Nekopara

Nekopara

Nekopara anime series cover art
Nekopara

Series Overview

Nekopara (ネコぱら) is a portmanteau of neko, Japanese for cat, and paradise, English for paradise. So Nekopara literally just means “Cat’s Paradise.” Wow! With a name like that it must be such a cute and wholesome series!

In fact, that’s exactly what it is. This anime is just a cute, wholesome, slice of life series. But, you may also be familiar with the Nekopara visual novels on which this anime was based. And if you know anything about those visual novels, you’ll know that they’re actually eroge, which means 18+ due to sexual content.

Full disclosure here: I’ve never actually played Nekopara, but I have seen all of the 18+ scenes from the games.

So, since there’s no 18+ content in the anime, what’s it even about? Well, this is a world in which catgirls exist, except they’re literally just the cats of this world. They aren’t referred to as catgirls, and as far as I know there aren’t cats that aren’t catgirls. They’re just the cats of this world — if that makes sense.

And if that didn’t make sense, then I’m sorry, but it’s about to get even more confusing. Since catgirls are essentially animals, that’s also somewhat how they’re treated. They have owners, they go to the vet, etc. But they also have a pseudo-human side as well which makes the fact that they’re literally owned a bit strange.

They can speak to people, they look like humans other than their ears and tail, and if they prove that they understand human society, they can even be awarded a bell which lets them go out in public without their owner. Also, they work jobs just like a human would, with the girls of this series working in a cafe.

Anime Reception

I didn’t rate this series all that high, but as you’ll see in the conclusion of this review, the score I gave it is pretty standard for me when it comes to this kind of anime. However, what I found surprising was just how low this series has been rated by the Western anime community as a whole.

MAL has it rated at a 6.85, which, if you know anything about ratings on MAL, is extremely low. Further, all of the other reviews I’ve seen for this series actually have it rated even lower than that.

So what went wrong with the Nekopara anime?

Chocola and Vanilla from the anime series Nekopara
Chocola and Vanilla

As far as I can tell, the main issues most people have with this anime have to do with their expectations vs. the reality of the series. The series itself is pretty good, and it’s exactly what I expected it would be when I learned it was getting an anime. But it seems that wasn’t the case for most people.

One of the major “complaints” I’ve seen about this anime is that all of the 18+ content from the visual novels was removed. And my response to that is, of course it was — this is an anime, not hentai. Sure, it could have been turned into an ecchi series, but that probably would have gotten a worse reception.

As an ecchi, the people who want it to be hentai like the games would still be unsatisfied. And, the people who like the cute, slice of life nature of the anime in its current form would have been put off from it as well.

The other big complaint I’ve seen is that there’s no real development throughout the series. Again, that’s not an issue with the series. That’s just a product of the fact that it’s an episodic, slice of life anime. It was never trying to tell a story.

Ranking the Catgirls

This is the part of the review you’ve all been waiting for. My official ranking of the seven catgirls as they appear in the Nekopara anime. Let’s see if any of you can correctly predict my rankings.

In first place we have Azuki. That’s right, I bet none of you saw that one coming. Azuki is the only catgirl whose name isn’t an English word for a food, or a derivative thereof. Azuki is red bean paste in Japanese. And as for why I like Azuki, she’s the oldest of the catgirls, but also has the smallest body size, which is high tier.

Second is Chocola, one of the two classics. And the other classic, Vanilla, comes in third place. Chocola and Vanilla are pretty even for me, but I do like Chocola’s outgoing personality and twin-tail hairstyle just a bit more than Vanilla.

Coconut and Azuki from the anime series Nekopara
Coconut and Azuki

The fourth catgirl on my list is somewhat of a dark horse. I’m putting Cacao here. I can see a lot of people not liking Cacao because she’s a literal child, but also I can see a lot of people liking her because she’s cute. For me, she’s basically mid-tier. Not much personality, but still cute.

Maple is the proud owner of fifth place on my list. She’s very close to being tied with Cacao, though. I like her design, but I think her relationship with the sixth catgirl on this list, Cinnamon, probably brings her down a bit. I don’t like Cinnamon much, and her infatuation with Maple peeing is a bit weird.

And in last place, we have the worst catgirl of them all, Coconut, also known as “Nuts.” I’ll be honest, the fact that Nuts is the largest of the catgirls is a major reason why she’s bottom tier. She’s also kind of a gyaru character, which is basically a valley girl if you’re more familiar with that term.

Conclusion

Overall, the Nekopara anime series is a 6/10 from me. It was an enjoyable slice of life series with good art and cute characters. I can’t really ask for much more than that from a fairly standard cute (cat)girls doing cute things anime.

The OP and ED are also both pretty good for this series. The OP is definitely the better of the two in my opinion, though. Unfortunately, I can’t really say the OST stood out at all considering I literally don’t remember any of it.

If you enjoyed this review or found it to be helpful in any way, let me know by clicking the like button ❤ down below. While you’re down there, why not leave a comment with your ranking of the seven catgirls too?

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