My Deer Friend Nokotan Episode 1: Girl Meets Deer

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Ladies and gentleman, Brainrot: The Seriestm has landed with My Deer Friend Nokotan episode 1, and there’s really not other way to explain it. It’s stupid. It is so hilariously dumb and simple that it will melt your brain. It’s not incredibly intense, it’s not some visual flashbang or anything of the sort. It’s just… a good comedy anime from a visual perspective? Series director Masahiko Oota seems ready and willing to let Oshioshio’s story thrive without messing with it too much, and it’s hard to say it’s not working. It’s the kind of anime episode that’s impossible to explain in writing, but I’ll be doing my best here.

Forget the director, forget the animators and staff- hell, even forget Oshioshio. Much like Bocchi The Rock, there are several verbal forces that propels this anime into the stratosphere of popularity and meme potential. With My Deer Friend Nokotan episode 1, it’s the pair of Megumi Han and Saki Fujita as Nokotan and Torako respectively. Seriously, this pair is putting on some of their best performances in anime within the span of a single episode. The range they’re able to express, the way Megumi creates such a distinct accent and speech pattern for Nokotan, the way Fujita flip flops between honor student and delinquent so effortlessly- it’s a set of performances that defines the reception of My Deer Friend Nokotan episode 1.

Of course though, Megumi and Fujita can only work with what they’re given, and they’ve been given a great deal. Oota’s work on the episode might make it feel understated, but the fast paced and frequent cuts that continually atomize any sense of pacing help a great deal with the work. My Deer Friend Nokotan refuses to allow itself a rhythm or any sense of structure. If it did, it wouldn’t be near as funny. This is a series about going off the rails, and Oota has done a great job of successfully derailing this deer-filled train as soon as it departed from the station.

Alongside that, as assumed from the various PVs for the series, the hodgepodge of art styles is already a staple for this anime. Mixing and matching wherever and whenever (yes, even when in Chibi form), My Deer Friend Nokotan episode 1 smashes to pieces any form of expectation or preconception. What’s here one minute is then completely gone the next, never to be recovered. Alongside Oota’s visual pacing for the episode, these various artistic gags keep viewers on their toes, guessing as to what might come at them next.

And that’s all there really is to it, honestly. It is unadulterated, ridiculous, stupidity in the form of comedy. It’s a one of one series already, and there’s even more that I’m yet to talk about. Take the CGI deer for example. Such a stupid and excessive addition, but they lean into it in the dumbest ways- so it works. You don’t even see much of them this episode. I mean, they’re background characters for crying out loud. It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen in an anime in a while.

In contrast though, despite My Deer Friend Nokotan episode 1’s ability to completely fry your brain, there’s a surprising degree of thoughtfulness in it. Take, for example, the reddish-pink haired girl that appears in all of Torako’s flashbacks. She wasn’t featured at all in the PVs or the opening, so it’s pretty clear that they’re a rival for Torako that exists outside the confines of the Deer Club. It’s great forethought for setting up a B-plot that keeps things fresh and interesting, allowing viewers to take a break from the virtual insanity that Nokotan seems resolute in imparting on us.

My Deer Friend Nokotan episode 1 proves why it was one of my most anticipated anime of the Summer season. Sure, it hasn’t shocked me quite like The Elusive Samurai did, nor is it some high level Shaft-esque performance like Shoushimin. But it doesn’t have to be. It just has to be so stupid that it gives me a figurative lobotomy for 20 odd minutes, and damn if it doesn’t do that. Comedy is always hit and miss for viewers, and I think especially with this level of oddity and non-sequitur humor it’ll lose a lot of people. But, if you’re into the weirdest of weird, you’ll have a riot of a time watching this every weekend.


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