Eri KitamuraKana AsumiMiyu MatsukiHaiyore Nyaruko-san
Haiyoru! Nyaruani (ONA)
Medium: webcast, series
Year: 2010
Director: Azuma Tani
Actor: Eri Kitamura, Kana Asumi, Miyu Matsuki
Original creator: Manta Aisora, H.P. Lovecraft
Studio: DLE Inc., SoftBank Creative Corp.
Keywords: Haiyore Nyaruko-san, anime, SF
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 9 incredibly short episodes, mostly 90-ish seconds long although the last episode runs six minutes
Website category: Anime early 10s
Review date: 20 July 2014
It's the first anime appearance of Nyaruko (i.e. Nyarlathotep), Mahiro and Kuuko (i.e. Cthugha) from Haiyore Nyaruko-san. Don't get your hopes up, though. It's a smattering of one-minute Flash-animated internet episodes and pretty much the definition of throwaway, if only due to its length.
They're immediately the same characters, though. The franchise started out as a light novel series and so all the anime versions are consistent in their jokes and characterisation. Nyarlathotep is still a silver-haired alien girl who lusts after a human boy (Mahiro) for no obvious reason, and in turn is the object of Cthugha's lesbian fixations. They talk the same as always. They behave the same. They're the same people. The only difference is that the art style here is less cute and more interesting. Everyone has super-deformed proportions (i.e. huge heads) and they look a bit weirder. Shantak looks a bit creepier and less like a soft toy, while pictures of H.P. Lovecraft and August Derleth are used as interior decoration.
It's also more violent. Shantak looks a bit dead after Nyaruko's beaten him up, while Mahiro's fork-stabbing causes gushing sprays of blood. I liked that.
The voice actors are the same, oddly. It's still Eri Kitamura as Mahiro, Kana Asumi as Nyaruko and Miyu Matsuki as Kuuko. I suppose having played the roles with reasonable success here, no one ever saw any reason not to keep using them. Of course the later "Remember My Mr. Lovecraft" 2010 TV series would have the same director (Azuma Tani) as these micro-episodes, but the 2012-13 shows were by Tsuyoshi Nagasawa.
So, what's it like? Answer: short. That might not sound like much of an answer, but that's the main impression they leave. What's more, the end credits run for thirty seconds, which is a huge chunk out of an average running time of 90 seconds or so.
Episode 0 (93 seconds) - Mahiro and Nyaruko talk about official certification.
Episode 1 (96 seconds) - Nyaruko gets jealous about Shantak liking Mahiro more than her.
Episode 2 (81 seconds) - Nyaruko designs a Hugging Pillow.
Episode 3 (90 seconds) - Nyaruko's adult computer games.
Episode 4 (92 seconds) - yet more computer games. Yup, we're in the right franchise, all right.
Episode 5 (94 seconds) - Mahiro and Nyaruko respond to letters sent in by the audience. This isn't significantly funnier than the previous episodes, but it's at least a slight variation on the format.
Episode 6 (77 seconds) - For the first (and last) time, one of these episodes made me laugh. Nyaruko does a cooking show, but the title of her dish and her (raw, red, quivering) ingredients have been censored.
Episode 7 (101 seconds) - Doesn't have Nyaruko! Instead it's a Mahiro-Kuuko conversation.
Episode 8 (6 minutes 26 seconds) - Actually counts as an episode, albeit a short one, rather than just the animated equivalent of one of those four-page newspaper strips. Kuuko tells Mahiro about how she first fell in love with Nyaruko, in kindergarten. I hadn't heard this before. We then hear it from Nyaruko's point of view, which makes it sound a bit different.
In short, hard to recommend. The episodes feel pointless and most of them are only vaguely funny. It's mildly interesting to see an animated version of four-panel gag manga, though, if that's what it is. You might watch it for free. It's at that sort of level.