Mahiro Yasaka is just an ordinary high school student, until one day he is suddenly attacked by a dangerous monster. Just when everything seems to be lost, he is saved by a silver-haired girl named Nyaruko, who claims to be the shape-shifting deity Nyarlathotep from horror author H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, sent by the Space Defense Agency to Earth. She explains to Mahiro that the creature chasing him was an alien called Nightgaunt, who had planned on abducting and selling him as a slave.
After rescuing him from the alien, the Lovecraftian deity falls madly in love with Mahiro and forces herself into his household, much to his chagrin. Moreover, they are soon joined by two others from the fictional universe: Cthuko, a girl obsessed with Nyaruko, and Hasuta, a young boy easily mistaken for a beautiful female. Together, the three eccentric aliens protect Mahiro from the various extraterrestrial dangers that threaten both his and Earth's well-being, all the while making his life a living hell.
In an age where media is thriving and the economy is stagnating and slowing to a crawl there’s often the question of product quality versus a more cost-effective approach. This holds especially true for the anime industry where the bulk of the paying audience are exploitable and easy to profit from. There's a sizable amount of anime where a certain degree of integrity and quality is held over the potential of large sales numbers and, conversely, there are shows where quality is disregarded and instead replaced by a number of efficient pandering methods.
Unfortunately, Haiyore Nyaruko-san is one of the latter.
The anime takes place in a world where deities of the Cthulhu Mythos are secretly wreaking havoc on Earth, often having their horrifying appearance and demeanor replaced by that of a cute teenage girl... or boy. After the titular Nyarlathotep arrives on Earth to save Mahiro from a sudden alien attack, she chooses to stay at his house after deciding that she loves him. This, of course, confuses our dear protagonist and gives precedence to his tsundere behavior.
As the episodes pass more deities begin to work their way into Mahiro's treasured and so-claimed "normal life". The first of which is Cthuko, a twintailed and obsessive bisexual incessantly chasing after Nyaruko and her body much like Nyaruko does with Mahiro. Hastur also makes an appearance, a young boy who looks very much like a girl and frequently causes confusion to Mahiro as a result of that. Other characters include Mahiro's mother, secretely working as a deity hunter, and Ghutatan, another deity in the form of a small girl that joins in on the shenanigans for the final two episodes.
Calling any of these characters interesting would be a gross overstatement.
These are one-dimensional and stereotypical archetypes that do little except fulfilling the audience's penchant for attractive young girls. Most of the interaction between them revolves around the same repeated jokes and situations, used again and again with not a single care for change. Nyaruko will behave in a forcefully lewd manner towards Mahiro, often involving sudden kisses or talks of marriage, and then he'll become angry and stab her with a fork. Cthuko will go on to do most of the same towards Nyaruko and she'll push him away because of her love towards Mahiro. After seeing this interaction repeated for the nth time it becomes incredibly stale and tiring. It really makes evident that there is nothing going for the characters besides their physical appeal, and Xebec frequently exploits that and uses it as its way to catch an audience.
In between all the awful character interaction there's an abundance of superfluous otaku references. These include dozens upon dozens of titles such as Back to the Future, Ichigo Mashimaro, Ashita no Joe, Denpa Onna, and Haruhi. Now, references to other anime can be amusing and add to the comedic value when they're implemented well but that's very far from being the case here. There aren't just a few thrown in during each individual episode, but rather dozens of times in each, sometimes flipping from one reference to another in the span of about 15 seconds. There's no transition and little context, they just happen. Repeatedly. What's most shameful isn't necessarily how bad or annoying these references can be, but that Xebec has apparently decided that comedy isn't even relevant as long as you make piles of references towards shows that the audience may have enjoyed.
There's a point where it becomes funny and then there is a point where it just devolves into frustration and pandering. The occasional anime reference can be quite nice, but in Nyaruko-san it does nothing but infuriate and make watching the series an arduous experience due to their superfluous usage. Haiyore! Nyaruko-san is an anime that has about all the comedic sophistication of Hannah Montana and Meet the Spartans.
For an anime that is constantly parodying other series and their tropes, it really makes you wonder when the same cliches and issues are present in the show itself. Harem members suddenly "transfer" into the same classroom as the protagonist, characters decide to neglect their duties to go on a trip to the beach, the protagonist and main heroine (mistakenly) bodyswap with eachother, and people walk in during inopportune moments and misunderstandings follow as a result. There's a glaring amount of cliches and, sadly, these are mostly important or genuine aspects of the series rather than simple parodies or references. If you're looking for anything unique or original in that regard then you are most definitely not going to find what you want here.
The only thing to set this series apart from any other bad harem anime is the addition of the Cthulhu Mythos, but even this is mostly made irrelevant by how the story and deities are changed and bastardized from their Lovecraftian counterparts. It's an element that seems unique and interesting at the start of the series but it quickly fades from prominence in favor of fanservice and otaku references. A pretty unfortunate fact considering the rich amount of content and depth found in the Mythos. Much more value than in this anime, anyway.
Oddly enough, the series is actually bearable during the rare dramatic moments. When the terrible character dynamic is put aside and Mahiro and Nyaruko think about how much they really like eachother, it can actually be somewhat heartwarming and the characters can almost verge on being likable. It's just unfortunate that these moments can't even be counted with a full hand.
Another minor positive can be attributed to the art. While the budget is modest and the animation quality is passable at best, the vibrant art style and color palette makes the show a lot more pleasing to look at than most. It's refreshing to see something that actually contains color when the majority of anime instead rely on dull hues of grey, brown, or blue. That said, you can polish a piece of trash, but it will always remain nothing more than trash.
It's hard to determine just where this series went wrong. Perhaps the concept of the series was already flawed and doomed to failure, but a large amount of the blame can be shifted towards the studio and their insistence on pandering over quality. For people that are simply looking for a show that they can watch while turning their brains off, this is a poor but not quite terrible choice. For the people who want something more in their entertainment that extends beyond aimless fanservice and otaku exploitation, Haiyore Nyaruko-san is an insulting series with any inherent value or amusing moments being next to nil.
Somehow I think Cthulhu monsters might be less frightening than Haiyore Nyaruko-san. read more
Before you instantly downvote this Review for not being a 10, 9 or 8; I'd like to remind you that a 7 should be considered a "Good" RATING. Anything above a 5 should be considered "good". MAL reviews are broken, but I'm at least trying to fix mine. Please take the time to read it all.
Here's a quick TL;DR rundown of Haiyore! Nyaruko-san
1- You've probably seen it before. There's nothing special about this Anime. The story is just a sequence of events thrown together so as to fit as many gags as possible in, the characters are recycled, the gags are overused. If you're looking for plot, or great comedy, you won't find it in Nyaruko.
2- The Anime is character based. As with all Anime targeted towards an Otaku audience aiming to be as marketable as possible, Nyaruko's strength is with it's characters. They're memorable, they're funny and they each have their own distinct trope. Some people maybe see this as a bad thing, and in a sense it is, but for what Nyaruko is aiming for, it's succeeded in making the characters as fun as possible.
3- Because it's a character-driven anime, the art and character designs are great. Who cares about plot when you have these beautiful pictures to look at? Or so they want us to think. It's not that bad though. They designs are clear-cut, distinct and present the constant moe and service very well.
4- The music is good. Catchy OP; better ED. All's nice and well. Of course, they're just OPs you've heard a million and ten times before in other Anime, and Nyaruko doesn't even try to be original. It knows it doesn't need to be.
5- It's a light hearted watch. As I've said on countless other Anime, don't take it too seriously. No; it's not GREAT, it's not groundbreaking and it certainly won't appeal to everyone. But if you want something light-hearted and fun, and you enjoy squealing at moe characters and laughing at over the top gags, then you'll probably enjoy this. read more
I really don't get why this anime gets so many bad reviews. Actually, I do.
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san is the epitome of a plot-less anime, with the absence of "true" romance, conflicts, or any character goals. This makes Nyaruko-san very polar; you either love this kind of random comedy, or hate it. And I happen to love it. It is such a relaxing, fun anime to watch, something you can enjoy without having to focus too hard on picking up the details.
The core of the anime is based around light parody comedy, while throwing in a TON of references. This anime has so many references to video games, TV shows, anime, etc. that you won't catch them all. And of course, it's very enjoyable when you do understand one. All of the characters are very likable, allowing viewers to easily become attached to them.
This anime never takes itself seriously, and you shouldn't either. It has no problem creating plot holes, turning a tense situation into a joke, or breaking the fourth wall. By definition, Nyaruko-san does everything that would make an anime bad; but because it does it purposely, and pulls it off so well while giving you a great laugh, you can't help but enjoy it.
A mix of To-Love Ru's supernatural & Lucky Star's comedy, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san does everything that caters to fans of those anime, while still presenting refreshing ideas. A high recommendation for fans of those genres.read more
The most unexpected anime series airing in this 2012 spring season I would say would have to be Haiyore! Nyaruko-san. It can be categorized as both Parody and Comedy at the same time and shows great promise as it is a series that does not take itself seriously and is unafraid to show itself as such. If it's able to keep up the level of quality, this series has a good chance of becoming the best comedy series of this year.
In H.P. Lovecraft's stories, the Cthulhu was an unspeakable, indescribable horror that haunted the collective dreams of mankind. In Nyaruko-san, the Cthulhu is a cute girl sent from the stars to protect a typical normal guy.
Mahiro Yasaka is a normal high school guy until he finds himself pursued by a monster one night, only to be saved by a cute girl bloodily slaughtering the monster with her bare hands and then jauntily declaring, “I am the chaos that always creeps up to you with a smile, Nyarlothotep!”, Nyaruko for short, while striking a sentai hero-type pose.
She was sent there to protect Mahiro and it's revealed that she practically begged for the assignment, partly so that she can get her hands on some Earth entertainment (anime and manga apparently being highly-valued throughout the universe) and partly so that she can cozy up to Mahiro, much to his dismay.
However Mahiro isn't completely dominated by Nyaruko, but tries, in his own ways, to fight back the stranger who "destroyed" his peaceful life. At this point that usually involves him wielding and trying to skewer Nyaruko with a table fork.
Nyaruko, despite being in some respects the stereotypical hyper-aggressive girl, is such an abjectly ridiculous character, and is played with such unrelenting enthusiasm, that it's difficult to watch the episode without a constant bemused smirk on one's face. Nyaruko is way too perky for a creature of a well-known horror mythology and generally a lot of fun to watch. She's always moving and switches conversational modes at the drop of a hat. It helps that she looks nice as well. She also has a proportionate body without either inflate-a-boobs or a little girl figure.
The first episode enjoys small recognizable moments, with Nyaruko's back story fast-forwarded (complete with squeaky VHS sounds), comments about how the show will get taken off the air if the characters aren't careful, and a slew of images in a store that have a very familiar look to them. Add in some sentai jokes and a Pokémon reference and you get a parody element that helps to make this more entertaining than it might appear at first glance.
That said, within its hyperactive romance-comedy framework, the series works really well. Nyaruko is amusingly nuts and the jokes about her Lovecraftian origin are entertaining. She's only in cute girl form because her real form would cost Mahiro a lot of "sanity points" and her horrific origins are hilariously apparent in her sickening fighting style (brutal beat downs using rocks to crowbars). She's also refreshingly open about her feelings for Mahiro which reminds me so much of Lala from To LOVE-Ru.
The animation isn't perfect, but there's enough flow that it's easy to watch and the music has a definite sense that it could grow on you.
This looks to be a series that will have me groaning at the end of each episode, disappointed that I need to wait for the next episode.read more
This isn't Roswell and they aren't little green men, but anime is full of aliens who have come down from the stars above. Some are benevolent while others are malicious, and all will make the human race question their role in the universe.