Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos W
Ever since getting involved with Nyarko, Mahiro Yasaka's life has been anything but easy, and it doesn't seem like anything will settle down anytime soon either. Eldritch things are still eldritch, and Nyarko-san is still as dead-set on starting a relationship with Mahiro as ever.
I've mentioned this in other reviews (probably), but once again I'm left with being amazed at all the things anime is willing to turn into a show about girls that can be turned into sellable merchandise (figurines, posters...) To me, Nyarko-san is no different, but curiously enough, only after it went from a simply animated web cartoon to a more full-blown production.
And I'm a bit torn. Aiden wrote a review for the first season, and I... kind of agree with it and disagree with it for a good number of reasons, and it's kind of complicated.
The part I agree with it the most is its shameless contribution to parody humor. Then again, I'm not as well-versed in the Cthulhu mythos, so my viewing of the series came with lots of visits to Wikipedia for various characters and references, but to me, that was part of the fun. Nyarko-san basically takes its jokes a good bit further than just dropping names around, and I can appreciate that even as more of an interested spectator rather than a fan.
I was... considerably less excited about them turning this show into a harem, though, but for slightly different/more disagreeable reasons than Aiden. Because where Aiden hated Mahiro as a main character, I found him strangely refreshing. He's one of the depressingly few male leads in harem shows that actually has the courage to voice his disagreements with the girls he's continuously trying to fend off. And seeing as Nyarko did some pretty terrible things in the first season, his reactions are both understandable and within the scope of realism -- meaning yes, he occasionally also goes too far and lashes out at Nyarko when she doesn't necessarily deserve it. It gives the show a strangely tense tone at times, one of which lead to one of my favorite scenes in the second season; a relatively dramatic yet calming conversation between a "near the breaking point" frustrated Nyarko and a strangely calm Mahiro (who continues to be curiously honest and upfront with her instead of just mindlessly complimenting her solely for the sake of not hurting her feelings -- seriously, we need more of this in harem dramas. I'm sorry, Aiden, but this is something I feel very strongly about.)
It's also one of the few shows where fork-based slapstick violence is directed from a male to a female character. I'm also less enthusiastic about that, even though it's kept off-screen and it could be argued that Nyarko had it coming through her actions. But then, I'm mostly of the opinion that to deserve slapstick violence upon someone, they REALLY have to earn it, and Nyarko isn't quite that terrible. Even less so, seeing as she never really repeats the two really bad things she did in the first season, which is probably why the show saw fit to introduce us to Kuune, because we gotta have someone to pile all of our frustrations on, right? She's Kuuko's cousin, and makes a "wonderful" first impression when she basically molests Kuuko to orgasm in full view of the Mahiro household (that now includes Nyarko and Hastur as well), and then proceeds to play a tape where she had recorded tricking child Kuuko into some marriage agreement. So, since statements like "no", "I don't want to" or "let me go" are generally ignored in this universe, the family has to set up this elaborate plan where Mahiro has to pretend to be Kuuko's fiancee instead, to predictable hissyfits and sabotage plans from Kuune. It really is the worst part of the whole show, where you're never really sure if molestations and rape are played up for comedy or not.
Thankfully, Kuune never really gets to eat up too much screentime, because having to watch almost an entire show gnashing my teeth would not have been much fun. But, to be sure, the show spends easily as much, if not more, time faffing about on the beach or doing things like giving Shantak-kun a little girl form because she "wants to be useful to her(?) master", and it kind of eats away at time it could've spent being more funny or entertaining. This is where I kind of agree with Aiden, but only insofar that I accepted the romance between Mahiro and Nyarko. I'm not afraid to admit I would have liked to see that work out, especially if it'd lead to scenes like the aforementioned one near the end of episode 6 (aka "the big fiancee sceme".)
Then again, maybe you're in on this for the cute girlstravaganza, in which case you won't be disappointed. Nyarko fills the (realistically) curvy, somewhat oddly-dressed gung-ho archetype, while Kuuko brings in the whole barely pubescent, twin-tailed and girly character type to good effect. Hastur, while not a girl, could just as well have been one for as effeminate as he is. He easily fits into the same endearing character type as the ones I liked in Natsume's Book of Friends and Tamayura with the fox child (Kogitsune) and Kou Sawatari respectively; the ridiculously adorable ones.
When weighed up on the big scales, Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos W is actually pretty entertaining. The big bonus point when a show is kind of uneven in quality is that you can basically skip some of the worse parts of this show by skipping the episode in question. Don't want to watch the episode where Shantak-kun turns into a little girl? Then you don't have to watch it, because there's nothing else of real importance in that episode. It basically turns into a slightly better 11 episode show by doing this. Granted, you can't do this all the time, because some of the episodes bring out both the best and the worst in a show, so sometimes, you just have to sit down and take it like a human. If you like your average harem romance or comedy shenanigans, it'll be worth it. OK, so the ending's kind of anticlimactic, but hey... maybe we'll get a third season. If we're lucky.
A strong three-star. Doesn't get four due to my misgivings, but make no mistake about it: at its best, this show is hella entertaining. — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: The girls in this show are very...forward, to say the least, and Kuune in particular. Her actions alone puts this squarely in the "American Pie" teenager bracket. That aside, you get some pretty average fanservice: swimsuit episodes, but no nudity to speak of.
Version(s) Viewed: Crunchyroll Stream, Japanese with English subs.
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos W © 2013 Xebec.
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