All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku OVA

March 21, 2004 on 12:25 am | In Nuku Nuku | Comments Off on All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku OVA

This has long been one of my most romanticised series, but it didn’t have the flair that I was so hoping for. I like a good OVA series, but Nuku Nuku lacks direction despite its excellent staff backing.

Takada Yuzo’s story about a man who takes his son and runs away from his wife and her machine factory with a prototypical android which he then transplants the brain of a cat into has entirely no focus or consistency. This was a pity because it physically is a romantic OVA in my own sense of the term: the romance of cells, the direct to video form … it should be enough to bring tears to a man’s eye. Only the first episode has scenes that make one say “Now that’s animation”.

Sadly, I found the characterisation wildly inconsistent, making Akiko a shrew one minute and a loving wife and mother the next, and Nuku Nuku was nothing more than a genki girl.
Some of the themes (such as “what it is to be a good wife and mother”) were uncomfortable, and the reason for separation (and the completely ignored fugitive status of the Natsume family after the first episode) – Kyusaku’s discomfort with his creations being used for warfare – was underdeveloped.

To tie in with that was Nuku Nuku’s sense of humanity, which was compressed to the simple “it’s good that you can feel her misery” and “why did it take an android to teach me what it is to be human?”, was also underdeveloped, which can’t have been a symptom of the anime society at large – it’s practically a prerequisite to pose questions along the lines of “What makes a robot? What makes a man?”
Nuku Nuku as a student and Kyusaku as a teacher was barely given any of the time it deserved, and seemed only to serve to show Nuku Nuku in a seifuku.

To add to all of this, episode five made entirely no sense, except for the fact that Nuku Nuku got to wear a waitress’ uniform. Always an excuse for uniforms.

Despite having my four year dreams crushed under foot, Nuku Nuku is only a disappointment, not the total loss that I am likely making it out to be. It is, as I said, very attractive and romantic in its use of cells, to a dreamy level.

The songs of the series are some of my favourite Hayashibara tunes, which have lyrics that lend more depth to Nuku Nuku than is demonstrated by the OVA itself. The music, likewise, all later evolved into other great Hayashibara songs.
Kamiya Akira and Hayashibara Megumi are great in their roles, Hayashibara lending the vitality necessary to make Nuku Nuku so charmingly genki. There were a couple of surprise roles, and some nice fan service (although sparing).

Despite initially promising an interesting study in separation and humanity, All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl suffers due to its lack of cohesion and inconsistency of characterisation. Still, it was successful enough to spawn a sequel TV series and an alternate universe OVA starring a green haired Nuku Nuku. And anything that prominently features Christmas KFC has to at least be perceived as an educational tool.

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