Originally announced in 2019 as an April Fool’s joke — like Peter’s own little prank this month — NEKO WORKs revealed they were working on a new otome mobile game that would be a dating sim themed around catboys in a cafe. However, thanks to popular demand, the company announced on April 1st, 2021 that the game is about to become a reality. They were also quick to indicate that this time it wasn’t a joke. Nekopara Catboys Paradise is real and expected to arrive this summer.
— NEKO WORKs/NEKOPARA Official (@nekopara_pr) March 31, 2021
Nekopara Catboys Paradise was a fitting joke for NEKO WORKs, given that the Nekopara franchise has been exclusively themed around catgirls, ranging from dating sims, anime, OVAs, and even hentai games. The sudden announcement of a new sub-franchise themed around catboys was every bit as humorous as it was unlikely to be real. Yet, since 2019 the initial reveal gained widespread attention and demand. That little taste of catnip was enough to make it a full-scale project.
Along with new concept art and character designs, NEKO WORKs revealed cast announcements, a website, a trailer, and platform details. Nekopara Catboys Paradise is receiving every attention to detail as any previous NEKO WORKs game has, with stunning character design and big-name voice actors.
First up is Kaito Ishikawa (Iida Tenya, My Hero Academia) who will voice Laurier: a cool cat who enjoys napping during his breaks, is a popular waiter, a disaster in the kitchen, and is sitting in a special secret. Laurier is based on a Khao Manee cat.
Next is Wataru Komada (Sosuke Nanase, Ore no Yubi de Midarero), playing Fennel! Based on an American Burmese, Fennel is another waiter, a diligent hard worker, and a bookworm. He pushes for perfection. Don’t let his sly smile fool you. Fennel is a very serious person at his core and might surprise you with unexpected gifts.
Yuuichirou Umehara (Goblin Slayer, Golbin Slayer) will be portraying the third waiter, Sage. Although rough on the outside, Sage doesn’t like fighting and is overprotective of the protagonist, like an older brother. He has a bit of a foul mouth and speaks bluntly, but he has a big heart and good intentions. Sage loves baths and sweets and is based on a Bengal.
Finally, we come to Junya Enoki (Yuuji Itadori, Jujutsu Kaisen), voicing Dill. Bright, bubbly, and the friendliest of the four, Dill has an eye for fashion trends to a point where he spends a little too much of his paycheck on clothes. He loves to help make outfits for the player-character and is described as the easiest to bond with. He is based on a calico.
Nekopara Catboys Paradise will launch on iOS, Android, and Steam, and is expected to arrive this summer. Along with Japanese, the game will feature English and Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) language support.
Oh, and did I mention it’s apparently going to be FREE?!