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 (2014)
- NEKOPARA Vol. 0 note (2015)
- NEKOPARA Vol. 2 (2016)
- NEKOPALIVE note (2016)
- NEKOPARA Vol. 3 (2017)
- NEKOPARA Extra note (2018)
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. Vol. 0 is available only on Steam in "all-ages" form, and NEKOPALIVE is free-to-play through Steam.
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.
The NEKOPARA series provides examples of:
- Alternate Universe: The series is set in a world where Nekos exist alongside humans.
- 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 is rated E, the biggest jump down in ratings between consoles in history. 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!
- 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.
- 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!"
- 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 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.
- 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 (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.
- Officially Shortened Title: Nekopara is the shortened title of Sayori's illustration series Neko Paradise.
- One-Gender Race: There are no catboys.note
- 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.
- Real Place Background: Though the café itself is almost certainly fictional, the setting is Yokohama, Japan's 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".
- 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 youngest, tallest and often makes a mess of things.
- Maple and Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a Loveable 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.
- 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.
- 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.