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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Final Thoughts: Nyanpire The Animation

The story follows a black cat who was abandoned and left to starve. Just before the cat's life was to be extinguished, a vampire emerged from the darkness and gave it blood. Now, "Nyanpire" (a combination of the Japanese pronunciations for a cat's meow and "vampire") lives as a seemingly ordinary house cat raised by a human girl. (Source: ANN)

Spoiler warning: Slightest of spoilers are discussed below. Caution while reading!

First things first: Nyanpire is a product of the studio GONZO, the same GONZO behind such series as Last Exile, Basilisk, and Gankutsuou. That GONZO is the one responsible for an anime about a vampire cat and his oddball friends and their wacky hijinks. Yeah, let that sink into your brain pan a little bit. A hell of a pedigree for such a fluffily harmless yet odd show. Who woulda guessed it?

But that is really the main pull of the show: it is relatively harmless. In a sea of moeblobs and ridiculous fantasy series, Nyanpire The Animation is one of those fresh breaths of air you never knew you really wanted, all packed into easily devoured four-minute packages which means you can easily waste less than an hour marathoning through the entire series - or watch each episode one by one after you need a mental vacation following a long session of dark depressing anime filled with drama and heartache and other messes that don't plague Nyanpire to such an extent.

Well, actually, that isn’t to say that everything in Nyanpire is all rainbows and lollipops. After all, Nyanpire is still a vampire, and life isn’t easy when you are immortal and drink blood. Err, okay, Nyanpire doesn’t drink blood just red things; he is pretty much the Marceline of vampires minus the attitude and the ladycrush on Princess Bubblegum AHEM. But then you add the neurotic hopelessly in love samurai cat Masamunya into the mix and things can get a little melodramatic. He’s always pining over Nyanpire and all his romantic overtures end in disaster – mainly because Masamunya is horrible at realizing what Nyanpire likes. There’s some drama near the end of the series as Nyanpire realizes what being immortal actually means – y’know, living forever – but it is either glossed over or skipped over happily by the forever naïve vamp cat. With a face like his, how can he ever be sad for long?

So, to be completely honest, Nyanpire is not deep on any level. It will not leave you pondering any unwieldy philosophical questions, and there are no major topsy-turvy plot twists that would make Stephen Moffat weep in terror – hell, was there even a plot? Not a proper one at least beyond ‘cat vampire does stuff, news at eleven’. But it was bright and cheerful and loads of fun, and could certainly keep your attention for the few minutes per episode it was on. It wouldn’t be too terrible if Nyanpire had a second season, surely? After all, we never really meet the vampire who turns him, or any other vampire cats. It could be a nice addition to, say, the spring/summer 2012 season if it were possible. After all, we got two seasons (104 episodes each!) of Chi’s Sweet Home; perhaps the same potential for multi-season success lies within Nyanpire as well?