Haiyoru! Nyaruko-san First Impressions – behold the might of the unspeakable bar thing!
April 14, 2012 6 Comments
I went into this show not necessarily expecting much – I had originally watched the ‘first’ series, and had been largely unimpressed. This was mostly due to the episodes length, at 3 minutes each there simply was not enough time for anything meaningful to happen, and as such that series failed for me. The first episode of this new series, however, was great, with masses of comedy, brilliant characters and madness on a par with Kore wa zombie desu ka, although there is a distinct lack of cross-dressing. The series mixes Cthulhu Mythos of H.P Lovecraft with some whacky Japanese slapstick comedy along with an alien or two. Now I am not especially knowledgable about the Cthulhu Mythos, but, while some of the jokes may have gone over my head, there was more than enough there to satisfy anyone, whether they know about this stuff or not.
Haiyoru! Nyaruko-san centres on Nyarlathotep (Nyaruko for short), a formless Cthulhu deity of chaos, although in this case it appears to have taken the shape of a silver haired girl and fallen into the life of our protagonist Mahiro Yasaka. Apparently the entire Cthulhu Mythos happens to be based on aliens, and Nyaruko happens to be from another planet, sent to earth in order to stop a smuggling ring. Now, what must this fiendish organisation be smuggling off the earth you may ask? Well, as it turns out, there are a few humans involved, but mostly anime, manga, games and general ‘Otakuesque’ stuff. And it appears that Nyarko is in on the act as well, with a sizeable collection herself, and using her new assignment to get items that she could otherwise never get hold of. Such a great sense of duty and justice, the Galactic Alliance or whatever its called would be proud of our silver-haired god of chaos.
The jokes are great, with loads of pop-culture references, along with a self-referential streak, along with the ability to poke fun at not only the set of genres which this show parodies, but also at itself demonstrates that Haiyoru! Nyaruko-san is never taking itself seriously. There were a few nice points where the fourth-wall was broken, especially during the fast forward sequence while Nyaruko is apparently explaining why she has come to earth. In a similar way to kore wa zombie desu ka? Of the dead, Haiyoru! Nyaruko-san keeps the jokes coming so fast, that you never quite have time to sit down and work out what on earth has happened. The idea of having a random pokemon reference thrown in, only to be followed up by an unspeakable bar thing of doom and destruction shows how much madness this show unleashes on its unsuspecting, and possibly by now, shell-shocked audience. The insanity that takes place on the screen never lets-up, something that is great to watch, Haiyoru! Nyaruko-san is quite simply mad as a hatter.
The madness that follows Nyaruko is great to watch, and she never misses a chance to mercilessly slaughter any alien that approaches Mahiro. I particularly like how our supposed ally of justice has quite the dodgy moral compass, and Mahiro constantly asks her if she really is on the good guys side and not just messing around. It’s easy to see why when she is quite happy to smuggle her collection off the planet (apparently its only illegal if you get caught, good advice, possibly, guess not) along with beating any alien to death in pools of blood with such a cute smile on her face.
Nyaruko is part adorable, part scary, she is not a god of chaos for nothing – and yet, it’s so great to see her interactions with the world and characters in it. Her personality is something to behold, and is actually really difficult to keep up with, its especially great seeing her switch from being utterly in love (or so she claims) with Mahiro, to laughing manically as she makes mince-meat of some nearby enemies. She is a great character with a brilliant personality, there were shades of Miya (Amagami SS) in there as well, hardly surprising when the same Seiyuu (Asumi Kana) voices both characters, among others.
Mahiro Yasaka deserves a mention as well, since he does not simply go along with Nyaruko’s madness, and stands up for himself on more than one occasion. It seems clear that he will be the balancing force in this series; there to temper the insane whirlwind that is Nyaruko. It will be interesting to see how this series progresses in the romance department – while Nyaruko has already told Mahiro that she took this job largely because she fell in love with him at first sight, its hard to see where it will go from here. There is the possibility of a harem with Haiyoru! Nyaruko-san, especially when you look at the other female characters (one assumes that they are other Cthulhu deities) that have yet to appear. One thing is certain however, this will not be a stereotypical harem romance, and there is likely to be more chaos and destruction than is healthy. I think Mahiro has a job on his hans though, Nyaruko is the aggressive type and it looks like she’s going to go after him at full throttle.
Overall it was a great premier for Haiyoru! Nyaruko-san, and the show promises to be a great piece of entertainment. As a parody it works incredibly well (unlike another supposed parody this season), and is capable of being self-referential, along with poking fun at the entire idea behind the series itself. The jokes came thick and fast, something that kept the shows pace up, and one of its strengths. My one major concern is going to be where Haiyoru! Nyaruko-san goes from here – while the characters are great, a lot of the show is about the gags and the madness that we see on screen. If the shows staff can keep up this pacing, along with a good selection of jokes and gags then this will be a great show and easily one of my favourites. One last thought, if all the deities in the Cthulhu Mythos looked so good I’m sure there would be more chaos and destruction going on.