Sunday, June 12, 2016

OBSCURE O.V.A.S, *All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku

One of the first OVAs to be released in the early 90s that made an international impact among soon-to-be converted otaku, Nuku Nuku was an original 6-episode OVA created by 3x3 Eyes writer Yuzo Takada. This later evolved into a manga spinoff, plus a TV remake, and an OVA remake. It might seem like an ecchi comedy, but is actually a grand-scale cybernetic sitcom in the spirit of Project A-ko.

Set in the undetermined future, brilliant scientist Kyusaku makes off with his son Ryunosuke after he learns that his wife Akiko was going to use the android he created to as a weapon for her company, Mishima Heavy Industries. Kyasaku takes the brain of Ryunosuke's nearly deceased cat and transfers it into the android body, which he claims to be his "daughter" named Nuku Nuku. This new cat-brained sister of Ryunosuke, as well as his bodyguard from being taken by Akiko's henchgirls, Arisa and Kyouko. Akiko uses numerous attempts to reclaim Ryunosuke, including fighter jets and an octopus mecha, but Nuku Nuku's robotic strength and childlike determination usually prevail, although at causing massive property damage. Ultimately, Kyusaku and Akiko remain separated while Nuku Nuku finds herself getting into more shenanigans, normally caused by screw ups from Akiko's company, like runaway androids and malfunctioning laser satellites.

Nuku Nuku remains one of the more memorable OVAs of its time, and turned a lot of people into being anime fans because of its over the top antics. It's like a cyberpunk action story, but like a primetime family comedy. There is an impressive dub done by ADV Films, but also one originally produced of the first half of the series in Britain, even though there was some material cut from it to seem more like an "all-ages" title. The TV remake was done more as a superhero spoof filled with an extra load of cliche characters specifically created to fill out the cast, even though the show only lasted 12 episodes with 2 holiday specials. The other OVA series was titled Nuku Nuku Dash, with an older Ryunosuke trying to court a more serious-minded Nuku Nuku, making it more of a romantic sci-fi comedy. The manga was also released in America acting as a series of tie-in stories to the original OVA. Even though there hasn't been a license rescue of this since before ADV Films changed its company's structure, it's still a great piece of anime nostalgia. The collected DVD has been advertised on places like Netflix as a single movie, but it's not a compilation but still 6 separate episodes.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this series. The UK dub is the only time you'll hear a Scouse accent in an anime.

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