Title: Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W
Genre: Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi
Summary: “I’m Nyarlathotep, the creeping chaos always smiling beside you.” But you can call her Nyaruko for short. One by one, the Great Ones from the Cthulhu mythos are coming to earth to target Nyaruko and her human friend Mahiro. He’s utterly clueless about the true nature of his cosmic conflict and just wants to live in peace.
Review: I remember watching the first season and thinking it wasn’t too bad though I never got around to reviewing it. If I had to make a quick review I would say that it was a low priority watch. It didn’t have the best comedy or story but it was entertaining. I was expecting pretty much the same thing for the direct sequel and I wasn’t too far off. If you are new to the series it basically turns out like this: 1) characters are enjoying their everyday weird lives, 2) there is a call from the the space police or whatever, 3) a big plot occurs with intense action and world threatening danger, 4) it’s all a joke and nothing serious is actually happening. The series ends up doing this countless times over which grows old because you can never get into a story knowing that it will end up being something dumb or pointless. The number of foreshadowing events was also staggeringly high which they did take note of in later arcs. The only thing that kind of kept the anime going was the strange antics of Nyaruko. Unfortunately the second season decided to drop what the first season had going for it and botch the entire thing.
I’ll start with the art style since I never reviewed the first season so I’ll act like this was one big season instead. I actually quite enjoyed the art style for Haiyore! Nyaruko-san. It was pretty well done between comedy, action, and even a bit of romance. Some of the scenes had great backgrounds and beautiful colors. It’s always important in an anime to keep the characters interesting and dynamic. The characters all differed in hair style, color, and clothing. It made me happy that the players didn’t wear the same clothes day-in-day-out because it gives them a breath of fresh air. Of course there were the stereotypical swimsuit episodes that every anime comes with, but surprising it wasn’t as ecchi as I expected. They naturally did have some moments where Mahiro had to compliment how the girls looked in their bathing suits (and his mom?) but that can be overlooked pretty easily once the comedy picked up. Or that’s what I would like to say if the series actually continued to provide solid comedy.
If anyone told you that you should watch Haiyore! Nyaruko-san I would first say to watch every main stream anime first and then some. Why? Because this anime was the king of all parody anime. If you don’t get some of the jokes it’s more than likely that it was a reference to another anime. Despite the hundreds of anime I watched I would say that I only got about half of the jokes if that. The style kind of cuts its audience a bit, but for the one or two parodies you get you appreciate the anime all the more. The biggest downfall for Haiyore! Nyaruko-san was the stale jokes that continued throughout two seasons. There are jokes that can never get old when presented at the appropriate times, but not when the joke was a long standing plot device. I never understood why the stories always had to end up being the most ridiculous, lamest plot twists of all time. Using the same plot over and over again made the anime spoil faster than milk left out in the summer heat. Why couldn’t they for once have a villain that actually had a worth-while existence? A big factor as to why a poor story couldn’t hold together for this comedy was because the characters didn’t pick up the slack. Generally a comedy can skip an in-depth story if the characters are lovable. Every one of the characters had the same running attitude and gag for 24 episodes with no signs of change. The worst had to be the main male lead Mahiro. Not only was he awkwardly serious in a gaggle of hyper-active school girls and traps, he was a complete jerk. You might argue that he did some nice things here and there for the girls when they were in need, but overall he was a coward. I don’t even mean during the fights where he proved to be completely useless, but in every day activities. The gag in the first series was how Nyaruko was an overly attached girl who for unknown reasons has always loved Mahiro. She would be extremely touchy and lovey-dovey which at first I thought was quite annoying. Suddenly she would have some great lines and scenes that made me think that this comedy was actually going somewhere with the romance. I found myself rooting for Nyaruko by the end of the first season. So what does this have to do with Mahiro being a complete coward? He never bothered to be straight with Nyaruko. He would always leave this strange glimpse of hope while shutting her down in everyway he could. The entire first season was him pushing everyone away and acting as though he just tolerated his new groupies. That’s fine as a character model if the series ever planned to show the characters grow together. While the second season did try to show a kinder side to him, it ended up backfiring as the audience was pushed to start feeling bad for Nyaruko instead of cheering her on. I’ll admit that some of the parts were very touching and had some great scenes to go along with the heavy dialogue but it was a big change from the rest of the anime. Probably the only thing I would compliment the anime for was making me slowly start to appreciate Nyaruko for her obsessive nature once you realize that she truly does care about Mahiro being hers and not just around her.
The soundtrack for Haiyore Nyaruko-san was basically the same over both seasons, or at least the genre. They even threw in a joke that the second season had the original opening as the first season for the first episode. However, both the opening and ending were really cutesy and poppy for me. I was pretty happy that they decided to give the voice actresses the singing role in the openings though. I always found that to be pretty nice for an anime series to incorporate them in every aspect of the anime even if it doesn’t lead to long-lasting listen.
Final statements: I would that say that first season is a low priority watch as I said earlier, but if you plan to continue then the series ends up being an avoid watch. I think Mahiro is the one to blame because he seemed to be the only character who didn’t grow in the series. While having some great scenes and teasing us with character development, in the end he was just some kid who couldn’t’ figure out what he wanted. Still for now I dub Haiyore Nyaruko-san the best parody anime I’ve ever seen.