Earlier this month I had a “Boss Moment” and assigned each one of my writers one show at random from the Spring line up to review. For myself, I would review whichever show one of the other writers suggested; Gooney spoke first and assigned me Haiyore! Nyaruko-san.
Aside from Thaivu, none of the other writers have completed (or started – I can see the draft list guys!) their Random Review Assignment. I’ll admit that I considered skipping out on my assignment too at one point, because (1) no one else was doing it, and (2) I really didn’t want to watch Nyaruko-san. But especially after watching and writing about Kuroko no Basuke, I thought I needed to be fair – and set an example, so I got myself a Starbucks, found a comfortable spot, and signed off on the twenty-five minutes I was sure I was wasting.
Well I was wrong.
By no means is Haiyore! Nyaruko-san the hit of the season; it’s not even close to being the underdog. But it’s not boring either. The storyline is simple enough: There’s a 17 year-old boy named Yasaka Mahiro who is being targeted by inter-galactic criminals in the human trafficking business. A god from a mythology I’m unfamiliar with, named something I can’t pronounce or remember, is sent to Earth and assigned to protect him. Somewhere along the way, more gods and demons will join the couple and together they will live a happy, merry life of violent love.
I think what I enjoy about this show is that it’s gimmicky. Like when Nyaruko starts a fight with one of the monsters by super kicking him in his Nightgaunt man-parts, or where she calls on one of her pets to fight Poké-style, only to have that pet lose after one punch. Nyaruko herself is a gimmick: super cute, hyper-active, mousy voice, overly violent, driven by ulterior motives. She even has a hair antenna. Mahiro isn’t so bad either – still a bland protagonist, but at least he uses a fork as his weapon against Nyaruko. I used a fork against someone once; it was amusing and highly effective. A romance has been set-up but there’s no lovey-dovey focus on it which I’m extremely grateful for. There’s no time for romance when there are monsters to be fought!
The production values aren’t too shabby either – actually, they’re quite good. Typical character design with clean execution. Shiny eyes, rosy cheeks, a constant unseen wind picking up the hems of skirts. But no flagrant fanservice, aside from maybe the bath scene. There’s also the slightest hint of insanity when Nyaruko kills, which is kind of intriguing in an unsettling way. I’m not sure if that’s intentional or if I’m over-crediting Xebec on this, but the idea of a slight Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde pairing in Nyaruko certainly adds an interesting texture to the show. Or maybe I’ve been watching too many slice-of-lifes.
Typically, an Impressions post should conclude with a recommendation of whether or not to watch the show in review, but I’m not going to do that. Haiyore! Nyaruko-san is not the kind of show you recommend to anyone. Besides, with all the shows of true potential out this season, plus all the great shows that have already aired in the past, why would anyone want to be directed toward this show? Unless it was their kind of thing, I suppose. At its best, Nyaruko-san is amusing; at other times, it’s borderline annoying. And some people sit a lot closer to that border than I do.
P.S. I’ve now learned that I’m totally out of my league with Haiyore! Nyaruko-san and that my understanding of its greatness falls short. Crusader at THAT sheds light on the real depth of Nyaruko-san. Apparently I’m not “nerd” enough to appreciate Nyaruko-san to its fullest.