English Dub Review: Nekopara “The First Time…!”



Overview (Spoilers Below)

With the new baby sleeping between them, Chocola and Vanilla’s routine has changed. Everybody is running on a slightly different schedule since the green-haired stranger showed up, but it’s the two soft-serve ladies who are affected the most.

They begin the day by teaching her how to eat at, and not below, the table. They also get her dressed and cleaned up, ready to take on the morning. Of course, Chocola and Vanilla will be the ones “taking on the morning,” while the kitten is meant to sit up in the apartment and play quietly by herself. The kitten doesn’t go for that because she’s a kitten, dammit.

She tries to infiltrate the restaurant numerous times, in an attempt to spend more time with her favorite person, Chocola. But the hardworking cats have to bribe her with TV, toys, and delicious cacao-flavored cake just to keep her out of the customers’ hair. V and C even have to take an extended break to tire her out so she’ll sleep for the remainder of their shift.

Nobody ever said it was going to be easy, girls.

The next day, all the cats—including the newbie—meet up at Shigure’s house to get their monthly measurements. Here, we find out that Shigure is a freak about keeping their records, and has done so since each of the cats were very small. She measures their height, weight, and breast size—because she’s a freak in more ways than one.

Azuki, the angry little kitten, gets in a fight with Coconut because the latter can’t stop teasing the former about how “small” she is. Since they’re both in their underwear, they fight, scratch, and wrestle in the barest of covering. Welcome back, fetishists; I bet you’ve been rather bored up until this point. Then, the fetishist business doubles down when the kitten discovers breasts for the first time and starts inspecting all the larger cats’ mammaries. Cinnamon likes the attention and gets riled up so much, she forces the scene to fade to black before anything NC-17 happens.

Oh, and at some point during the measuring, they decide to name the baby. They go with Cacao, because she enjoyed that chocolate cake so much the day before. That was a difficult detail to remember among all the fetishist nonsense.

The cats end the day at the beach. While it’s too cold to swim at this time of year, the gang makes a pact to return to the water as soon as swimming season begins. Cacao takes everything in, and learns quite a bit, even though she’s already quite a clever kitty.


Our Take

Okay, okay, okay, okay. I have to admit that these tricky little cats fooled me. For a whole week I was absolutely sure this was a regular show and not a fetishist’s fancy like I originally thought. And with the introduction of the kitten and the many sweet moments Nekopara offers, it might still be true, but they’re walking a thin line.

Azuki and Coconut’s little under-trousers fight was the height of “unnecessary” since it’s already been well established that these two are prone to be argumentative with each other. Alone, Azuki is a great leader and the epitome of the oldest sister trope, and Nuts is a pleasant enough dummy. But together, they’re like water and vinegar—you know, if water and vinegar were known for fighting in their skivvies. Plus, it’s quite an uncomfortable image to see tails growing out of their lower backs. What is up with that?

I’m being a tad too hard on Azuki and Coconut. It’s not their fault they’re naturally combative, or that their personalities clash so much. They’re good cats, and mere victims of circumstance. Or should I say: purr-cumstance? Nope, absolutely not! I swear to you; that will be my last cat pun ever. I knew it was wrong from the start. Disgusting.

Anyway, the whole monthly measurement angle was just an excuse designed by Shigure to see her cats in a more natural state. This fault lies entirely on the house human because the cats are simple—this includes the most astute ones (Maple and Vanilla)—and can’t be held accountable for their actions. Does this mean Shigure is some sort of pervert? Probably not. She’s super into cats, but even though she gets a kick out of seeing them in their underwear, I don’t believe it’s a sexual thing.

Wow, I have spent way too much time dissecting the strangeness of the episode that I hardly have time to talk about Cacao’s acclimation. This kitty is doing pretty well for herself. It’s now crystal clear that she did not want to live with that crazy cat lady—or those other rowdy cats—because she desperately wanted to be with Chocola. And the reason why is clear. Chocola is patient with her, and speaks to the little girl like she’s an adult, not just some stupid kid. I can respect that. I only hope the green-haired tot warms up to Vanilla, otherwise there might be some dark clouds looming above paradise.

Gregory Austin

A writer, editor, voice actor, beta reader, and foppish Buffalonian socialite. On social media I discuss writing, cartoons, comic books, and why the Communist Manifesto really should've had pictures.

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