It's in the not too distant future. One day Nuku-Nuku dropped in and began to live with the Natsume family. Having lost her memory, Nuku-Nuku assumed the identity of a beautiful girl named Atsuko Higuchi. She was so beautiful and gentle, and besides, she was such a great cook that Ryunosuke, 14, was all smiles. However, after her arrival in town, a series of mysterious incidents started to happen in Maneki City - Experimental machines running haywire, roaring fighter aircraft flying low, mass destruction in the city. In every case, a mysterious girl was spotted at the scene of the incident.
Released as a sister project to the Nuku Nuku TV series, Nuku Nuku DASH! is a totally different take on the Nuku Nuku story in comparison to the TV series as well as the OVA that came before it. Unfortunately, it seems as though too many things were changed, as this anime ends up being the weakest of the three.
DASH! still keeps one thing in common with its predecessors: comedy. Several moments made me chuckle (many of them focusing around Ryunosuke's pining over Nuku Nuku), but overall, the comedy that Nuku Nuku fans know and love just isn’t there. This is mainly because Nuku Nuku
isn’t her normal, bubbly self. In DASH!, she’s much more soft spoken (not to mention sporting a totally different hair color) and with the exception of one episode, shows none of the cat-like traits that made her so funny before. Even Megumi Hayashibara's performance as Nuku Nuku is lacking. Most of the comedy from before is replaced with attempts at drama in DASH!, which fall well short of their intended targets. Fan service levels are also alarmingly high by Nuku Nuku standards, especially after watching the TV series. After the first five episodes alone, I almost decided not to finish the series due to the barrage of breasts that did nothing for an already shallow plot.
The action here gets boost in terms of frequency. However, it quickly falls under the “Villain of the Week” routine as each episode becomes very predictable: Someone tries to capture Nuku Nuku, the city gets threatened, Nuku Nuku transforms and attacks, the end. A good deal of these action sequences, as well as Nuku Nuku’s transformation sequence, are made of reused animation cycles that reminded me of such anime as Sailor Moon. There were several occastions that the plot could've been developed further after one of these fights, but nothing came of them, leaving me rather disappointed. The overall poor animation for this OVA does nothing to help out at all; even at its best, it pails in comparison to its older 1992 sibling.
In spite of all of this, the second part of this series, starting at episode 8, begins to show some promise. A main villain appears with real motives other than capturing Nuku Nuku, and some answers finally make themselves known in Nuku Nuku’s past. Though the plot devices are rather clichéd, it is still a welcome change to the former. Everything begins to gain steam, seemingly headed for a monumental final clash between Nuku Nuku and the evil forces of Mishima Industries only to turn into one of the biggest cop-outs I’ve ever seen.
Fans of the first OVA and the TV series should steer clear away from this, as virtually nothing is the same outside of character names. For anyone else, this series might be good for a weekend rental at best. Perhaps I set my hopes too high. Perhaps I expected too much from this anime. Regardless, DASH! is still a disappointment and an ill-fitting final installment of the Nuku Nuku franchise.
I've talked about Nuku Nuku twice. The first time being the OVA, which was really good. The second time being the twelve episode series, which was still good stuff. This one is also by Ashi Productions, now called Production Reed, and was released the same year as the other TV series, 1998. So, does it hold up as well as the other two? Let's start Dash and see.
One day Ryuunosuke, fourteen years old, arrives at home to find his parents fighting in another room while an attractive young lady waits awkwardly. She introduces herself as Higuchi Atsuko, but prefers to be called Nuku Nuku. Due
to family circumstances, she'll be staying with his family for a while. At roughly the same time, Ryuunosuke's mother, Akiko, is sent by Mishima Industries to find and recover an escaped weapon. Unbeknownst to her, that escaped weapon has just moved into her home. It's a good thing that cameras don't exist in this universe, otherwise Mishima might have a picture to show her and this would end in five minutes. But this is supposedly a comedy, right? So, we can excuse the narrative being a transparent excuse plot, right?
Well, that's the biggest problem with this series. It wants to be a comedy, but it also wants to tell a more serious story that deals with death and loss and has tragic moments. As such, the comedy is frequently downplayed in favour of story. Except that the story is a complete and utter mess. It's full of plot points that make no sense and the attempts at more serious scenes fall apart based on how ridiculous the underlying premise of a cat-brained android is. The premise works fine for the OVA and Nuku Nuku TV because they're over the top, zany comedies. It doesn't work when you try to be semi-serious with it. So, those moments fail, what about the comedy? I'm sorry to say it, but the comedy in this is really weak. A lot of the characters have one or two rather generic gags that they're used for. Not only that, but the comedic moments themselves frequently lack any kind of actual pay off. Take Ryuunosuke's big joke, he's an awkward teenager who has a crush and doesn't know how to handle it. He'll get into situations where he'll do something embarrassing that could potentially lead to a funny reaction, someone will catch him and then they just won't react, thereby killing any chance at an actual joke. The attempts at romance in this are just wretched. It's like they took elements from the world's blandest romantic comedy, beat them with the proverbial idiot stick, used them to fill in gaps with no care for structure or context and called it good. At best it's slightly cringe-worthy. At worst it's downright painful.
To the series' credit, there are some comedic scenes that do partially work. The stuff with the Red Riding Hood inspired character is actually pretty entertaining for the most part. I also have to give them credit for trying to do something different, even if they didn't do it remotely well.
The characters in this are pretty bad. Ryuunosuke is an annoyance. Nuku Nuku's gone from a vivacious, high-energy and always entertaining character to an insipid one. Akiko and Kyusaku spend most of their time bickering, and not in a funny way. In a more uncomfortable and awkward way. The other parts of the franchise may not have had strong developed characters but at least they were entertaining and played off of each other well for comedic purposes. This series doesn't even have that.
The art in this one, like the other two, is really dated but, generally fine. It's a bit odd that they give Nuku Nuku green hair in this instead of her usual red, but there's nothing wrong with that change. The biggest problems are the gratuitous fan-service and the action sequences. In the other two instalments, the action sequences are lively, eye-catching and have a strong level of controlled chaos. They're pretty well done. In this series, the action sequences are slow and boring. They involve a lot of standing still and talking. Because that's what makes for a dynamic action sequence.
To Dash's credit, they did get a strong vocal cast. Hayashibara Megumi, Kamiya Akira, Ikura Kazue and the other actors all do fine. You won't hear their best performances in this, given the material, but they're fine. The music is the strongest part of the series. The themes in particular are really good, musically.
There's a little bit. There's a scene where Nuku Nuku treats one of Akiko's wounds and the “joke” is that it looks like a yuri scene. The way the Red Riding Hood character talks about chasing her target, Nuku Nuku, sounds like she's referring to a romantic interest. Of course, neither scene ultimately goes anywhere.
All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku Dash is a disappointment. The comedy is weak, rarely getting so much as a chuckle. The attempts at being more serious really hurt it and the romance elements are terrible. The characters are boring. The art is weak and the voice acting is just passable. So, if you want to watch a series about a cat-brained android, watch one of the others. My final rating for this one is a 3/10. It's just bad. Next week, to tie into the year I had yuri anime month in January, I'll look at Yuru Yuri San Hai.
im not good at writing a true reviews, but i am good at telling you what its like, and im taking into consideration that it was made in 1998 as well as standards of today.
SHORT REVIEW. if you got time to kill and like the idea of a robotic catgirl like thing, go for it, you could do worse, but dont go out of your way to see it.
now on to the long one
first their is the story. and may be spoilers here, so stop here if you dont like them.
the story goes, girl shows up, weirdness happens that you wont understand for a
while, than when you do you are wondering wtf? really? how? when? why? and again HOW? their are some unanswered questions, and stupid points but even for back than these were things that should have been smoothen out.
back than the animation was above what was on tv, but below the best of it time, so it got 7.
im not a good judge of sound but if there was more than 1 meow type from the kittens it would have gotten a 10
characters are interesting, and i usually disregard the end arc what happens to the characters, because they are usually handled so badly its hard to watch, generally interesting characters, but little done with them, i put that on the story fault, so characters alone get a 9
but enjoyment is slightly above baseline for what i expected, and over all was slightly better than expected.
I bought Nuku Nuku Dash on impulse since the dvds were on sale. This was an okay anime but it was not the best.
One can tell that even though this is set in the future that many of it's influences comes from the 90's era of anime. As expected with that era the animation wasn't always the best. Some source material was reused over and over and it got a little old after the first 3 times.
I spent most of the time watching the dubbed version so the sound wasn't too bad. This is likely since the dub is more recent and technology to
enhance sound recordings improved since it was first made in Japan. Some of the audio tracks for the opening and ending was a bit fuzzy. The sound effects are dated as well. I can remember some of them used in the old Tenchi OVAs and other shows from the 90s.
The characters were also pretty repetitive. The mom is almost always pissed. The dad is almost always slacking. The son...well he's probably the most dynamic character in the show. The lead, Nuku Nuku, was quite passive. In retrospect I can see why but it was a little let down. Interactions between Nuku Nuku and the son were some of the highlights of the show.
While I may seem a little disappointed, I'm actually not. By the last episode, I got wrapped up in the conflict. The show got darker in content towards the end so it got me into it more. (Well that is until cheesy sound effects killed the mood.) Luckily I've seen enough shows from this production time frame to take it with a grain of salt. It's not the best but it was good for what it was.
If you got some time to kill and don't mind mediocre shows then give it a shot. However, I must warn you that it will take until the halfway mark for the show to pick up. If you are willing to stick with it then you should be able to pass the time and be slightly entertained until something else better comes along.