Original Run: January 9, 2020 - March 26, 2020
Number of Episodes: 12
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Nekopara. Reader discretion is advised.***
Welcome to the patisserie shop Le Soleil. Customers come here to try the delicious cakes and sweets while being helped by the store’s adorable waitstaff, the cat-girls of the Minaduki family.
Living at the restaurant are best friends Chocola and Vanilla (voiced respectively by Yuki Yagi and Iori Saeki). These two will do anything for the human that saved them from the streets and gave them a loving home. Life is peaceful and fun, and then one day, Chocola finds a lost kitten named Cacoa (voiced by Yuuka Morishima).
Little Cacoa isn’t sure what to do in these strange, but warm surroundings. With the combined efforts of Chocola, Vanilla, and their sisters, the newest member of the Minaduki clan is sure to fit right in quickly.
In and out with this one.
It’s time for some inner honesty. Nekopara is a show about a group of cat-girls living their day to day lives. In case you’re wondering: They have cat ears, a tail, are cute, and more than half of them have big boobs. You tell me if you think this series is going to be the height of quality.
Now considering that, this show wasn’t as sexualized as could have been safely assumed – or, at least, as much as I had assumed it would be. In reality, Nekopara was unsurprising and predictable. One could even say this series was decidedly dull – myself being such a person. To wield a double-edged sword, though, this wasn’t a trainwreck.
To its credit, Nekopara wasn’t a random mess of nonsensical absurdity. The show was firm in its premise, and it never faltered down a path of what-in-the-all-mighty-hell-is-going-on. Conversely, this series was never uncomfortable. Then again, maybe it would be safer if you took that last sentence with a healthy grain of salt. I have seen so much at this point that a cute cat-girl doing simple cute cat-girl things isn’t going to set off any alarms for me.
With that said, it was surprising how tame Nekopara was. To tell you the truth, I was shocked that bare-breasted nudity didn’t pop up within the first five minutes, let alone not once during the entire show. Don’t get me wrong; there was fanservice, and this series wasn’t shy about its character walking around in revealing attire. With only the occasional swimsuit episode, and whatever the hell Cinnamon’s (voiced by Yuri Noguchi) catchphrase was, nothing of magnitude ever really occurred.
It was almost as if Nekopara was about a family of cats who just happened to be in human form.
Seriously, aside from the talking and the girly-bits, the cats of this series were just that, cats. Their mannerisms were damn near identical to my cats, who were putzing around while I was watching this series. More importantly, Nekopara’s cat’s relationship with their humans was not a romantic one. The affection shown between person and feline was like that of any loyal companion.
So, if you’re concerned this series will try to have someone start sexy times with a cat-girl, worry not my friends.
Plus, the animation for this series was quite good, too.
I’m not sure what more needs to be said here since I already mentioned the biggest downside to this series. Nekopara was quite dull.
Expanding on that notion, this series was all-around safe. Like I said earlier, this show wasn’t a trainwreck. Therefore, on the one hand, that was a good thing because I would always rather be bored than annoyed. On the other hand, Nekopara was, indeed, boring.
This series did every conceivable slice-of-life trope you can imagine. There was a sports day episode, swimsuit episode, studying for a test episode, health check episode, and so on until the final credits. The only different thing was that most of the characters had cat ears.
I suppose if you were to watch this series one episode a day with absolutely nothing better to do, then I guess you might be satisfied with it. However, I would highly encourage you not to do what I did and marathon the thing. Doing that wasn’t a painful experience, not by a long shot. But by episode four, it became clear that I was no longer absorbing anything that was happening. This show was background noise even though it was right in front of my face.
“Okay, then Odyssey,” I can hear you asking, “What of the characters? A slice-of-life series is only as good as its cast.”
That is true, and the story remains the same.
The characters, the situations, the humor, hell, even the fanservice was all vanilla; no pop, no pizzaz, merely existence. Again, Nekopara wasn’t even bad enough to for me to complain about it. This series was simply a quick attempt at capitalizing on baseline cuteness — nothing more, nothing less.
Cute cat-girls doing cute cat-girl things.
Does that idea interest you in the slightest? If it does, then, by all means, give this show a look. It’s safe; it’s tame; it’s not anything.
Conversely, if you think you don’t need to waste your time on a series like this, then it is best if you follow your instincts.
I am not going to be recommending Nekopara because it was so bland, but you already know whether this is the series for you or not.
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Nekopara? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.