Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Nuku Nuku DASH! Anime Review

All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku DASH!
Bannou Bunka Neko-Musume DASH!
ADV Films
Complete Collection - 3 discs
300 mins. - 12 episodes
$44.98 (2005)
$29.98 (2003-04) Vol. 1-3/ea.
ISBN 702727142727
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Yoshitaka Fujimoto
Studio - MOVIC/Starchild

Synopsis: Ryunosuke is riding his bike home from school one day when he witnesses a beautiful girl rescue a cat from getting run over.  He arrives home to discover this same girl is now going to live with him!  His father is a research scientist who works in their basement constantly and his mother works at the Mishima Corporation's headquarters.  The girl is Atsuko Higuchi, but please call her Nuku Nuku.  She's a lovely 19-year-old who is going to be the Natsumes live-in housekeeper.  Nuku Nuku suffers from partial amnesia and Ryunosuke's father, Kyusaku, is helping treat her condition.
Kyusaku, Ryunosuke, and Nuku Nuku
Being a typical 14-year-old, Ryunosuke falls madly in love with Nuku Nuku and obsesses over her constantly.  What he doesn't know is she's the mysterious super-girl who appears in town and is seen battling Mishima Corporation weapons (they apparently test weapons within the city quite regularly).  This super-powered girl wears a tight spandex outfit, has cool shades, big antenna on the side of her head, is super resilient, and can fire energy blasts.  She's a tough customer and the Mishima Corporation is out to get her.
The beautiful mystery girl battles a Mishima mecha
Nuku Nuku is trying to find out her origin and why she is compelled by her creator to "protect all life".  She loves cats too.  Poor Ryunosuke's mother, Akiko, is a middle manager at Mishima and gets assigned to apprehend the latest runaway Androbot (android-robot) with little clue she's actually living in the same house!  What's an office worker to do when she's forced to pilot variable mecha?  Mishima has an arsenal of sinister Androbots and mecha to throw at Nuku Nuku, but Ryunosuke is more worried about convincing his friends that she's his girlfriend!  A typical horny teenager and an ultra-powerful android-robot against a ruthless corporation.
Ryunosuke's mild-mannered mother, Akiko, gets stuck piloting
the Mishima mecha which attacks Nuku Nuku
Pros: Solid characters with decent personalities, Ryunosuke is perfectly portrayed as a hormone-crazed teenager, many lighthearted moments, mild fan-service
Ryunosuke does the old 'awkwardly trip and fall on the
beautiful girl' move
Cons: Weak character and mecha designs, older animation, surprisingly bad picture quality (probably the transfer to digital), plot is fairly silly throughout, Ryunosuke's hair with the red stripe down the middle is ridiculous, title is too darn long!
Nuku Nuku battles another Androbot
Mike Tells It Straight: This series was adapted from the All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku manga by Yuzo Takada.  The manga must have been pretty popular because this series is actually the third adaptation.  The first two were a 6-episode OVA and 14-episode television series.  This series is completely unrelated to the previous two and has a few differences.  The cast is portrayed as a little bit older (i.e. Nuku Nuku is 19 here where she was around 15 in the other two series).
A charming rich guy chats up Nuku Nuku
I haven't seen the previous two series, but I found this one to be just average.  The character designs were boring and the plot was stale.  The best part of the show was Ryunosuke's crush on Nuku Nuku and his attempts to look cool to his friends.  He's a typical horny teenager, but matures a little by the end and becomes a real stand up guy.  While the plot was mostly silly and the villains were complete idiots, there were a few serious moments.
Kyusaku takes Akiko on a hot springs vacation, leaving Ryunosuke alone
with Nuku Nuku - to put moves on her.  What a cool Dad!
I was mildly amused although the picture quality wasn't very good.  The plot twist with the rich guy who meets Nuku Nuku was pretty good.  I guess this series would be suitable for beginning or younger anime watchers, but it has very mild fan-service and a little violence (a character dies too).  All the questions about Nuku Nuku's past are answered by the close of the series and the final scene was heartwarming.  A cute, but ultimately mediocre series and now I know why it was sitting on my shelf for so long!
Nuku Nuku loves cats!

TO BUY and Recommendations: