All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku TV Vol. 1
At long last, ADV presents All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku TV, a new twist on a long-time fan favorite. Eagerly, I devoured the initial four episodes.
This first volume was somewhat bare of extra material. Special features were not very special at all, consisting of: clean opening and ending animation, ADV previews, and DVD credits. Language selections were a simple English/Japanese with subtitles choice. For the beginning disc of a multi-volume release, I expected something more in the extra department; say an interview, character biography, or artwork, to entice viewers to snag the proceeding volume. However, if you're already a fan of the Nuku Nuku series, you really don't need these extras; you're already hooked. And, if this is your first experience in this world, you'll probably be a fan like the rest of us by the end of the premiere volume, if not before.
The year is 2013, the place Maneki City, but neither of these tidbits are incredibly important. What is critical: the evil organization Mishima Industry must be stopped! Enter Atsuko Natsume, otherwise known as All Purpose Cat Brain Androbot Nuku Nuku (try saying that twice!), created by scientist Kyusaku Natsume to battle this nefarious company. Nuku Nuku is originally the cat of Ryunosuke, Kyusaku's son. Her brain is placed inside an android teenage girl, and hilarity ensues since she must learn how to be human while hiding her true. Further compounding this is that Nuku Nuku is both a teenage girl and a cat, thus she is very opinionated and easily distracted by fish and warm sunbeams. And well, a lot of other things…
Nuku Nuku classmates represent the wide variety of students found in anime schools. We have: Eiichi Ikenami, the guitar-strumming musician; Rintaro Shimazaki, Nihilistic Pretty Boy (yes, that's his title); Chieko Shirakaba, Snobby Richgirl; as well as an Occult Maniac, Avid Book Reader, Mad Scientist Jr., plus the omnipresent and authority-obsessed class representative. If you haven't caught the tone yet, Nuku Nuku TV is a parody comedy nearing the Excel Saga degree.
The opening animation and music ("Fine colorday") is lively and bright, completing its job by psyching the viewer for comedy. The ending animation and music, however, are not that impressive. We get panned shots of artwork from an art book (never a good sign for me). It just feels like the producers suddenly ran out of money and stick up colored manga pictures to fill time.
The Mishima Industry is not as fiendish as Kyusaku believes it to be, though the executives and President Hell Mishima meet in the Secret Room for Evil Meetings to discuss world domination plans... through appliances. The first episode features Mr. Laundry, the miracle stain-removing washing machine as the enemy, and Mr. Laundry only becomes diabolical when a water leak fries its circuits during a test at Nuku Nuku's school. Sure, the employees of Mishima Industry wear villain costumes, but only to play along with the boss' delusion of it being an undercover malevolent organization. Kyusaku's wife, Akiko, is Hell Mishima's right-hand horned executive, Bloody Akiko. She is the perfect Japanese spouse; therefore, we know she cannot be evil. Hell himself seems to have watched one too many animes and believed them to be documentaries. The robot-appliances also keep landing on/blasting away the costumed executives and executive assistants in Team Rocket fashion. So no, pseudo-evil only, sorry to burst that bubble, Mr. Hell!
Rounding out the cast: Noriko Ishiyama, Ryunosuke's neighbor who has a crush on him, Noriko's overprotective mother, Dr. Oh-Izumi, Evil Mad Scientist (father of Nuku Nuku's classmate, Mad Scientist Jr.), and Mr. Q, mysterious scientist and Kyusaku's veiled alias. You can’t fault Ryunosuke for being tired of these secret identities and yearning to have a normal life.
I found this to be a great series, and I'm already ordering in the next volume. Nice bright animation, good music, and it is simply a fun anime to watch. You don't need to pay too much attention to the plot (there really isn't much of one beyond the background), so sit back and enjoy the show! Meow!