It’s the summer, sand, surf, and swimsuit episode we’ve been waiting for!
Episode 12 – “Summer Beach Cat Paradise!”
I was wrong about Cacao’s character arc in Nekopara. She’s part of Chocola and Vanilla’s family now at La Soleil. Last week was the actual season finale and this week is more like the beach episode OVA. The fanservice was back in a big way. Catgirls were in their underwear as Shigure took their seasonal measurements. It’s been three months since the last time, so it’s summer now. That meant there was swimsuit shopping, beach frolicking, and even beach hut cooking and serving. It was the full-service beach outing that the older cats promised Cacao when they first showed her the big ocean. Nekopara keeps its promises!
Maple is making cold noodles. Summertime for Nekopara already. Cinnamon is staying cool in front of the refrigerator. Bad kitty! Coconut is sleeping defenselessly. Nice. She really does love that electric fan.
Oho. It’s health check time again too. This is every three months, right? Did Cinnamon grow some more during that time? Azuki and Coconut can’t believe it. And they get to fighting again. In their underwear, again. This part of Nekopara is not growing old for me. Chocola, Vanilla, and Cacao are here too. So, Cacao isn’t moving in with Chiyo then. Not this season, anyway.
Here come the short jokes on Azuki. Yup, it’s another catfight for Coconut and Azuki. Look at Azuki waggle her ear! Nekopara recycled these catfight shots from Episode 4, except Coconut has only one fang showing this time. Odd. Ha. Shigure says Azuki and Coconut haven’t shown any growth in this area since last time.
The kinetic eyesight test on the TV is different from that Nekopara episode too. Shigure is having fun hearing how much the cats love her. Shigure should have recorded that last one about “spicy photos” for legal consent issues. Maple sees what she’s doing. Nice cat sighs from everyone. It’s good that Cacao learns these things about Shigure early on.
Oh? Has Cacao not eaten watermelon yet? Catgirls spitting has got to be a thing for someone out there… Nekopara gives us a watermelon seed blep meme. Cacao is so impressed by Chocola’s seed shooting skills. Vanilla so cruel. She says it’s the first time Cacao ever admired Chocola. Nyanyanya-gong!
Of course, Cinnamon would think getting moist, er, sweaty would be the best way to stay thin during the summer heat. Maple doesn’t want to hear that she’s gotten “plumpy.” Coconut hogging the fan again. Oh yes! Go to the beach, Coconut! Yes, please! It’s the Nekopara beach episode where they keep their promise to Cacao!
Nekopara starts the quintessential beach episode the right way. Swimsuit shopping first! Cinnamon needs a new suit for obvious reasons. Feline envy grows stronger! Maple will not wear the stringy suit Cinnamon likes for her. Aw. Cacao gets a cute swimsuit. The peanut gallery was not fond of the sushi themed one. Cacao needs one more thing. A big floaty fish! Or is that big fish floaty? Whatever it is, she got it!
One last bit of special training for the beach trip — put your face in water! This is a tough one for Cacao. It’s not so tough to fool Chocola, though. Cacao has become so much more expressive over the course of the Nekopara season. Vanilla sees how this family dynamic is going to play out. Two quiet, smarter ones against the genki Chocola is no fair.
Chocola is the best big sister. Suffering for Cacao’s big fishy float. But Chocola is going to have to blow it up again at the beach. Nya-gong!
Vanilla helps Chocola recover her breath in the first Nekopara eye catch. Cacao keeps the snuggle party going through bedtime in the second one.
It’s summer! It’s the beach! It’s a cat paradise! That’s what Nekopara means, if you didn’t know that by now. Here’s the big swimsuit reveal. Cinnamon wears the swimsuit version of neko lingerie. Lots of nice cat themes. Beach episode montage. Shigure is having a very nice time. Vanilla liked her Tunnel of Love made from sand. She’s quietly as dirty-minded as Cinnamon. Har. Cacao instinctively goes after Cinnamon’s watermelons.
Nice, nice. The cats are all paired up. The yuri vibe continued all season long. Kashou has the look of existential disappointment. Uh oh. Slight drama. The floaty fish was a traitor all along! Cacao doesn’t seem too concerned. Aw. Cacao considers Kashou to be her daddy. The only acceptable role for him in the Nekopara anime. Ah. Foodservice cats should help the beach shack. The beach episode is complete!
Catgirls are great for advertising in the Nekopara universe. Cacao knows how to hand out flyers. There aren’t mail slots at the beach, though. So, uh, does Maple and Cinnamon know how to sing any other song besides that anime one? Cats are on social media too. Success!
The cats are good at serving the new customers too. Coconut hogs the ice shaving machine to keep cool just like she hogs the fan. Sold out of food! Big day! The sisters who run the shop can’t do that kind of business every day without cats. Shigure is on it! Adopt kitties for low-cost labor! Uh, that doesn’t sound very good when it’s put like that. Cats find homes and help their masters’ small businesses? That’s the whole premise of Nekopara.
Hoho. Nekopara tweaked the intro from the first few episodes to include Cacao. That’s an interesting composite of 2D characters inserted into a 3D setting. The End!
As expected, Nekopara creator Sayori made a special swimsuit end card for the season finale.
Nekopara turned out to be a real slice-of-life anime in a fluffy way. Some episodes had aspects of healing anime too, like Shigure’s story about being sad she wasn’t cuddling up with her cats anymore because the weather turned warmer.
How people become friends and family is a big theme in anime, and Nekopara did very well using Cacao as its vehicle throughout the season. Her friendship with Chiyo kept me guessing which family would become Cacao’s forever home, which was a low-key source of suspense.
Fans of the Nekopara games had plenty to be thankful for, as there were several fun episodes and some character-driven plots. Maple and Cinnamon’s episode stands out for showing how close these adoptive sisters are to each other, even though there is much bickering and teasing between them. Azuki and Coconut’s catfight episode told its story in the same vein.
I liked how Nekopara used musical themes to signal comedy, drama, and serious emotions. The background music kept the narrative tone light, foregoing any emotional surprises. Also, I liked how Nekopara neutered Kashou and reduced him to everyone’s young dad or older brother. That cleared the space for all the yuri affection to flow.
Lastly, Nekopara‘s twitter feed during the season featured its own Cat Paradise with real cat videos. Unfortunately, they only ran during the season, but those daily cat videos made sure every day was a Cats Paradise.