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ADV Films presents
All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku (1992)

"Nuku Nuku is ready for takeoff!"
- Atsuko "Nuku Nuku" Natsume (Megumi Hayashibara)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer  
Published: February 10, 2003

Stars: Megumi Hayashibara, Kazue Ikura, Akira Kamiya, Saeko Shimazu, Allison Keith, Andrew Kilmko, Kira Vincent-Davies, Kelly Manison
Other Stars: Aya Hisakawa, Akiko Hiramatsu, Ichirou Nagai, Kathya Coker, Tiffany Grant, Cynthia Martinez
Director: Hidetoshi Shigematsu, Yutaka Takahashi

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (12+ mature situations, nudity, cartoon violence)
Run Time: 02h:49m:15s
Release Date: February 11, 2003
UPC: 702727006128
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A B+A-A- C-

DVD Review

Cat girl fans rejoice, as ADV delivers the entire six-episode series of the highly popular All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku to DVD in this single collection. Originally released in 1992 as two three-part OVAs. Nuku Nuku was created by Yuzo Takada (Blue Seed, 3 X 3 Eyes), and features character designs by Yuji Moriyama (Maison Ikkoku, Project A-ko). As the trailer states, it is a heartwarming tale of a a boy and his cat... and a major military equipment manufacturer.

Ryunosuke Natsume is of a dysfunctional family, big time. His father, Kyusaka, is a cybernetic engineering genius who has made a major breakthrough in robotics with the NK-1124 android, financed by Mishima Heavy Industries, an extremely powerful company run by Ryunosuke's mother, Akiko. Unfortunately, when Kyusaka discovered that the top secret robot was to be used by their military hardware division as the ultimate fighting tool, he kidnapped it and took off with his son, and is now on the run from his estranged wife, who will stop at nothing to get Ryunosuke back. And so our story opens.

It is Christmas Eve, and Akiko has her two henchwomen, Arisa and Kyouko, hot on their trail in a military helicopter. When Arisa's over exuberance in the weapons deployment department kills the cat Ryunosuke has just found, his father, wanting to make the boy happy, makes a bold decision to transplant its brain into his super robot, and Atsuko, the all purpose cultural cat girl, better known as Nuku Nuku, is born. She looks like you average sixteen-year-old high school girl, but beneath her outward appearances lurks a lethal piece of hardware. She is sworn to protect her new younger brother, Ryunosuke, and will rise to any threat the boy's mother may come up with. Nuku Nuku also has a heart of gold, and do anything to make her brother happy, and her stunning looks and bubbly personality make her an instant hit with her school friends. Despite their constant bickering, Ryunosuke just wants his family back together, but can his parents settle their differences and get along? Perhaps with a little help from a kitty android...

Through the six episodes of All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku the story of this bizarre family unfolds, taking many an unexpected and hilarious twist along the way. It is surprising just how much ground this series covers in so little time, building a strong collection of characters and scenarios that are highly entertaining. The Japanese voice acting, helmed by Megumi Hayashibara, is excellent, and while ADV's new dub is decent (keeping the "pap-san" and "mama-san" of the original), it doesn't have quite the same charm. Although the artwork shows its early 1990s heritage in the designs, the animation is very good, and the scripting is well above par. If you're looking for an action-packed comic misadventure, All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku fits the bill purrfectly.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Image quality is very good for an early 1990s show. The show makes good use of color, both vibrant and more subdued, which is rendered well, an black levels are solid. There is little in the way of aliasing, and print defects or cross coloration were virtually nonexistent. ADV also retained the original Japanese logo, with a soft subbed translation.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Original Japanese and English dubs are presented in stereo. While not the most dynamic mixes, both tracks sound very good, with a fairly full and even sounding frequency spectrum, moderate use of directionality, and clear, easily discernable dialogue. No technical deficiencies were noted.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 6 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Dragon Half, Sakura Wars, Burn Up Excess, Devil Hunter Yohko, Steel Angel Kurumi, Princess Nine
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Clean credit sequences
  2. Image gallery
Extras Review: Menus follow a Mac desktop theme.

Extras include clean opening and closing credits, a nice 10 image gallery, with manga rather than the usual anime style art, the Nuku Nuku trailer, plus previews for Dragon Half, Sakura Wars, Burn Up Excess, Devil Hunter Yohko, Steel Angel Kurumi andPrincess Nine.

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

She cooks, she cleans, and she beats up machines! All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku is a lot of fun, with great characters and some pretty hilarious situations. Its combination of absurd humor, action and a strange premise work very well together. The presentation here is nicely done, and contains the complete six OVA collection. Recommended!


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