All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku
A genius inventor, Natsume Kyuusaku, and his son, Ryunosuke, are trying to escape from a major military contractor, and in the process, a stray cat the son had befriended is mortally wounded. Kyuusaku looks at the android body in the back of his vehicle...and at the cat...and has an interesting idea. Before long, the Natsume family has a new member: Android NK-1124, Natsume Atsuko, or, as everyone calls her, Nuku Nuku. (Or, basically, in Japanese, "Snuggles".) Powerful as she is, she'll need all of her incredible strength to counter the forces of Kyuusaku's estranged wife (!), and all her feline brains to try and understand what it means to live in the human world.
Silly title, silly premise...great execution. Nuku Nuku is funny, exciting, and charming, without being vulgar or utterly lame brained. Nuku Nuku, as the android with the mind of a cat, is super-cute and pure-hearted, and truly an enjoyable character to watch, whether she's bicycling through traffic at supersonic speeds or chasing mice in a restaurant. Not to mention her voice actress is Hayashibara Megumi, who, it seems, can do no wrong in her comedic roles.
It seems hard to believe that an acrimonious divorce can be a setting for a comedy anime, but in this case, it works, because it's less a disagreement between people, but their ideals. Kyuusaku and Akiko, deep down inside, love each other, and though they use rather extreme means to retain control of their son, they are less the product of a society gone wrong, but rather comedic victims of circumstance. Really, the whole scenario is utter fantasy, but it's entertaining and endearing in its own right.
As far as the action, it's all played for laughs. The Mishima Industries heavy weapons are simply cat toys for Nuku Nuku...and when a cat's toys are -that- big, some collateral damage is likely to result. (Scratch that- LOTS of collateral damage.) The hapless banzai office ladies, Arisa and Kyouko, are funny in their own right, going into impossible situations at the whim of their boss, Akiko.
The animation itself is very good, considering it was one of the earlier series in the 90s. Colors are bright and cheery, character designs are cute, and action sequences are fairly well thought-out. And the music (especially the hyper-cute "Happy Birthday to Me") is J-Pop at its best, with Hayashibara Megumi lending her voice and pure frenetic energy to a truly fun soundtrack.
Really, Nuku Nuku is one of those mind-candy OAV series that won't raise you to a new plane of consciousness or anything like that. That's not what it's made to be - it's anime as sheer entertainment, and as such, it succeeds wildly.
Hilarious and sweet, though people with low "cute" tolerance can take this rating down a star. — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: The fan service really doesn't kick in until about midway through tape two, and it's not nearly as excessive as most series. Violence is mostly in the form of numerous explosions, bandages...i.e. no one really gets hurt seriously except Nuku Nuku as the cat in the first episode. Older children would love this series, as will adults.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (6/6)
All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku © 1992 MOVIC / King Records / Takada Yuzo / Futaba Sha
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