Wednesday, February 4, 2015

MISC. MANGA, *All Purpose Cultural Catgirl Nuku Nuku

Despite being a short-lived manga, Nuku Nuku spawned several anime adaptations. This was the original manga that only went on for about three chapters, with the collected edition containing a special "cine-manga" of a missing chapter from the first OVA series. This was created by Yuzo Takada, who is also known for his work on Blue Seed and 3X3 Eyes, although this brief series became his most successful venture into anime.

Kyusaku Natsume is a struggling but brilliant scientist who had his big industry wife divorce him, leaving him to raise their son Ryunosuke. One Christmas Eve, Ryunosuke adopts a stray cat that is damaged in an auto accident, so his father takes the cat's brain and puts it into an android body. Now named Nuku Nuku, the cybernetic kitty lives under the guise of Kyusaku's daughter as a college freshmen, and Ryunosuke's older sister. She uses her robotic strength to save her new family from an apartment fire, but tries to keep her secret life as a robocat a secret from her civilian classmates. She also takes Ryuonsuke to the beach, and uses some new mermaid-type upgrades to save him from drowning.

The other half of the manga is essentially "Episode 3 1/2" of the first OVA series, taking place between the two halves of the anime. In this storyline, Ryunosuke's mother has a more active role and is constantly trying to win back her son with her office lady henchwomen. However, in this chapter, it features her father more as the founder of the Mishima heavy industries corporation as his agents tries to find of all things an alien cat that Nuku Nuku finds in a crashed UFO. She takes the cat into her family and calls him Myu, who they learn is very intelligent. Eventually, Myu hitches a lift back home, leaving us with Nuku's first love interest. This full color short was done by the actual anime production crew, and included in the American release of the manga, although it's done a fumetti format looking very similar to a photo novel.

The manga is probably worth picking up if you're a big fan of the original anime, mostly to get a look at the beginning concept which wasn't a slapsticky, but also to get a new chapter set in the same OVA continuity. Aside from the first 6-episode OVA, there were also a TV series remake, and a TV series-styled format OVA titled Nuku Nuku Dash!. The American release of the manga also comes with several postcards from the first OVA and TV series to fill out the book a little more, but it's still a pretty decent extra.

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