Nyaruko-san 1: We’re introduced to our main characters Nyaruko and Mahiro. Nyaruko is the Japanese Lovecraftian deity and she really likes Japanese cartoons. Mahiro is her love interest (at first sight) who she has decided to protect.
Nyaruko-san 2: We visit R’lyeh. Cthuko, the Living Flame is introduced who brings a touch of yuri to the show. And it turns out that the denizens or R’lyeh kidnap boys to act in Yaoi dramas against their will.
Nyaruko-san 3: Shit happens at school. Nyaruko’s brother appears and tries and fails to settle a grudge against his sister.
Nyaruko-san 4: Shouta Hastur is introduced to the audience and she also happens to be Nyaruko’s childhood friend. Mahiro’s mum decides to let the Lovecraftian Gods stay at her house. Isn’t she nice?
What I went in expecting: Same humour as the 5 minute skits
What I got: It’s the same humour but it would have been far better if I had never learned about the twisted universe.
You know what? I was damn surprised by all the asspain about how the Lovecraftian Gods were raped and I mean that figuratively. Nyarlathotep is a hyper-active girl. Cthugha is the raging lesbian. Hastur is a yellow-haired shouta.
I suppose that’s the reaction of every dedicated fan when they hear that their hero/book was put under the OtaKnife and given a Japanese Genderbender Treatment. But this show was nothing new, they were technically broadcasting this as a series of 5 minute anime shorts in the past 3 years and things were awfully quiet back then. Perhaps it was a sign of how unpopular they were? I wasn’t familiar with Lovecraft or Nyarlathotep when I started watching but I came to love the series for the characters and the jokes.
So having seen the old series, I knew part and parcel of what I was in for. There would be slapstick (the abusive fork), there would be yuri jokes (Cthuko) and Nyaruko would be energetic to the point of driving you insane. She also liked anime and preferred anime to putting on performances which would drive audience insane and cause them to scream for weeks. I believed that if a 5 minute skit was good, a 24 minute sitcom would be better. The LN seemed like my kind of comedy, I thought I would be better prepared for this. But even I was in for a sucker punch.
Within 5 minutes of the first episode, we quickly get details of the world in which Nyarlathotep comes from. Everyone up there from Mr Tentacles to Mr Living Flame is watching anime, playing game and imports (illegally) DVDs from Earth. They consider Earth Entertainment and more Japan’s to be the best. I knew that there was fanwank based on the web series but this took fanwank, strapped it onto a Apollo rocket and launched it to Mars. Cthuko at one point even says that they had game consoles where ever she came from but Earth consoles were considered better. The fanwank would not be for everyone. Coming from 5 minute skits which didn’t have all that much ‘Anime Strong’, I was shocked by just how much fanwank this anime and the LN has.
The other detail worth mentioning is that Nyaruko is part of a inter-galactic police organisation and she chases after rogue aliens. There’s some maho shoujo elements mixed in as these Elder Gods politely take their scuffle to some nether dimension where the cloud is always red. Although, I don’t care about the Alien Cop main plot (or is it side plot?). The action scenes aren’t something worth mentioning beyond beam spam. Speaking of beam spam, buy Sins of a Solar Empire Rebellion.
The comedy boils down to Nyaruko making a move on Mahiro, Mahiro gets annoyed and rejects it, Cthuko makes a move on Nyaruko and Nyaruko gets annoyed. Yeah, I get some chuckles but I feel as though the comedy needs a shake-up soon. The character-based and slapstick stuff is starting to dry. When it comes to getting laughs from yours truly, I believe the second web series was superior. It took the material and gave me laughs from the episode when Cthuko, the Living Flame tries to get a job (and her last resort is a gas station) to the faux-fanservice episode where the characters mocked the audience for expecting tits and the comedy came from the dialogue, not the visuals.
Other Comments: It wasn’t too long ago this year that I brought a compendium of Lovecraft’s selected work. Bloody hell, why didn’t I start reading his stuff two years ago? And contact NASA and tell them broadcast ‘Irony by Claris’ to the stars. Maybe the reason aliens have not contacted us is that they don’t have a ear for Mozart?