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Visual Novel / Nekopara

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Top row, left to right: Coconut, Shigure, Cinnamon. Bottom row: Azuki, Chocola, Vanilla, Maple.

"What's NEKOPARA? Why, it's a cat's paradise!"
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In a world where people often adopt cat girls as pets, Kashou Minaduki tried his best to get away from his at first, along with the rest of his family. Fed up with their demands, he decides to open his own bakery. However, Chocola and Vanilla, his sister's "pets" of sorts, sneak away in his luggage and beg to stay with him, thwarting any plans he had for a peaceful life.

As such, the challenge of opening a successful business with two clumsy, affectionate cat girls constantly running around begins.

The series' release list is as follows:

  • NEKOPARA Vol. 1: Soleil Kaiten Shimashita ("[La] Soleil Has Opened") (2014)
  • NEKOPARA Vol. 0: Minazuki Neko-tachi no Nichijou ("The Minazuki Cats' Daily Routine") note  (2015)
  • NEKOPARA Vol. 2: Shimai Neko no Sucre ("The Sister Cats' Sugar") (2016)
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  • NEKOPALIVE note  (2016)
  • NEKOPARA Vol. 3: Neko-tachi no Aromatise ("The Cats' Flavors" (?)note ) (2017)
  • NEKOPARA Extra: Koneko no Hi no Yakusoku ("The Kittens' Day Promise") note  (2018)
  • NEKOPARA Vol. 4: Neko to Patissier no Noel ("The Cats' and Patissier's Noel") (2020)
  • NEKOPARA -catboys paradise- (2021)

Created by Chinese-born artist Sayori (currently living in Japan) under the name NEKO WORKs, NEKOPARA is an eroge visual novel series based on a series of doujinshi also created by NEKO WORKs. Censored versions of Vols. 1, 2, and 3 are available to purchase on Steam, with the 18+ versions (and corresponding Steam patches) being available on dlsite, Denpasoft, and NEKO WORKs' own download site; the 18+ patches were later added on Steam as DLCs after they were allowed by platform policy. Vol. 0 and Extra are available only on Steam in "all-ages" form, and NEKOPALIVE is free-to-play through Steam.

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A Kickstarter for an animated OVA adaptation was announced in December 27th, 2016 and went live two days later. After launch, the kickstarter reached it's $100,000 goal within an hour, and finished a little shy of $1,000,000. A second campaign for those with PayPal and Stripe was launched a few days later, taking the total past that final stretch goal. The OVA was released ahead of schedule on December 21, 2017 due to an accidental early leak to some Kickstarter backers.

A music video that was uploaded on 13 Febuary 2018 revealed that KOTOKO has been roped in to making music for future content. A spin-off TV series was teased in mid-2019, with the first episode premiering on July 6 at Anime Expo. The complete series aired starting in January 2020. A mobile game titled Nekoparaitennote  is being developed by Yostar.

In 2019, NEKO WORKs announced NEKOPARA -catboys paradise-, a Spear Counterpart Otome Game featuring an all-new male cast as their April Fools' Day joke, however in 2021 it was announced that catboys paradise will be released as a full title in Summer 2021. Unlike the other NEKOPARA titles, catboys paradise will be all-ages and illustrated by G Yuusuke instead of Sayori.


The NEKOPARA series provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: The announcer of the Neko Witches stage play is much nicer towards the audience of children in the anime than in the visual novel (albeit mostly because she says much less).
  • Alternate Continuity: The TV series. Besides the presence of Canon Foreigner Cacao, the series retells two plot points of the Visual Novels – Chocola and Vanilla having to take a second test to keep their bells, and Maple pursing a career in music – but with different developments.
  • Alternate Universe: The series is set in a world where Cat Girls exist alongside humans.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: While Kashou is essentially the POV character in the series, there are certain parts where someone else takes over such as Chocola in Vol. 1 and Cinnamon in Vol. 3.
  • Bleached Underpants: While they still have a good amount of Fanservice, the OVA and anime place more focus on the interactions between the catgirls and downplay romantic or sexual relations with Kashou from the visual novels.
  • Bowdlerise: The non-eroge version of Vol. 1, which was released on the Nintendo Switch with an M rating from the ESRB for "Sexual Themes", wasn't enough for Sony. Their version was originally rated E, the biggest jump down in ratings between consoles in history. note  The Censor Steam was increased and the breast jiggle feature was removed among other changes.
  • Cat Fight: Puns aside, it happens a few times across all volumes. Azuki is involved in all of them.
  • Cat Girl: It's not called "NEKOPARA" for nothing! This series is all about cute girls with cat ears and tails who are as intelligent as humans, but are still kept as pets and show a lot of catlike behavior.
  • Cat Smile: Zigzagged between the cast. Most, if not all the girls have demonstrated it at least once, but Chocola, Azuki and Coconut almost have it as a default expression.
  • Censor Steam: Used in the all ages version when Chocola and Vanilla bathe with Kashou in volume 1 and when all the Minaduki catsisters bathe together in volume 0.
  • Character Focus: Each of the main volumes of the Visual Novel focuses on a different set of characters.
    • Volume 1: Chocola and Vanilla.
    • Volume 2: Azuki and Coconut.
    • Volume 3: Maple and Cinnamon.
    • Volume 4: Kashou and the Minaduki family, plus the newcomer Fraise.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The VAs of the Minaduki Catgirls sing the opening and ending themes of the anime, while the ending is just sung by Chocola and Vanilla's VAs.
  • Everyone Is Bi: At least in the 18+ version. While all the catgirls inevitably fall in love with Kashou, they are also very willing to get sexual with each other when they are having a threesome with him. On top of that, the only sex scenes in the Visual Novels that only involve two people are the ones where the catgirls have sex with each other. Cinnamon and Maple have sex with each other before becoming Kashou's catpanions in Vol. 3 , while Vol. 4 has Chocola and Vanilla consoling each other while Kashou is away.
  • Excuse Plot:
    • The series' setting of a world where Cat Girls can be adopted as pets isn't really fleshed out much beyond that, and is really just an excuse for cat girls to exist (and in the 18+ versions of the games, to be able to see sex scenes with them). When the anime adaptation aired, the series' creator even went to Twitter to ask people not to think too hard about the premise.
    • Vol. 2 introduces a subplot which involves Chocola and Vanilla having to take a bell renewal exam in order to keep their bells. Something that none of the other Minaduki catgirls have to do. This mostly exists to remove Chocola and Vanilla from the story while placing the focus on Kashou's relationships with Coconut and Azuki.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Vol. 4 has the catgirls switching to their winter uniforms. For the most part, they do cover their bodies more, except for two notable details: They expose generous cleavage, and no attempt is made to cover the conspicuous cat ears of the girls. Yet, they claim to be warm in those clothes.
  • Family Disunion: For his mother birthday, Kashou decides to finally come back home and bake a cake for her. It's a happy occasion until his father arrives, at which point it becomes abundantly clear that father and son still haven't sorted out their issues. While it doesn't escalate into violence, the humiliation Kashou feels drives most of the plot of Vol. 4.
  • Fanservice: A good chunk appears in every installment of the series, usually in the form of a playful risque scene or two. Unless you use the 18+ patches; then it's just porn.
  • Fish out of Water: Most catgirls start out this way, and must be trained in the ways of the human lifestyle.
  • Gratuitous English: From a few characters.
    • Vanilla is occasionally prone to this a little, with phrases like, "Let's go!" and "All green."
    • At the end of Vol. 2, after Kashou gets his fourth catpanion, Shigure says, "Hey, brother! Let's say, Neko Paradise!"
    • And after the last one joins the harem in Vol. 3, Shigure tearfully declares, "I wanna be Neko!"
  • Gratuitous French:
    • One word in the title of each of the main volumes (1 through 4). Sayori seems to have a thing for French, as seen also in the name of the patisserie (that also being a French word itself), and that the name of one of the catgirls is a French wordnote .
    • Most of the main volumes have alternate French subtitles: Des soeurs filles-chat tres gentilles for Vol. 2, Aromatiser des filles-chats for Vol. 3, and Noël avec les filles-chat et Patissier for Vol. 4.
  • Humanlike Animal Aging: Inverted as a case of Animallike Human Aging, all catgirls grow and age like their real life counterpart, the most absurd example goes to Coconut, being a Maine Coon, she has the body of an adult woman despite being 1 year old. Dialogue during the series seems to imply that once they reach maturity they have normal human lifespans, but this may be conjecture at best.
  • Improbably Female Cast: The cast is largely made up of Cat Girls, and even though it's been confirmed by the creators that cat boys also exist, they've never been seen in the story itself. The first line of dialogue just happens to be from a man, and the protagonist is a man (though with a typical lack of voice acting and a face we rarely see).note  Other than that, it's not just the main characters; every other person who says anything—catgirl, adult human, or child—is female. Well, until Vol. 3, that is. In that one, a couple of small roles do end up being men. And Vol. 4 features Kashou's father prominently in a couple of major scenes.
  • Interspecies Romance: The central premise of Nekopara is Kashou starting romantic relationships with the catgirls he works with. It's not a shameful relationship in the setting, to the point where there's a common word for it ("koineko" in Japanesenote ; "catpanion" in the English translation).
  • Jiggle Physics: While a common feature in Japanese H-games, this feature was a shock to a lot of people discovering the game on Steam, especially as it was the all-ages version. It is also an adjustable feature in this series. For Vol. 3, the better engine allowed them to make the physics even more jiggly.
  • Little Bit Beastly: The Nekos, of course. However, they're biologically much closer to cats than humans, with similar growth and age rates and even estrus cycles.
  • Mate or Die: Chocola and Vanilla trick Kashou into believing this is the case for their species. When he finds out otherwise, he's a bit irked. Particularly when he finds out it was Shigure's suggestion.
  • Meanwhile Scene: In Vol. 4, once the story focuses on Kashou and Shigure's time in France, the transition screens show how the catgirls are doing running the Patisserie by themselves.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Maple threatens to never speak to Cinnamon again if she doesn't keep their "encounter" in Vol. 3 a secret.
  • Officially Shortened Title: Nekopara is the shortened title of Sayori's illustration series Neko Paradise.
  • Only Sane Man: Azuki, Kashou and to a lesser extent Maple are this to the other catgirls.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: At the prologue chapter of Vol.1, Kashou told Chocola to leave for the sake of her, she outright refused and urged him to keep her and Vanilla.
  • Police Are Useless: The Lawful Stupid police officer in Vol. 1 who completely ignores Chocola and Vanilla trying to explain that Kashou is sick, and only cares about having them detained for being outside without their bells. And then when he shows up, obviously sick and exhausted, rather than show any concern for his well-being, she only acknowledges the bells and walks away. The officer does mention that she's run into a lot of catgirls who try to pretend that they have a bell, which may explain why she ignores the two's explanation, but there's no excusing her just walking off after Kashou is clearly in a poor condition.
  • Polyamory: While this is never pointed out In-Universe, Kashou's harem is more of an example of this in practice, to the point where it can be "broken down" into three Type 8 Triang Relationships with Kashou at the center. Since each volume of the Visual Novels gives Character Focus to a pair of catgirls simultaneously, the relationship between the girls receives just as much attention and development as their romance with Kashou. It's made very clear that the Chocola x Vanilla and Maple x Cinnamon pairs love each other as much as they love Kashou, and the Azuki x Coconut pair is only slightly less affectionate. As in, they aren't show engaging in lesbian sex at any point, unlike the other two pairs.
  • Potty Dance: Episode 1 has Cinnamon doing this while waiting for Maple to get out of the bathroom.
  • Reactive Continuous Scream: A variation with gasps rather than screams happens in Volume 4. When Shigure asks Kashou to make a cake for their mother's birthday, Kashou and all the Catgirls gasp in surprise… except for Coconut, who asks what's the big deal. Chocola then admits she reacted like that purely because Kashou did, and Vanilla adds that she also reacted like that because Chocola did.
  • Real-Place Background: Though the café itself is almost certainly fictional, the setting is Yokohama, Japan's 2nd most populous city. Places featured include:
    • Yamashita Park which looks out into the port and Tokyo Bay, though the view featured here is that of the central business district, Minato Mirai 21 with its famous Yokohama Landmark Tower (second tallest buildingnote  in Japan, and where two of the characters have dinner in Vol. 2) and Cosmo Clock 21 (tallest Ferris wheel in the world when it was built in 1989).
    • An amusement park called Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, though they changed the name to "Hyakkeijima".
    • In Vol. 3, some of the characters go to "a[ musical] instrument store near [Yokohama] Station".note  The background is a drawing of the area of the Minami-Saiwai bridge over the Saiwai river from the intersection of Pal Nerd St. and 5th Avenue. The neighborhood beyond has at least five music stores, so it's not clear which one they might have been thinking of.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: For whatever reason, this series loves to have its characters speak sound effects (and Unsound Effects, this being Japanese and all). Frequent examples being "gorogorogoro" (purring) and "nadenade" (petting). The latter is used both in sentences and as an Unsound Effect, as are some others.
  • Schrödinger's Question: Vol. 4 has a curious way of handling its sex scenes in the 18+ version. Before the start of the scene, the players are asked whether there is someone around them or not. If they answer yes, the ensuing scene will be safe-for-work (but still exclusive to the 18+ version). If they answer no, there will be a sex scene. What's different from the previous volumes is that it's not a case of the sex happening but being skipped, the safe scene replaces the pornographic one in the context of the story if the player answers yes.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Or at least, breed. It's not too often cats are differentiated by breed in media, and when they are it's usually Persians, Siamese, or Sphinxes (and even then those are typically used as stand-ins for other cats who lost their hair). This game has catgirls based off of Maine Coons, Munchkins, American Curls, and Scottish Folds.
  • Sibling Incest:
    • Shigure openly has incestuous feelings towards her brother. She doesn't actually pursue a relationship with him though, as she is aware he doesn't reciprocate.
    • While only Chocola and Vanilla are blood-related, the catgirls all consider each other to be real family. Doesn't stop them from kissing, fondling each other and more during threesomes with Kashou. Maple and Cinnamon actually have sex with each other in Vol. 3, with Chocola and Vanilla following suit in Vol. 4. Obviously only applies to the 18+ version.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: The series has 3 pairs:
    • Chocola and Vanilla: Chocola is energetic, cheerful and innocent while Vanilla is calm, collected and has a sarcastic streak.
    • Coconut and Azuki: Azuki is the eldest sister, excels at everything she does and is the shortest catgirl out of all Minaduki sisters. Coconut is the second-youngest, tallest and often makes a mess of things. Also, Azuki is Older Than She Looks while Coconut is Younger than She Looks.
    • Maple and Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a Lovable Sex Maniac who turns a lot of things into sexual innuendos and gets lost in her fantasies. Maple is a no-nonsense catgirl with a calm head. They even happen to be breeds of cat whose ears curl in opposite directions. At one point, Maple is called the pride of the family while Cinnamon is called a disgrace to the family.
  • Shout-Out: This hand of mine burns red! Its loud roar tells me to defeat the butterfly! ERUPTINGGGGG AZUKIIIII FINGERRRRR!!!
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Take a wild guess. Let's just say the scenes that aren't advertiser-friendly.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: From Cinnamon at least a couple of times in Vol. 3, regarding her perverted thoughts and interests. Says she wants to look at—er, look up—something on Kashou's computer; but it's not anything weird or perverted. Later, when caught surreptitiously following him and Maple, she claims she didn't think they were doing anything lewd.
  • Three-Way Sex: Every single sex scene involving Kashou except for the last one from Vol. 4, which is an orgy. The only change is who is in the middle. Some of them will have Kashou pleasuring both girls together (and vice-versa), others will have Kashou focus in one of the girls while the other "helps" him.
  • Twin Threesome Fantasy: Chocola and Vanilla initiate this with Kashou. This ends up having a negative effect on him when he collapses from exhaustion towards the end of volume 1.
  • Unsound Effect: See example for Saying Sound Effects Out Loud.

 
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