Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Preview: In her house at R'lyeh, dead Nyaruko waits dreaming

GREAT CAESAR'S GHOST, JAPAN MADE H.P. LOVECRAFT MOE

In their few millenia on Earth, modern mankind has accomplished many things, ranging the full spectrum from triumphs to tragedies, from awe-inspiring to horrifying.  But Japan has accomplished something so amazing, so seemingly impossible, that even as I type this I'm not sure I believe it's happened - they made the works of H.P. Lovecraft freaking moe.

I guess I should have seen this coming - if modern man can make aliens moe, why not Lovecraft's monstrosities?  Even more impressive, if the Flash-based (and drawn worse than Yoakena's cabbage) anime that precedes this spring's upcoming Haiyore! Nyaruko-san is any guide, it's even going to be pretty damn funny.  It doesn't hurt that Nyaruko has the same seiyuu as Miya from Amagami SS+ (although no nishishi~ in this one).

Nyaruko is a light novel series that started in 2009 and is up to seven volumes and running, centering on a ordinary high school boy, Mahiro, and Nyarlathotep, a monster from Lovercraft's universe (original short story here), or Nyaruko for short, who drops in on him one day.  Sounds like just about every anime of its genre since Urusei Yatsura, but it's not as generic as it sounds - Mahiro is pretty much on full-time tsukkomi duty as Nyaruko and her associates arrive, like Shinpachi times a hundred, the universe is possibly at risk of destruction, and...well, it's best to see it for yourself.



There's a preview of sorts available (on Crunchyroll, even) in that there have been two flash-based series that already aired for this: Haiyoru! Nyaruani in late 2009-early 2010, and Haiyoru! Nyaruani, Remember My Mr. Lovecraft in late '10-early '11.  The episodes, if you can call them that, are insanely short at just a minute or two of actual content, and the animation style is so painfully bad it makes Yoakena look like it was drawn by the Gods Themselves.  But, for all that there were more than a few parts, especially in Remember My Lovecraft, where I was laughing out loud.

After all, how can you not like an episode title like "How He Came to Love the Girl Despite Being a Normal High School Student Who Cannot Even Sense in the Slightest That the Universe Is at Risk of Destruction, and Suppresses a Vague Worry That Tomorrow the Sun May Not Rise from the Same Direction or at the Same Speed or Even Shine at the Same Luminance and Follow the Same Orbit"?



Fortunately, this series won't be confined to Flash/fanart-level hell for long, with a proper anime series coming this spring on April 9th - it's produced by Xebec, which worries me a little, but I'm hoping the characters and story will make up for any animation flaws.  Besides, whatever Xebec does is going to look over 9000x better than the Flash stuff, even if they bring back the B team from Xebec's Negima anime.

There were some really good anime series airing this winter, and I hadn't found anything to get really excited about for spring yet - but after stumbling on its insanely short and badly animated predecessors and thinking what a real length, normal quality series could accomplish, this spring's Haiyore Nyaruko-san is at the top of what I'm anticipating.  I'll be counting the days to April 9th...


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