Nekopara

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Nekopara
Nekopara Vol. 1 Cover.jpg
Nekopara Vol. 1 cover art
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 Extra
July 27, 2018

Nekopara (Japanese: ネコぱら) is a series of adult visual novels developed by Neko Works and published by Sekai Project. The first game in the series, Nekopara Vol. 1, was released on December 30, 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 on January 9, 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. 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. 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. With little to no involvement of the previous protagonist Kashou Minaduki.

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.

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
The protagonist of the series. Kashou comes from a long line of chefs, and decides to move away from home and open his own confection shop.
Chocola (ショコラ, Shokora)
Voiced by: Maki Tomonaga[7] (credited as Himari in visual novels);[8] Yuki Yagi (TV series)[6]
Chocola is a cheerful and energetic brown haired Neko. She is very fond of Kashou, and calls him "master". She could not bear the thought of being separated from her master, so she came along with him when he moved to his new shop. She is Vanilla's twin sister.
Vanilla (バニラ, Banira)
Voiced by: Yuka Inokuchi[9] (credited as Amu Nakamura in visual novels);[10] Iori Saeki (TV series)[6]
Vanilla is a quiet and calm white haired Neko. She rarely expresses her emotions, making her a somewhat of a kūdere character. She loves her twin sister Chocola, and will follow her anywhere she goes. Chocola and Vanilla are the youngest of the Minaduki family Nekos.
Shigure Minaduki (水無月 時雨, Minazuki Shigure)
Voiced by: Emi Sakura (visual novels);[11] Mai Nagai (OVA);[12] M.A.O (TV series)[6]
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]
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]
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]
Cinnamon is the third oldest of the Minaduki family Nekos. She has a dirty mind, so she frequently interprets things in a sexual manner, and ends up becoming aroused. She has the largest busts of all the Nekos. She is closest with Maple, and thus aspires to be by her side to support her life decisions. She is a Scottish Fold, though her fur is purple.
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]
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 not seem burdening to Kashou and the other catgirls. She has heterochromia, with her right eye being orange and left eye being blue. She was revealed that she tries to be someone she's not. She is a Maine Coon.

Release history[edit]

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

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.[21] Volume 1 received a release date of December 30, 2014.[22][23] An all ages Fan disc titled Nekopara Vol. 0 was released on August 17, 2015.[24][25] Nekopara Vol. 2 was released on February 20, 2016.[26] Nekopara Vol. 3 was originally scheduled to be released on April 28, 2017,[27] but was later delayed to May 26, 2017.[28] Shortly after volume 3 was released, Neko Works announced that volume 4 was "coming soon".[29] Nekopara was released on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch in 2018.[30]

A spin-off game, NekopaLive, was released on Steam on June 1, 2016.[31]

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.[32] It was later announced that the title would be Nekopara Extra, and was released on July 27, 2018.[33]

Sales[edit]

As of May 2016, the Nekopara series had sold over 500,000 copies.[34] By April 2017, that number had doubled, surpassing one million copies.[35] One year later, in April 2018, the series had sold over 2 million copies.[36]

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."[37]

Adaptations[edit]

Nekopara
ネコぱら
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
DemographicSeinen
MagazineDengeki G's Comic
Original runMay 30, 2018 – present
Original video animation
Nekopara Extra
Directed byYasutaka Yamamoto
Produced byAnkou
Takashi Nakanishi
Written byGō Zappa
Music byYūgo Maeda
Studioanchor
Felix Film
ReleasedJuly 27, 2018
Runtime21 minutes
Anime television series
Directed byYasutaka Yamamoto
Written byGō Zappa
Music byAkiyuki Tateyama
StudioFelix Film
Licensed byFunimation[38]
Original networkAT-X, Tokyo MX, BS11
Original run January 9, 2020 – present
Episodes12 (List of episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

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.[39] The campaign launched in December 2016, and reached its US$100,000 funding goal "mere hours" after launching.[40] The campaign ended on Kickstarter on February 11, 2017, and raised US$963,376 from 9,322 backers,[41] 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.[42] On December 4, 2017, Sekai Project announced that the OVA would be released on December 26, 2017,[43] however, was later moved to December 22, 2017 due to a shipping error by Tokyo Otaku Mode, the company responsible for physical goods.[44]

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.[45] The ending theme for Nekopara Extra is Symphony by Luce Twinkle Wink☆.[46]

No.TitleOriginal air date
OVA–1"Nekopara"
Transcription: "Nekopara OVA" (Japanese: ネコぱらOVA)
December 22, 2017 (2017-12-22)
Kashou Minaduki and his younger sister Shigure find two young nekos out in the rain and bring them home. He names them Chocola and Vanilla and raises them as his family. One day, Kashou moves out and decides to open a bakery, but discovers that both Chocola and Vanilla stowed away in the moving boxes in order to stay with him. Though he is initially against them living with him and wants them to go back home with his sister and the rest of the family's nekos, he eventually relents and allows them to stay if they work at the bakery with him. Later on, Kashou is informed that for nekos to work and live in society, they are required to pass an exam and earn a bell. The rest of the family's nekos, which include Azuki, the eldest but shortest, Maple, who is slightly arrogant and is a tsundere, Cinnamon, who has a dirty mind and purple fur, and Coconut, the tallest but laziest, all have passed the exam and received a bell. Shigure decides to prepare Chocola and Vanilla for the exam and teaches them what they need to know. After some initial stumbles, they pass the test and earn their bells. Kashou rewards the pair by taking them to an amusement park and an aquarium. However, after getting splashed with water during a whale show, Kashou comes down with a fever and is bedridden. Worried, Chocola and Vanilla run out to try to find a doctor, but forget to bring their bells and are stopped by police. As they're about to be taken into custody for being a couple of strays, Kashou appears and brings them home. The next day, Shigure and the rest of the nekos appear at the bakery and decide to help run the store as a family.
OVA–2"Nekopara OVA Extra"
Transcription: "Nekopara OVA Koneko no Hi no Yakusoku" (Japanese: ネコぱらOVA 仔ネコの日の約束)
July 27, 2018 (2018-07-27)

Television anime[edit]

During the Comiket 95 event, it was announced that an anime television series adaptation was in production.[47] 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,[48] and the first two episodes aired at a special event in Tokyo on December 24, 2019.[49] The series premiered on January 9, 2020 on AT-X, Tokyo MX, and BS11.[50] The opening theme for the anime is "Shiny Happy Days" by Yuki Yagi, Iori Saeki, Shiori Izawa, Miku Itō, Yuri Noguchi, and Marin Mizutani.[51] The series will air for 12 episodes.[52] Funimation acquired the series for distribution in North America, the British Isles, and Australasia, streaming the series on FunimationNow, Wakanim and AnimeLab, and will produce an English dub for the series.[3]

No.Title [53][a]Original air date
1"Welcome to La Soleil!"
Transcription: "Yōkoso, Ra Soreiyu e!" (Japanese: ようこそ、ラ・ソレイユヘ!)
January 9, 2020 (2020-01-09)
Chocola and Vanilla wake up and prepare for the opening of the La Soleil bakery for Kashou Minaduki, their owner. Meanwhile, Kashou's younger sister Shigure and the rest of the family nekos prepare for their daily routine as well, which involve Azuki and Coconut clashing and arguing while Cinnamon and Maple head to work at the bakery. They arrive a little late but eventually relieve Chocola and Vanilla of their duties. After work, as Cinnamon and Maple are about to leave, they notify Kashou that they left some tuna for him and his nekos to enjoy. Chocola decides to shop for ponzu to make the tuna tastier, but along the way finds a very young neko all by herself who hides as soon as Chocola approaches. When she arrives back at the bakery, Chocola is surprised to see the young neko had followed her all the way home.
2"A Lost Kitten?"
Transcription: "Maigo no Koneko-chan?" (Japanese: 迷子の仔ネコちゃん?)
January 16, 2020 (2020-01-16)
After learning that the young neko is homeless, Chocola brings her inside, but attempts to hide her presence from Kashou and Vanilla. After hiding the young neko in the bathroom and the bedroom, Chocola is caught red-handed by Vanilla when she attempts to feed the kitten after she shows signs of hunger. Chocola explains the situation and fears Kashou won't allow them to keep the kitten, which he doesn't. He calls for Shigure who allows the kitten to stay with her while she searches for any possible owners. Though the other family nekos are curious about their new guest, Shigure dismisses them and bathes the kitten and prepares her for bed. At the bakery, Chocola lies in bed anxious about the new neko's well-being, but Vanilla reassures her that everything will be alright and that she will never leave her side.

Manga[edit]

A manga adaptation illustrated by Tam-U is currently being published in Dengeki G's Comic magazine.[54] The manga began serialisation in the July issue of Dengeki G's Comic on May 30, 2018.[55] 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.[56]

Mobile games[edit]

In 2019, a mobile game adaptation of the series, Nekoparaiten!, was announced; its release is planned to take place in 2020.[57] Its creators described Nekoparaiten! as a "romance simulation" game.[58]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ All English titles are taken from Funimation.

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. ^ "水無月 時雨". Nekopara (in Japanese). Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  12. ^ "Character: Minaduki Shigure". Nekopara OVA. 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.
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  34. ^ @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.
  35. ^ @nekopara_pr (April 1, 2017). "Nekopara series surpassed one million copies total" (Tweet). Retrieved April 2, 2017 – via Twitter.
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  38. ^ "Stay Cozy with Funimation's Winter 2020 Lineup". Funimation. January 3, 2020. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
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  44. ^ "Digital Keys Going Out to Backers Ahead of Schedule". Kickstarter. December 22, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  45. ^ "Update #44 Update on NEKOPARA Extra Game and OVA!". Kickstarter. July 8, 2018. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
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  48. ^ 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.
  49. ^ 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.
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  52. ^ TVアニメ「ネコぱら」Blu-ray BOX. Nekopara Anime Official Website. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
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  54. ^ "Catgirl-Themed Visual Novel "Nekopara" Gets a Manga Makeover". Crunchyroll. December 30, 2017. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  55. ^ Ressler, Karen (April 15, 2018). "Manga Briefs Roundup: March 2018". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  56. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (July 7, 2018). "Sekai Project Adds NEKOPARA Extra, 6 Other Games". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
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  58. ^ "Nekoparaiten! announced for smartphones". Gematsu. 2019-07-04. Retrieved 2019-07-11.

External links[edit]