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.
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.
Comedy...it is very subjective, whether or not you consider a show to be funny or not simply depends on you, I think that mindset sums up Haiyore! Nyaruko-san perfectly.
This show is about a young high school boy (I know, I know) named Mahiro Yasaka, he lives an ordinary life until one day he is attacked by a demon and saved by a young alien girl by the name of Nyarlko. Afterwards she confesses her love for him and well we get a stereotypical "hijinks ensues" plot for the rest of the show. The main focus is Mahiro fending off Nyarlko's constant advances (which as kind
of refreshing, it's usually the other way around) We get introduced to a few entertaining characters, Cthuko, a alien girl who is in love with Nyarlko and constantly tried to keep her apart from Mahiro, even threatening to burn him into ash at one point. Hastur, a trap who is in love with Mahiro and constantly vies for his affection.
The art and sound aren't necessarily bad, but they're not anything you'd remember all that much, doubt any of you are on the edge of your seats for the Nyarlko Original Soundtrack, one thing I will say is the opening is stupidly good, check it out on youtube if you have a chance, amazingly addictive.
The characters are the main selling point of the show, the interactions between all of the different characters and the situations they find themselves in are just priceless, but as I said before, this is purely subjective.
Enjoyment is either very high or very low depending on whether you fall into the niche of this particular show. It's moe, It's ecchi, it's comedy, and it's satire, if these don't appeal to you then you simply will not like this show.
Overall I give this show an 8 out of 10. It's a hilarious show with a nice cast of characters that interact with each other in hilarious ways, it might not be for you, the plot might put you off, but give it the old 3 episode rule and you might find another show to add to your list!
Really, they tote this as a Cthulhu Mythos based anime, but the only connection to the mythos I know is a couple names of ancient psychic outer god alien beings slapped onto teenager characters who are some kind of space cop aliens living on earth, thats about it. Beyond that, a handful of references and a couple gags relating to the dice and paper RPG are all that tie this into the mythos at all. It's funny, kind of twisted, but overall nothing special, yet another cute romantic comedy with a harem theme based around a normal everyday teenage boy who
is pulled into a fantastic situation that results in him being involved with cute girls that all end up part of his daily life in some way for the rest of the show. Also, like most harem anime, he is some kind of super being with a freakish level of willpower, just like the main character of every damn harem anime, because he refuses to give into his desires and have any kind of intimate contact with any of the multiple very attractive women literally climbing naked into his bed at every opportunity. I swear Japan has the weirdest ideas about teenage boys and the kind of restraint they are capable of. Inhuman. These kids could put Buddhist monks to shame.
But yah, the jokes here are a little more to my liking than most being somewhat more "edgy" than your average fan service driven romantic comedy. It's one of the first to have a very well integrated gay theme on the harem side of things that gets actual consideration rather than just being a joke character thats immediately shot, beaten, or thrown out the moment they show up and make a pass at the male lead. This one gets some cute awkward "what if" moments and generally gets as much care and attention from the main character as the female options. Overall, worth watching I would say.
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.