ADV Films // 2002 // 75 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Gutierrez (Retired) // July 21st, 2005
No matter your politics, some shows make a strong case in favor of animal cruelty.
When scientist Kyusaka Natusume took the brain of a cat and placed it into an Androbot shell, he ended up with the mentally challenged, overly strong teenager Nuku Nuku. He appointed his son, Ryunosuke, to be her guide, tutor, and constant reminder that Nuku Nuku must never reveal her identity as a robot. While she tries to adapt to living amongst humans and attending school, she must also do battle with the crazed robot creations of Mishima Industry (AKA the subtly named Black Industry).
Few things are potentially funnier than the stark juxtaposition of a cat-brained robot girl learning to be human in high school. Somehow, the makers of All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku TV -- Life on the Streets (Vol. 3) continue to miss the mark in the penultimate volume of their DVD series.
In this volume, Nuku Nuku takes a slight detour from its wacky zaniness and dips its toe into the sappy sentimentality pool. Of course, the show wouldn't be itself without Nuku Nuku's failed attempts at slapstick.
The DVD contains two episodes and one special. Beware, as spoilers follow:
* Episode 1: Nuku Nuku Runs! The Great Sports Festival! Is That Right?
A nifty, explosive title for a not-so-nifty episode, in which Nuku Nuku receives a challenge over the last fried noodle bun. Chaos escalates into a case of towering robots. This is a poor opening episode that sets expectations where they belong when watching this series: it keeps them low.
* Episode 2: Nuku Nuku and Ryunosuke! It Was a Very Alligator Night
Ryunosuke, the voice of the audience, falls victim to science gone bad, when he's turned into an alligator. Trust this review, when I say that the episode description is funnier than the episode itself.
* Special 1: Nuku Nuku Wonders. Happy New Year. I Was Dumped.
Nuku Nuku wakes up one morning and finds her entire family has deserted her on the Japanese New Year. Sometimes touching and wistful, the final episode of the DVD is its strongest. Nuku Nuku's sadness manages to transcend the annoying voice acting and instill some emotional response. If the prior two episodes of had been this good, the series would have elevated itself to a comfortable level of mediocrity.
As I've noted in previous reviews, the humor employed by this series is lost on me. Perhaps I'm too old or cynical to get it. Perhaps it just isn't there. I found myself siding with Ryunosuke most of the time. He realizes the ridiculousness of his situation and isn't afraid to comment on it. It's disappointing that the only episode that focuses on him turns him into an idiot and a reptile for the most of its running time.
The acting is terrible. What is it about English-dubbed Japanese animation that causes its actors to go completely over the top? Does it all have to be so high pitched and screechy? Every line is over-delivered. Someone needs to school these people in the art of subtlety.
Special features on this disc include clean opening and closing credits and previews for other ADV releases. At least the video and audio quality is thematically consistent with the rest of the DVD in its unevenness. The full frame picture varies from fuzzy to almost clear. I didn't hear any problems with the sound. At least they got something right.
If someone has gotten this far in the All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku TV series of DVDs, they might as well give this one a try. It's in the same vein as the first two installments, with a better than average Special. Otherwise, avoid All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku TV -- Life on the Streets (Vol. 3) altogether.
This court finds All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku TV -- Life on the Streets (Vol. 3) guilty of bad comedy, bad voice acting and robbing me of over an hour of my life. Case dismissed.
Review content copyright © 2005 David Gutierrez; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 75 Minutes
Release Year: 2002
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Clean Opening and Closing Animation
* ADV Films Previews
* All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku TV -- Keep the Peace On Earth (Vol. 1)
* All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku TV -- Love Attack (Vol. 2)