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Nekopara (ネコぱら) is an adult visual novel series developed by NEKO WORKs (a Japanese doujin circle founded by Sayori, a well known hentai artist) and published by Sekai Project on Steam, and Cyberfront Korea Corp for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
The series is set in a world where humans live alongside catgirls, and are able to keep them as pets. The scenario was written by Yukijin, and the theme song was written by KOMEWORKS and performed by nao.
In 2017, Nekopara OVA was released, which is the anime version of Nekopara Vol. 1, financed on Kickstarter. A year later, Nekopara Extra OVA was released, based on Nekopara Extra. Later in the same year as Nekopara Extra OVA, it received a manga adaptation, and in 2020 it received a TV show produced by Felix Film.
List of video games
- Nekopara Vol. 1 (2014)
- Nekopara Vol. 0 (2015)
- Nekopara Vol. 2 (2016)
- Nekopalive (2016)
- Nekopara Vol. 3 (2017)
- Nekopara Extra (2018)
- Nekopara Vol. 4 (2020)
The majority of the gameplay consists of the player reading the game's story. Unlike other visual novels, Nekopara does not offer choices to the player throughout gameplay, and the player has no influence over the story.
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.
There is basically no gameplay. It's a joke "game" that was released after Vol. 2, where you only watch how Azuki and Coconut dance to two songs like Thump Thump ☆ Heart-Throbbing ☆ Flavor [トキドキ☆ココロ☆フレーバー] and 100% Meow Power Nyantasy [100にゃんパワーで夢心地]. In addition, it supports VR.
Why They Rock
- Outstanding graphics with its art-style.
- Good soundtrack consistent with the event, even though they repeat themselves.
- Unlike other visual novels, Nekopara has animations instead of sprites. Similiary like graphics, animations get better when the new volumes are released.
- Funny dialogue (in a positive sense), but also informative.
- Good written and designed characters with different characteristics:
- Kashou Minaduki is the main protagonist. 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.
- Chocola is a cheerful and energetic brown-haired catgirl. She is Vanilla's twin sister and moved in with Kashou after he started his own business. She is a Mixed Breed.
- Vanilla is a calm and quiet white-haired catgirl. 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 is a Mixed Breed.
- Shigure Minaduki is a 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 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 is the second oldest of the Minaduki family Nekos. She has an independent and 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 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 chest size of all the catgirls. She is closest to Maple and thus aspires to be by her side to support her life decisions. She is a Scottish Fold.
- 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 has heterochromia, with her right eye being orange and left eye being blue. She is a Maine Coon.
- Returning to the characters, they're very likeable (for the above reasons), especially catgirls.
- A new petting function has been introduced since Vol. 0, which is quite apt for this series. After petting, the characters make funny noises, not just one type of noise, but many others.
- There is a fun function like "Chest bounciness" that can be activated with the [P] button (a button of a suggestive letter known to Internet users).
- The series have funny scenes with drawn characters in Chibi (チ ビ) style, like this scene.
- Nekopara spawned anime and manga adaptations. The most notable is a 2020 anime TV show from Felix Film licenced by Funanimation in English-speaking regions.
- The series is created in such a way that it is directed to various audiences: For some, i.e. fans of this genre or anime fans, for others who want to cure depression (for obvious reasons) and for those who expect scenes for adults.
- Decent story, even for "Slice of Life" genre standards.
- Nekopara have a lot and cheap backgrounds, emoticons and badges on Steam.
- Fair price. The main volumes cost only 10 USD, and additional parts (Vol. 0 and Extra) cost even cheaper, due to lower game time.
- Although Nekopalive is not generally a game, this one is free.
- The series resembles typical visual novel with cute characters, it is also ecchi or even deeper, hentai.
- Those who funded on the Kickstarter, they received gifts from the creators of OVA, in the form of an artbook, pins, stickers, a soundtrack, anime OVA itself, and Chocola and Vanilla plushies.
- Adult scenes are only available on Steam when you buy a DLC that costs the same as games.
- Console versions include censorship, most notably the PS4 version.
- Anime adaptation (OVA and TV show) may be good, unlike its original source material, it was made for younger audience only adding gentle ecchi scenes, despite the visual novels also were famous for hentai scenes.
- Unlike other visual novel, there is no option to choose dialogues, which was one of the key options of this genre.
- The series is a little formulaic due to vol. 1-3 having the whole hanging out with two catgirls until they form a romantic relationship with Kashou.
Each game in the series receives overwhelmingly positive reviews, especially among Steam users.
Hardcore Gamer gave for Nekopara Vol. 1 a 3.5/5, 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."
For this reception, Nekopara received an anime (TV show in 2020) and manga (in 2018) adaptations. Or ever earlier, in July 2016, Sekai Project announced that it would be running a Kickstarter campaign to fund an all-ages Nekopara original video animation (OVA) adaptation. A second OVA, based on the Nekopara Extra visual novel, was released alongside the visual novel on July 27, 2018.
Like some anime or independent games, they became an Internet meme.