Jun 28, 2011
Jolon (All reviews)
Magical Nyan Nyan Taruto is a cute show. Cute is its raison d'être, and viewers should be warned to expect a kid's show with no real tension or storytelling merit. It is classic stuff- a secret princess, magic, and animals that can understand each other but not be understood by humans.

However, I've ended up watching it three times through by now. It's entertaining and cute fluff. As an entire genre has built up around adults watching cuteness for its own sake in the anime industry since Taruto was introduced, it may be worth considering for viewing by adults as well as children.

Story: 4
Princesses & magic, as said before. The focus of the plot is the titular Taruto discovering she is capable of magic, and how this ties her to the mythical Kinka kingdom and the magical world of Ganache. (Ganache, by the way, is the first instance we hear of what will become a theme in naming conventions.) Taruto struggles with her love of Iori, her owner whom she intends to marry, and her apparent responsibilities as royalty in a lost Cat Kingdom. One rare moment of poignancy that deserves special mention is an episode divorced from the main story that deals with the journey of an Okinawan wild cat seeking to reach America.

Art: 6
The art in Magical Nyan Nyan Taruto is a vehicle for displaying the cuteness of the characters, and succeeds in this aspiration. The town Taruto & the other cats live in is reasonably illustrated, but nothing about the art or animation stands out. It is pretty but generic, lacking the popping visuals and attention to detail of KyoAni or the distinctiveness of a studio like Shaft. It is forgettable and pleasant, like the anime itself.

Sound: 6
Taruto's opening & closing are sugary-sweet, with the ed tune sounding as if it was sung by a kindergarten chorus. The dub is noteworthy for being surprisingly good, given what a low-profile show it is, and this is all to the good, since a decent un-subtitled version helps the series immeasurably with its primary demographic- little children.

Characters: 6
The characters presented are stereotypes, but they are lovable. Taruto & her owner Iori's interactions are heartwarming, and she has the prerequisite bossy proto-tsundere friend, and the refined proto-yamato nadeshiko friend as well. Watching the old fraud "sorcerer" was still amusing the third viewing through, and everyone fulfills their archetype well, even if there is nothing like character development or depth of character.

Enjoyment: 8
Magical Nyan Nyan Taruto is more than the sum of its parts, somehow contriving to be a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon despite being utterly generic and forgettable. I would highly recommend it as an introductory show for younger children, or as a tool for those who find themselves babysitting or otherwise tasked with the entertainment of children, but do not necessarily want to be bored themselves.

There is nothing great about Magical Nyan Nyan Taruto, and it is apparent there was no attempt to make it great, but an effort was clearly put into producing a good children's anime. It is pleasant and fluffy in a manner similar to Bottle Fairy, but tries to have a story, albeit one only children will find compelling. I personally think Magical Nyan Nyan Taruto is worth watching for anyone who is a fan of cuteness and especially cats, although viewers should be cautioned not to expect more from the show than it actually is.

If you find yourself re-watching Disney as an adult, it's likely you'd enjoy watching this as well.