Haiyore! Nyaruko-san – 01 Review
He says it like they’ve suddenly become harmless teddybears because of that… They’re still giant monsters with tentacles and shit! And what does the Lovecraft-reference matter if the story’s “reality” disproves all notions of what Lovecraft is saying in his works?!
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san 01: Cthulhu Is Actually Moe
You know, watching this series about the moe-version of the Cthulhu-mythos reminded me of this quote from Lovecraft: “It is only the inferior thinker who hastens to explain the singular and the complex by the primitive shortcut of supernaturalism.” Lovecraft’s horror was always something way beyond the understanding of the protagonist. His stories are about madness and fighting an evil far bigger than humanity but this series reduces it to the conflict of aliens with one side protecting a special human and the other trying to abduct it. There’s nothing original about the series and yet it wants to make Cthulhu-references for no reason besides that they can. The premise may have made you think that there’s something special about this show. There isn’t. It’s another generic dull shounen-series like so many others out there.
Cthulhu are aliens actually who wander around space spreading love and joy. But there are evil people who don’t like to play along and they’ve come to earth to screw up one earthling’s life. Coincidentally the Cthulhu are all big Otaku-fans and therefore one of them willingly transforms into a little girl and travels to earth to protect the helpless dude. Naturally she not only transforms into a little girl but behaves and thinks like one as well since that will make the job much easier, right? That leads to a series of stupid antics where the bland dude has to play the straight guy since it’s all supposed to be funny or something. Monsters appear from time to time but they have no chance against the stupid girl and the bland dude’s normal life is turned upside down because the creators shoehorned a generic romantic plot into the series for no reason whatsoever. Therefore the bland dude is plagued now by her affections while the even blander side-characters fulfil their dull character-roles.
And not one bit of this does the original works of Lovecraft any justice…
There we go again with the stupid metafictional humour… It doesn’t work when it simply lampshades something stupid! ‘Look at this, it’s stupid.’ isn’t a joke only because the characters notice it as well! They have to react to it instead of simply pointing it out like in this case.
What did they do to my fond memories of Locecraft?! They took a man’s work and turned it into some shitty generic shounen-show! I mean, they didn’t need the Cthulhu-mythology for this, it doesn’t add anything to the show besides an excuse for the writer to include stupid references and steal the names. It’s okay to make an anime based on a work without directly adapting it but at least they should show the decency to make it seem like a reasonable thing to do. Including Cthulhu in this series isn’t reasonable at all. It all gets reduced to generic ‘aliens from outer space’-trash.
This show wants to be so frigging wacky so hard it’s all the more unbelieving why they wanted to be “inspired” by Lovecraft’s work. Perhaps they just thought it’s funny (which it’s not obviously) or somewhere along the way the original ideas got lost. Anyway, this series has the kind of humour that’s never very deep and always goes for the obvious punchline. Cthulhu gets reduced to tentacles, weird names and things from outer space, there are RPG-references and Otaku-references, neither of those very deep. In the end the show has quite some energy talking about it but it all feels very shallow.
And there’s another strange thing about this episode where it’s just throwing itself at these references without introducing itself. Nyaruko-san is so fixated on telling us about this Cthulhu-shit that it forgets to tell a story. And that makes the shallow references all the worse. The story is so vaguely generic that I don’t know what this show is really about. There’s an evil organization doing evil stuff on earth and somehow they want to sell off the main-character’s ass or something. But there are good guys who are the infamous Cthulhu who supposedly eat your brains and whatnot and they protect humanity from the evil ones. Why? Because it’s not really about Cthulhu… or something like that. Anyway, there’s this obnoxious girl who has already fallen in love with the main-chara and has to protect him. Monsters arrive and she kills them gruesomely because horrible violence has become a form of entertainment in animes apparently. It got boring for me the first time already. They did it three times, though. Three boring fights of her against the same monster.
Since that’s all what being an Otaku is about, right?
The characters get introduced but instead of leaving some room for character-development you get the sense of them already being stuck in these stereotypical roles. You have the dude being the straight guy and the girl being the nutcase. And of course she’s a total Otaku-freak. Isn’t it strange how often animes itself want to portray Otakus as crazy obsessed individuals? There’s always something weird about the people caring about Otaku-stuff. In this case there’s also the weird notion that of all the entertainment-media in the world it’s only the Otaku-stuff that really interests her. Of course it isn’t really explained, she just keeps on jabbering in her fanatical voice about Otaku-stuff. And this fanatical energy is part of her behavior in general which gives the episode a strangely hasty feeling. She never seemed to linger on any topic to give it any substance or depth. And the episode follows that behavior so that nothing of it seemed to matter for me in the end.
The main-character is also very bland (like usual) and of course he ends up living alone with the girl. The side-characters are vaguely human and there are already running-gags in the first episode. That part is never a good sign. I mean, it’s fine to have running gags in a series but already using one of those multiple times in the first episode doesn’t really makes me believe in the imagination of the series. The main-character mostly frets about the situation of him being attacked and being protected by a girl he kinda likes (for no reason at all) but there’s no moment in this episode where he seems to think about the situation. It’s all about having the typical scenes of him trying to live a troubled normal life with scenes of supernatural fighting as intermissions. There’s just no purpose to the events and it’s all just seems randomly thrown together.
Haiyuro! Nyaruko-san is a generic series about a bland boy being protected by a crazy girl. All the characters are rather stereotypical in nature and the story’s generic and vague to the point of being insubstantial. Instead it concentrates on the antics of the girl which aren’t really funny and the bland boy playing the straight guy. The series also features a lot of Cthulhu-references but none of them matter to the series or are really inspired references to the original works of Lovecraft. Dropped.