ADV Films // 2004 // 100 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Gutierrez (Retired) // May 13th, 2004
"This is pointless." -- Ryunosuke Natsume
And we're off again. What has changed since All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku TV: Keep the Peace on Earth (Volume 1)? What makes All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku TV: Love Attack! (Volume 2) so special? Not much. This time around, the writers of this animated teen melodrama have chosen to spotlight Nuku Nuku's supporting cast.
Same as before (because nothing ever changes): Nuku Nuku was a cat whose brain is implanted inside the robotic body of a teenage girl. Entrusted to the care of her inventor's son, Ryunosuke Natsume, Nuku Nuku tries to fit in as a normal high school student in Japan. The rub: Nuku Nuku is prone to exhibit cat-like behavior -- like chasing mice or licking herself. Nuku Nuku also does battle with the robotic constructions of Mishima Industries (or Black Industries).
The humor continues to fall flat. I do, I try to find something funny here, but I just cannot. I appreciate slapstick, sarcasm, dark comedy, puns, naughty limericks, and, at times, prop comedy. I just can't see what's so funny about a drop of sweat the size of character's head or why it is that these characters just don't learn.
I suppose that the gimmick of having a cat-brained android has run its course in the first episodes, forcing the writers to focus upon the supporting cast and employ a romance theme throughout this latest quartet. I have to admit, the stories have improved somewhat from the last volume. Two of the four episodes were slightly enjoyable, while the other two were grating and difficult to see through to the end.
As before, Ryunosuke stands out as the one character who is not over the top, insane, or annoying. It's a lonely place for him in this world of robot insanity, terrible singing, and moronic behavior. The other characters are all either maniacal, annoying, or plot devices. I'm disappointed that I don't see more available for Ryunosuke to do.
I have to hand to the producers of this DVD for coming up with some nutty episode titles. Some spoilers below, so beware.
Episode 1: "Nuku Nuku is Touched! Futaba's First Love!"
A book of poetry hypnotizes Futaba, the class president, into falling in love with a bookstore clerk. The book is actually a device created by Mishima Industries to hypnotize people into buying their products. Also, Nuku Nuku does battle with an evil answering machine. Terrible. It actually gets far, far worse before it gets better.
Episode 2: "Nuku Nuku's Mid Summer Battle! Trap of the Esper
Ever wonder what it would be like if the Spice Girls had psychic powers? Or what would happen if an evil corporation built a huge underwater facility that was a big trap complete with a robotic octopus? These questions, and more, are answered in the worst episode of the lot. Coincidentally enough, this is the only episode that spotlights Nuku Nuku.
Episode 3: "Nuku Nuku's Goes Across Time! Proposal At the Bon
This episode is exactly like the first two Back to the Future films. After accidentally traveling to a dark alternate timeline, Ryunosuke and Nuku Nuku travel back in time to ensure that his parents get together. My favorite of the four, Ryunosuke's parents finally get some development. It's odd that his mother works for the corporation his father is sworn to take down, yet neither of them cares to know or catches on. This episode made me care about Ryunosuke's family for a few minutes, even if I had seen it all before, and shows that if some character development were encouraged these shows would be a good deal better. More robots, this time a giant frog-type thing and one made of two shoes.
Episode 4: "Nuku Nuku and the Mystery of the Universe! An Encounter
with Michi-Michi, a Mysterious Life Form!"
Mouse-like alien Michi-Michi is hot for teacher, Mr. Yamagata. Unfortunately, Michi-Michi has an aversion to light and is on Earth for one night only. Some good stuff in this episode: very little Nuku Nuku and a neat introduction to the Michi-Michi character. Two-thirds of the episode centers around rodent alien Michi-Michi trying to convince Mr. Yamagata that they belong together. This episode gains momentum until its terrible, cop-out ending.
I find the less high-pitched voices, the better. The episode focusing on the Esper Girls was painful to my ears. The voice acting was overdone a majority of the time. I understand that the exaggerated pitches and tones are a staple to this type of anime, but they only serve to drive me away. Like a hostage, I had to find a happy place in my mind to get through much of the dialogue. The English voice actors overdid it a bit more than their Japanese counterparts. Luckily, watching this in Japanese allows me to turn down the volume and just make my way through the subtitles.
Technically speaking, I encountered moments of grain on the picture, but otherwise felt like an adequate transfer. The sound was adequate as well.
This DVD is perfect for those who do not need to see character development and enjoy watching the same episode again and again. As in the first volume, every episode begins with a quick synopsis of what Nuku Nuku is for those first time viewers. The DVD also allows the viewing of "clean" versions of the opening and closing credits, unhampered by any text or subtitles.
Not as bad as before. Given lots of work, this DVD series can get better. It's already showing a few signs of improvement. I should think fans of the first volume will eat this one up. Still, though, this isn't my cup of tea. I don't have high hopes for Volume Three. I know it's coming...I saw the previews.
Someone really needs to put this cat down. All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku TV: Love Attack! (Volume 2) is removed from this courtroom.
Review content copyright © 2004 David Gutierrez; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (Japanese)
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Clean Opening and Closing Animation
* ADV Previews