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GENRE: Anime ORIGINAL AIR DATES: October 23, 2009 - March 15, 2010
// review by FlagrantWeeaboo

Based On The Work Of D.P. Loveshaft

Nyaruko-san: Another Crawling Chaos (better known by its Japanese name, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san) is an anime series created by XEBEC based on the light novel series from Manta Aisora and Koin. It tells the story of an alien creature named Nyarlathotep based on the same creature from the Cthulhu Mythos works of infamous writer H. P. Lovecraft. Nyarlathotep takes on the form of a silver-haired anime girl, going by the much cuter name Nyaruko. As a member of the Space Detective Agency, it is her job (and the job of her fellow Lovecraftian creature friends) to maintain peace and order in the Universe.

At the beginning of the first episode, our main male lead - Mahiru Yasaka - is being chased by a creature of the night called a Nightgaunt. Just as he's about to be killed, Nyaruko swoops down from the skies to protect him. She explains to Mahiru that she was sent to protect him from getting kidnapped but also explains that she has developed feelings for him because he's her "type". Mahiru struggles with not only Nyaruko getting in the way of his daily peace and trying to get his hand in marriage but also has to put up with her fellow associates Cthuga and Hastur, who serve to make his life a living hell on Earth. Cthuga is a fire demon who will stop at nothing to touch Nyaruko inappropriately, and Hastur is the girliest looking boy you've ever seen and is always trying to get into a sexual relationship with the main lead Mahiru. For our poor lead, life is a complete headache.

That's about it for the story. Events do happen but at a miserably slow speed, and the overarching plot is mediocre at it's best and abysmal at its worst. Really, I for one can't understand how Haiyore! Nyaruko-san managed to get several animated adaptations, manga volumes and a video game when the show has basically zero story. I might draw some ire for saying that but this is a comedy anime first and a story anime last. It's filled with references to everything from other anime to specific video games and has plenty of decent one-liners that crack a smirk and force a giggle. But the story is something Nyaruko-san really struggles with. Outside of the main premise that characters and events are based on the writing of Lovecraft, everything else just kind of suffers. If the show was a closer adaptation of Lovecraft's work, it probably would have been a lot more interesting.

"It's-a-me, Nyaruko-rio!"

I can say that this is a gorgeous looking series and the character designs for the lead characters are satisfying, but there are some problems with the main lead. Mahiru is another bland-as-balls stereotypical anime lead with dark hair and a basic face, you know the sort. Maybe so the viewer can implant themselves into the character more easily, but he's got too interesting a personality to be confined to such a boring design. As for Nyaruko-san, she is incredibly loud and annoying, which is actually pretty funny. Every attack she has no matter what it is falls under the banner of "Space CQC" (close quarters combat) whether it's whacking enemies around the head with a crowbar or firing missiles. Early on, a joke is made that "Space CQC" is whatever you feel it is, making the name ultimately meaningless. Jokes like that I enjoy the most. The fighting that appears in the show is always a joy to watch, but these are few and far between. The action is so well animated but there's just not anywhere near enough of it.

The show will often draw attention to how convoluted it is - in one scene, Nyaruko throws a Pokéball-like device on the beach, out of which spawns a boat. Mahiru asks Nyaruko why they didn't use the far more convenient vehicle to travel in an earlier episode, to which she responds that the characters in an adventure shouldn't get the boat until halfway through the adventure, and only get the airship near the end. A subtle dig at RPG video game tropes, certainly, but it doesn't change the fact they still had such a useful vehicle to begin with and used a more contrived method of travel earlier on for no reason.

No reason pretty much sums up Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, it does what it wants for no reason other than that it's what it wants to do. It's refreshing as a comedy anime to punctuate your viewing of other shows, but it's not a show I could see anyone really sitting down to watch en masse and binge their way through. I must truly say that Haiyore Nyaruko-san is a hard sell, as it always tends to be for me with the majority of anime I select purely at random. But the availability situation hurts the show more than its general lack of substance. As of now, only one season is available outside of Japan, and in subtitled form only. I can see it staying that way as I haven't seen a great deal of support for the show online. With the series being a fairly boring treatment of what could have been a more entertaining concept, my only hope is that in the future someone will return to this concept with some fresher ideas and create a better show as a result.

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