Nekopara

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Nekopara
Nekopara Vol. 1 Cover.jpg
Nekopara Vol. 1 cover art
ネコぱら
Genre(s)Visual novel
Developer(s)Neko Works
Publisher(s)Sekai Project (Windows)
CFK (PS4, Switch)
Creator(s)Sayori
Platform(s)
First releaseNekopara Vol. 1
December 30, 2014
Latest releaseNekopara Vol. 4
November 27, 2020
Original video animation
Directed byHayashi Hiroki
Produced byAnkou
Takashi Nakanishi
Written byYūta Kikuchi
Music byYūgo Maeda
Studioixtl
Felix Film
ReleasedDecember 22, 2017
Runtime58 minutes
Manga
Illustrated byTam-U
Published byASCII Media Works
English publisher
MagazineDengeki G's Comic
DemographicSeinen
Original runMay 30, 2018 – present
Original video animation
Nekopara Extra
Directed byYasutaka Yamamoto
Produced byAnkou
Takashi Nakanishi
Written byGō Zappa
Music byYūgo Maeda
Studioanchor[a]
Felix Film
ReleasedJuly 27, 2018
Runtime21 minutes
Anime television series
Directed byYasutaka Yamamoto
Written byGō Zappa
Music byAkiyuki Tateyama
StudioFelix Film
Licensed byFunimation
Original networkAT-X, Tokyo MX, BS11
English network
Original run January 9, 2020 March 26, 2020
Episodes12 (List of episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Nekopara (Japanese: ネコぱら) is a series of visual novels developed by Neko Works and published by Sekai Project. The first game in the series, Nekopara Vol. 1, was released in December 2014.[1] The series is set in a world where humans live alongside catgirls, known as "Nekos".

An all-ages anime OVA adaptation was released on Steam in December 2017; it became one of the top earners in Steam in December 2017.[2]

An anime television series adaptation by Felix Film premiered from January to March 2020. The anime is licensed in English-speaking regions by Funimation.[3]

Gameplay[edit]

Nekopara is a visual novel series, so the majority of the gameplay consists of the player reading the game's story. Nekopara does not offer choices to the player throughout gameplay, and the player has no influence over the story. The games are fully voiced (except for the protagonist) and use a system called "E-mote" that allows the in-game characters to be animated, instead of stationary sprites.[4] Nekopara Vol. 0 added a new feature where the player can click on characters in-game, to "pet" them. The characters will react in different ways depending on where the player pets them.

Plot[edit]

Vol. 0[edit]

This prequel to Vol. 1 provides a look at a day in the life of Shigure and the six catgirls in the family home. There is little to no involvement of the previous protagonist Kashou Minaduki.

Vol. 1[edit]

Kashou Minaduki is an aspiring chef who moves away from home to open his own confection shop. While he is unpacking in his new shop, he discovers that two of his family's Nekos, Chocola and Vanilla, came along with him by hiding in cardboard boxes. After the two Nekos convince Kashou to let them stay and live with him, the three of them work together to run his shop, La Soleil. During the story, Kashou receives a couple of visits from his younger sister Shigure and the other four Nekos owned by their family.

Vol. 2[edit]

Shigure and the other four Nekos, Azuki, Cinnamon, Maple, and Coconut, begin working at La Soleil. This part focuses primarily on Azuki and Coconut and their sometimes contentious relationship as they struggle to find their place at the shop.

Vol. 3[edit]

The story of La Soleil continues. This part focuses primarily on Cinnamon and Maple and their strong relationship when Maple is trying to make a dream come true.

Vol. 4[edit]

La Soleil and the Minaduki family prepare to enter the Christmas season. This part focuses primarily on Kashou and figuring out what baking truly means to him so he can do his mentor proud and earn the approval of his father.

Extra[edit]

Taking place six months before Vol 1, this part focuses on the Minaduki household back when Chocola and Vanilla were kittens struggling to adapt to the family.

Characters[edit]

Kashou Minaduki (水無月 嘉祥, Minazuki Kashou)
Voiced by: Shinnosuke Tachibana (OVA, TV series),[5][6] unvoiced in visual novels (Japanese); Seth Magill (TV series only) (English)
Kashou is the protagonist of most of the visual novel games in the series. Kashou comes from a family with a long line of chefs, and decides to move away from home and open his own confection shop despite his parents' wishes. It is revealed that Kashou studied abroad in France and sought to honor his mentor by focusing his baking talents towards Western-style confections, naming his pâtisserie La Soleil after his mentor's own pâtisserie.
Chocola (ショコラ, Shokora)
Voiced by: Maki Tomonaga[7] (credited as Himari in visual novels);[8] Yuki Yagi (TV series)[6] (Japanese); Bryn Apprill (TV series only) (English)
Chocola is a cheerful and energetic brown-haired neko; she is often described as "happy go lucky" and always describes herself in the third person. She is Vanilla's twin sister and moved in with Kashou after he started his own business.
Vanilla (バニラ, Banira)
Voiced by: Yuka Inokuchi[9] (credited as Amu Nakamura in visual novels);[10] Iori Saeki (TV series)[6] (Japanese); Natalie Hoover (TV series only) (English)
Vanilla is a calm and quiet white-haired Neko. She rarely expresses her emotions, making her a somewhat of a kūdere character. She loves her twin sister Chocola, and often follows her anywhere she goes. She and Chocola are the youngest of the Minaduki family nekos throughout most of the series.
Shigure Minaduki (水無月 時雨, Minazuki Shigure)
Voiced by: Mai Nagai[11] (credited as Emi Sakura in visual novels);[12] M.A.O (TV series)[6] (Japanese); Emily Fajardo (TV series only (English)
Kashou's younger sister. She appears to have romantic feelings for Kashou in an incestuous way. She and her older brother are the owners of the Minaduki family Nekos.
Azuki (アズキ)
Voiced by: Mia Naruse;[13][14] Shiori Izawa (TV series)[6] (Japanese); Luci Christian (TV series only) (English)
Azuki is the oldest of the Minaduki family Nekos. Despite being the oldest, she is also the shortest and has a mischievous personality. However, she lives up to being the eldest catgirl by effortlessly managing and leading her sisters as they work in Kashou's cafe. She also has a tsundere personality, acting sarcastic and tough to hide her real emotions towards everyone. She is a Munchkin cat.
Maple (メイプル, Meipuru)
Voiced by: Yui Ogura;[15][16] Miku Itō (TV series)[6] (Japanese); Anastasia Munoz, Jad Saxton (Young Maple) (TV series only) (English)
Maple is the second oldest of the Minaduki family Nekos. She has an independent/mature personality, as well as a hint of tsundere given that she is typically dishonest with herself. She enjoying visiting cafes to try different food and drinks. She aspires to be a singer but is held back by her own lack of self-confidence as well as the prospect that she will only ever make it big because she is a catgirl. She is an American Curl.
Cinnamon (シナモン, Shinamon)
Voiced by: Tae Okajima (OVA)[17] (credited as Uyu Arisaka in the visual novels);[18] Yuri Noguchi (TV series)[6] (Japanese); Kristen McGuire (TV series only) (English)
Cinnamon is the third oldest of the Minaduki family Nekos. She frequently interprets things in a sexual manner and ends up becoming aroused. She has the largest bust size of all the Nekos. She is closest to Maple and thus aspires to be by her side to support her life decisions. She is a Scottish Fold with purple hair.
Coconut (ココナツ, Kokonatsu)
Voiced by: Ryōko Tezuka (visual novels)[19] (credited as Megumi Tateishi in the OVA);[20] Marin Mizutani (TV series)[6] (Japanese); Morgan Garrett (TV series only) (English)
Coconut is the third youngest of the Minaduki family Nekos. Other characters praise her for her "cool" personality, but she wishes she were cute rather than cool. She suffers from low self-esteem because of her klutziness and self-proclaimed lack of skills. She also tries to do more than she can to seem more like an older sister, as well as to not seem to burden to Kashou and the other catgirls. She has heterochromia, with her right eye being orange and left eye being blue. She is a Maine Coon.
Cacao (カカオ, Kakao)
Voiced by: Yūka Morishima (TV series only)[21] (Japanese); Tabitha Ray (TV series only) (English)
Cacao is a character who debuted in the animated series. She has mint green hair and always wears a hat. She was formerly a homeless Neko before being brought into the Minaduki household by Chocola.

Release history[edit]

Release timeline
2014Vol. 1
2015Vol. 0
2016Vol. 2
2017Vol. 3
2018Extra
2019
2020Vol. 4

Nekopara Vol. 1, was released in two versions: an uncensored adult version that includes explicit sex scenes and nudity, and a censored all ages version where the explicit content is removed.[22] Volume 1 received a release date of December 30, 2014.[23][24] An all ages Fan disc titled Nekopara Vol. 0 was released on August 17, 2015.[25][26] Nekopara Vol. 2 was released on February 20, 2016.[27] Nekopara Vol. 3 was originally scheduled to be released on April 28, 2017,[28] but was later delayed to May 26, 2017.[29] Shortly after volume 3 was released, Neko Works announced that volume 4 was "coming soon".[30] It was later revealed that volume 4 was scheduled for November 27, 2020.[31]

Nekopara was ported and released on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch in 2018.[32]

A spin-off game, NEKOPALIVE, was released on Steam on June 1, 2016.[33]

A mini visual novel based on the childhood of Chocola and Vanilla was confirmed to be produced after reaching the $800 000 stretch goal on the Nekopara OVA Kickstarter.[34] It was later announced that the title would be Nekopara Extra, and was released on July 27, 2018.[35]

Sales[edit]

As of May 2016, the Nekopara series had sold over 500,000 copies.[36] By April 2017, that number had doubled, surpassing one million copies.[37] One year later, in April 2018, the series had sold over 2 million copies.[38] as of April 2020, the series has sold 3 million copies on Steam.[39]

Reception[edit]

Hardcore Gamer gave Nekopara Vol. 1 a positive review, stating that " Nekopara is a light and fluffy visual novel that fans of catgirls will enjoy," but noted that "some may be put off by the sexual storyline aspect."[40]

Adaptations[edit]

Anime[edit]

OVA[edit]

In July 2016, Sekai Project announced that it would be running a Kickstarter campaign to fund an all-ages Nekopara original video animation adaptation.[41] The campaign launched in December 2016, and reached its US$100,000 funding goal "mere hours" after launching.[42] The campaign ended on Kickstarter on February 11, 2017, and raised US$963,376 from 9,322 backers,[43] however, was extended in order to reach the final stretch goal. In March 2017, the campaign formally ended on Sekai Project's "slacker backer" service, and raised a total of US$1,049,552.[44] On December 4, 2017, Sekai Project announced that the OVA would be released on December 26, 2017,[45] however, was later moved to December 22, 2017 due to a shipping error by Tokyo Otaku Mode, the company responsible for physical goods.[46]

The opening theme for the OVA is "Baby→Lady LOVE" by Ray, while the ending theme is "▲MEW▲△MEW△CAKE" by Kotoko.

A second OVA, based on the Nekopara Extra visual novel, was released alongside the visual novel on July 27, 2018.[47] The ending theme for Nekopara Extra is Symphony by Luce Twinkle Wink☆.[48]

Television anime[edit]

During the Comiket 95 event, it was announced that an anime television series adaptation was in production.[49] The series is animated by Felix Film and directed by Yasutaka Yamamoto, with Gō Zappa handling series composition, Yuichi Hirano designing the characters, and Akiyuki Tateyama composing the music.[6] The first episode of the television anime premiered at Anime Expo 2019 on July 6, 2019,[50] and the first two episodes aired at a special event in Tokyo on December 24, 2019.[51] The series premiered on January 9, 2020 through March 26, 2020 on AT-X, Tokyo MX, and BS11.[52] The opening theme for the anime is "Shiny Happy Days" by Yuki Yagi, Iori Saeki, Shiori Izawa, Miku Itō, Yuri Noguchi, and Marin Mizutani, and the ending theme is "Yōdamari no Kaori" (陽だまりの香り) by Yagi and Saeki.[53] The series has aired for 12 episodes.[54] Funimation acquired the series for distribution in North America, the British Isles, and Australasia, streaming the series on FunimationNow, Wakanim and AnimeLab, and produced an English dub for the series.[3] The series simulcasts in Southeast Asia on Aniplus Asia.

Manga[edit]

A manga adaptation illustrated by Tam-U is currently being published in Dengeki G's Comic magazine.[55] The manga began serialisation in the July issue of Dengeki G's Comic on May 30, 2018.[56] During Anime Expo 2018, Sekai Project announced that they would release the manga in English digitally, with the first chapter scheduled for release in August 2018.[57]

Mobile games[edit]

In 2019, a mobile game adaptation of the series, Nekoparaiten!, was announced; its release was planned to take place in 2020.[58] Its creators described Nekoparaiten! as a "romance simulation" game.[59]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ ixtl renamed to anchor in between productions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NEKOPARA Vol. 1 on Steam". Valve. December 5, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  2. ^ http://store.steampowered.com/sale/2017_top_new_releases/
  3. ^ a b Mateo, Alex (January 3, 2020). "Funimation to Stream Nekopara, BOFURI Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  4. ^ "Meet the Catgirls of Sekai Project's Visual Novel Nekopara Vol 1". Silicon Era. December 29, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  5. ^ "Character: Minaduki Kashou". Nekopara OVA. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Neko Works Reveals Nekopara TV Anime Details, Nekopara Vol. 4 Game Title". Anime News Network. June 29, 2019. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  7. ^ "Character: Chocola". Nekopara OVA. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  8. ^ "ショコラ". Nekopara (in Japanese). Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  9. ^ "Character: Vanilla". Nekopara OVA. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  10. ^ "バニラ". Nekopara (in Japanese). Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  11. ^ "Character: Minaduki Shigure". Nekopara OVA. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  12. ^ "水無月 時雨". Nekopara (in Japanese). Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  13. ^ "アズキ". Nekopara (in Japanese). Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  14. ^ "Character: Azuki". Nekopara OVA. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  15. ^ "メイプル". Nekopara (in Japanese). Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  16. ^ "Character: Maple". Nekopara OVA. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  17. ^ "Character: Cinnamon". Nekopara OVA. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  18. ^ "シナモン". Nekopara (in Japanese). Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  19. ^ "ココナツ". Nekopara (in Japanese). Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  20. ^ "Character: Coconut". Nekopara OVA. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  21. ^ "???". TV Anime Nekopara. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  22. ^ "The Sex Games That Steam Censors". Kotaku. January 21, 2015. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  23. ^ "Catgirl visual novel Nekopara out today on Steam". Destructoid. December 29, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  24. ^ "Sekai Project Adds Nekopara Vol. 1 Visual Novel to Steam Greenlight". Anime News Network. November 12, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  25. ^ "【ダウンロード版】ネコぱらvol.0~水無月ネコたちの日常!" (in Japanese). Neko Works. August 15, 2015. Archived from the original on October 22, 2016. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  26. ^ "NEKOPARA Vol. 0 on Steam". Valve. August 12, 2015. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  27. ^ "NEKOPARA Vol. 2 on Steam". Valve. February 12, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  28. ^ @sekaiproject (January 5, 2017). "NEKOPARA Vol 3 Trailer!! www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmtUVUQWt5g" (Tweet). Retrieved April 11, 2017 – via Twitter.
  29. ^ @nekopara_pr (April 9, 2017). "Notice of Delay for the Release of NekoPara Vol. 3" (Tweet). Retrieved April 10, 2017 – via Twitter.
  30. ^ "Nekopara Vol. 4 Announced by Neko Works". Hardcore Gamer. May 29, 2017. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  31. ^ NEKO WORKs@Official [@nekopara_pr] (September 10, 2020). ネコぱらvol.4 ネコとパティシェのノエル SteamページとOPムービーを公開しました! 2020年11月27日 パッケージ版&DL版発売予定! https://store.steampowered.com/app/1406990/NEKOPARA_Vol_4/ (Tweet). Retrieved September 15, 2020 – via Twitter.
  32. ^ "Nekopara coming to PS4, Switch". Gematsu. January 28, 2018. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  33. ^ "NEKOPALIVE". Steam. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  34. ^ Sekai Project (February 10, 2017). "Update #13 - Mini VN Stretch Goal REACHED!". Kickstarter. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  35. ^ @sayori_nw (July 7, 2018). "ネコぱらExtra ゲームとアニメが発表されました!7月27日steamで配信予定です!" (Tweet). Retrieved July 7, 2018 – via Twitter.
  36. ^ @nekopara_pr (May 4, 2016). "ネコぱらシリーズの売り上げが累計50万本突破しました" (Tweet) (in Japanese). Retrieved April 10, 2017 – via Twitter.
  37. ^ @nekopara_pr (April 1, 2017). "Nekopara series surpassed one million copies total" (Tweet). Retrieved April 2, 2017 – via Twitter.
  38. ^ "Nekopara Games Have Sold 2 Million Copies". Anime News Network. April 25, 2018. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  39. ^ @nekopara_pr (April 15, 2020). "Nekopara series has been sold over 3 million copies on Steam" (Tweet). Retrieved April 18, 2020 – via Twitter.
  40. ^ "Review: Nekopara Vol. 1". Hardcore Gamer. December 29, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  41. ^ "Sekai Project, Degica Plan to Launch Kickstarters for NEKOPARA Anime, Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien Game Remake". Anime News Network. July 4, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  42. ^ "Nekopara Anime Kickstarter Funded on First Day". Hardcore Gamer. December 28, 2016. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  43. ^ ""Nekopara" Anime OVA Kickstarter Crushes Goal With $963K Total". Crunchyroll. February 13, 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  44. ^ "Nekopara OVA Crowdfunding Meets Final Goal in Overtime". Anime News Network. March 9, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  45. ^ "Update #31 Shipping Alert! Shipping Alert!". Kickstarter. December 4, 2017. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  46. ^ "Digital Keys Going Out to Backers Ahead of Schedule". Kickstarter. December 22, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  47. ^ "Update #44 Update on NEKOPARA Extra Game and OVA!". Kickstarter. July 8, 2018. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  48. ^ "Nekopara OVA". Neko Works. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  49. ^ "Nekopara Visual Novel Gets TV Anime". Anime News Network. December 28, 2018. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  50. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (May 25, 2019). "Anime Expo Hosts Capcom's Yoshinori Ono, Nekopara's Sayori, Nekopara TV Anime Premiere". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
  51. ^ 第1話・第2話☆クリスマスイヴ先行上映会のお知らせ. Nekopara Anime Official Website. November 29, 2019. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  52. ^ "Nekopara TV Anime Premieres in January 2020". Anime News Network. November 10, 2019. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  53. ^ "Nekopara TV Anime's Promo Video Reveals January 9 Debut, Theme Songs". Anime News Network. November 29, 2019. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  54. ^ TVアニメ「ネコぱら」Blu-ray BOX. Nekopara Anime Official Website. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  55. ^ "Catgirl-Themed Visual Novel "Nekopara" Gets a Manga Makeover". Crunchyroll. December 30, 2017. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  56. ^ Ressler, Karen (April 15, 2018). "Manga Briefs Roundup: March 2018". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  57. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (July 7, 2018). "Sekai Project Adds NEKOPARA Extra, 6 Other Games". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  58. ^ Rift (2019-07-05). "Nekoparaiten Going the Way of the Gacha". Sankaku Complex. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  59. ^ "Nekoparaiten! announced for smartphones". Gematsu. 2019-07-04. Retrieved 2019-07-11.

External links[edit]