manabu Miwa and Shigenobu Ookawa. Character designs are by Kazuaki Morita ("My Bride is a Mermaid", "Tentai Senshi Sunred") and art direction by Naoko Kosakabe ("NieA 7', "Kissxsis", "Jinki: Extend").
"Nyan Koi!" is a series about a high school sophomore named Junpei Kosaka and he is allergic to cats. So, much that he hates them and one day, he thinks he hears his cat Nyamsus talking to him but dismisses it.
As for Junpei, he is always dreaming about his friend Kaede Mizuno and wishes he can get closer to her. One day, while he was walking home from school, Junpei kicks a can and it hits a neko-jizo-sama statue (a cat statue that serves as a guardian deity of cats). Having broken the cat statue, now Junpei is forced to grant 100 wishes to cats and if he doesn't do it, he will turn into a cat which will eventually kill him because of his allergy towards cats.
And to remind him and watch over him is his family cat Nyamsus who tries to make sure Junpei know of his curse.
So, Junpei will do all he can to help cats, even though he dislikes them. But along the way, each time he helps the cats, he encounters other girls who start to take a liking towards him (and in the process, making other girls jealous) because of the attention he is starting to receive.
"Nyan Koi!" is 12-episodes long and is presented on two DVD's. Here is a basic synopsis of each episode:
* EPISODE 1 - The Scruffy Cat and the Cursed High Schooler - Junpei is a high schooler who is allergic to cats. So, allergic that he hates them. But after he breaks a cat statue, now he is cursed and if he doesn't want to turn into a cat and die from his allergies, he must perform 100 favors for cats.
* EPISODE 2 - That Man is a Manservant? - Junpei must help a cat which leads him to his childhood friend and now a girl that despises him, Kanako Sumiyoshi.
* EPISODE 3 - Your Name Is... - A college student/postal carrier named Chizuru Mochizuki is bad with directions and a cat leads Junpei to help her out.
* EPISODE 4 - Beautiful People - A cat owned by tomboy Nagi Ichinose leads Junpei to her. But Nagi despises Junpei because of his friendship with Kaede.
* EPISODE 5 - Times Square - Junpei goes to the amusement park with Kaede, Kanako and Nagase but will Junpei be able to get close to Kaede with the other two girls around? Meanwhile, Kaede may have found out the truth about Junpei's curse.
* EPISODE 6 - Milk and Bitters and Sugar and Spice - Kaede meets two twins Akari and Kotone Kirishima who know about his curse. Meanwhile, Kotone is infatuated with Junpei, while her sister is overprotective of her.
* EPISODE 7 - Wait Until Dark - Junpei is getting prepared to go on a school trips to Kyoto with his classmates. Also, Ichinose's family in Kyoto will be having a meeting to decide who will be Nagase's husband.
* EPISODE 8 - The Passionate Private Running Coach - Junpei goes to help the next cat in need, but when he forgets to help the cat...the cat wants revenge on Junpei.
* EPISODE 9 - Girls in the Water - The group goes out to swim but Junpei is sick and Kanako wants to take care of him.
* EPISODE 10 - As it happened One Night - The Kirishima twins are counting on Junpei to help them deal with a spirit.
* EPISODE 11 - Friends - It's almost Christmas time and Junpei and Kanako spend time together.
* EPISODE 12 - Does Heaven Await Me? - Kaede is suspicious of Junpei and Junpei must find a way to convince her that nothing bad is going on or else the curse will consume him.
"Nyan Koi! - Complete Collection" is presented in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen. The animation tends to change from very cutesy style of anime that will appeal to the fans who love cute characters, especially for the cats and then shifting to normal anime style. Character designs are well-done, especially the closeups. The background art tends to differ depending on the scene with some look quite simple to others looking a bit more detailed. I did notice more background art being used in the second half of the series and for the most part, I really enjoyed the character designs for this anime series. For the most part, the animation and art backgrounds for "Nyan Koi!" are very good.
The colors for "Nyan Koi!" are quite vibrant and for the most part, animation is up-to-par with other TV anime related series. It is important to note that because the series was released on Blu-ray in Japan, I wouldn't be surprised if Sentai Filmworks/Section23 Films releases "Nyan Koi!" in HD.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
"Nyan Koi!" is presented in Japanese 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo. Voice acting is well done for this series. I felt that Shintaro Asanuma did a great job with the voice of Junpei, very cool, deep voice. Meanwhile, the voice actress such as Yuka Iguchi as Kaede, Ryoo shiraishi as Kanako and Haruka Tomatsu as the twins, all did a fantastic job.
Subtitles are in English.
"Nyan Koi!" comes with the clean opening and ending themes plus trailers from anime currently available from Sentai Filmworks.
"Nyan Koi!" is quite an interesting harem anime series. Despite the usual storyline of all females starting to like a certain guy, Junpei is an interesting character as his interest is primarily on Kaede and the only reason he was nice to the other girls was because of their cats and his obligation to grant 100 wishes for the cats or else he will turn into one and die from his allergy. It's a bit twisted in a way but "Nyan Koi!" is a pretty fun anime series.
Each episode is connected to each other, so there is no worry of filler episodes. Each episodes tend to focus on Junpei fulfilling the 100 wishes but at the same time, these episodes also build upon him trying to get close to Kaede but yet the others also wanting to get closer to Junpei and we get to see him starting to care for the others but yet the writers finding ways to tease you in regards to Junpei and Kaede's friendship and how close they will get.
But each of the characters are quite fun to watch and it does make me wonder how much crazier the actual manga gets and how many more girls are introduced to this whole harem mix. But because this series alone focuses on not too many characters, each episode does feature plots that further the character development, relationships and jealousies that exist. But it all comes together quite nicely.
As mentioned earlier, this is an anime series that tends to go from serious to a cutesy style but by no means is this an anime series for young children. Yes, it does have many cute moments but it's also important to note that while the series doesn't feature any nudity, there is some perverted humor as characters such as Kanako Sumiyoshi (who has big breasts) tends to jiggle wherever she goes and Nagi Ichinose has this thing about grabbing on Kanako's breast. Also, a few pantie shots that show up form time to time. So, there is some perverted humor in this series but nothing that tends to overshadow the whole storyline.
As for the DVD, you do get 12 episodes and the vibrant animation is quite pleasing. The only downer is the lack of special features but unfortunately, with TV series, it's becoming more of a common place to not see much special features on anime on DVD these days, "Nyan Koi!" is no different. As for those who are video or audiophiles, there is a Blu-ray release in Japan, so it will be interesting to see if Sentai Filmworks will bring out a Blu-ray release to the US. But it's a series that would definitely look much better on Blu-ray, although audio-wise, the series will probably be more ambiance-base since its a dialogue driven series.
But overall, "Nyan Koi!" is an entertaining anime series. I enjoyed it so much that I watched it all in one setting. There is a good amount of comedy, drama and fan-service and I have no doubt that this series will go over well with anime fans. If you love "harem anime", definitely give "Nyan Koi!" a try!