Image source: TVアニメ「ノラと皇女と野良猫ハート」 on Twitter

Anime has a long tradition of absurdist short-form, much of it based on equally absurdist four-panel comics or visual novels. The nature of moving visuals allows for absurdity which goes even further. Nora, Princess, and Stray Cat, already succeeding admirably, decided to step up the surreality with an entire episode of live-action goats. Yes, I said, goats

Image source: TVアニメ「ノラと皇女と野良猫ハート」 on Twitter

Nora, Princess, and Stray Cat is about a demon princess named Patricia who arrives from the underworld in order to learn about humanity and the world of the living. Instead, she runs into a group of decidedly abnormal classmates at the high school she has chosen, and at some point before the series has begun, turns a poor male classmate into a black cat. It’s pretty clear that whatever lessons Patricia is learning, they’re not at all a mirror of reality. 

There’s absolutely no point in trying to “understand” or “analyze” Patricia, her classmates, or the activities in each episode. The nominal plot line is returning their male classmate into human form (something Patricia shows no interest in doing), but it seems like that’s actually not very important to any of the characters. In truth, even more than Seinfeld, this is pretty much a show about nothing.

Well, nothing and… goats?  

Image source: TVアニメ「ノラと皇女と野良猫ハート」 on Twitter

Yes. Goats. Episode six of Nora, Princess, and Stray Cat is entirely made from the voices of the characters dubbed over live-action footage of goats. Not an individual scene. Not a few seconds. Nope. The opening theme, the entire episode activity, the ending theme, and the teaser for the next episode–every single part is footage of live-action goats.

At first, I thought the footage was random. It isn’t. The footage is lined up to the voice actresses (or perhaps, vice versa), and we determine that all the goats represent the usual characters. Apparently, Patricia, not satisfied with turning one poor kid into a cat, has turned all of her classmates into goats. And, of course, depending on the personalities (and relative intelligence) of each of the characters, the reactions to this transformation is varied.

Image source: TVアニメ「ノラと皇女と野良猫ハート」 on Twitter

Character reactions range from nihilism, to enjoying eating everything in sight, to celebration of no homework, clubs, or responsibilities, to incredible concern about what existential crises exist in one’s life as a sentient goat with a formerly human mind. Perhaps this is commentary on the general stupidity and mindlessness of Patricia’s chosen acquaintances? 

Of course, absolutely nothing is resolved. I presume, given the episodic series that the girls will be back to normal in the next episode. Why did Patricia change them into goats in the first place? Who knows. She just does stuff. Probably because she’s an underworld demigoddess and apparently enjoys inflicting pain and suffering on humans. Also, almost certainly because goats are funny. 

And yes, goats ARE funny. Goats.

Nora, Princess, and Stray Cat can be seen on Crunchyroll.

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