Cat Girl Nuku-Nuku

Real Name:  Atsuko “Nuku Nuku” Natsume

Identity/Class: Cat Android/Cyborg

Occupation: High School student, bodyguard, occasional professional waitress

Affiliations: Kyusaku Natsume, Ryunosuke Natsume, Yoshimi, Akiko Mishima and Mishima Heavy Industries (occasionally)

Enemies: Eimi Yoshikawa (SNK-98), Kyoko Koitabashi, Arisa Mitamura, Bloody Akiko (Akiko Mishima) and Mishima Heavy Industries (occasionally)

Known Relatives: Kyusaku Natsume (adopted father), Akiko Mishima (adopted mother), Ryunosuke Natsume (adopted brother)

Aliases: NK-1124, Schoolgirl Android, Catgirl Android, Nuku Nuku

Base of Operations: Nerima, Tokyo, Japan

First Appearance: “Banno Bunka Neko Musume” manga (1990); translated into English as “All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku” or alternatively as “All Purpose Super Cat Girl Nuku Nuku”

Powers/Abilities: Nuku Nuku is a highly advanced android. Despite her appearance as a human female teenager, her body is in fact a sophisticated robotic frame that far exceeds the capabilities of any ordinary human which is combined with the super fast reflexes and keen senses of a domesticated feline. She possesses superhuman strength and is capable of lifting several tons with relative ease. Her reinforced body provides her with phenomenal endurance and an incredible resilience to damage. She has withstood tremendous physical shocks and impacts, even falls from several thousands of feet in the air without the slightest impairment. Her body has proven itself invulnerable to conventional and unconventional military armaments from bullets, rockets, artillery fire, and even high explosives. She has also demonstrated a high resilience to electricity and electrical shocks. She has proven highly vulnerable however to nepetalactone or as it commonly known, catnip which disorients her and makes her behave drunkenly. Nuku Nuku also possesses superhuman speed and agility. She can apparently outrun most cars and automobiles easily and she has proven that she can move so fast as to defy gravity and run up or down walls or other vertical surfaces. She is also an incredibly gifted acrobat who is capable of incredibly complex series of gymnastics and belief defying acrobatic feats with complete ease. Her agility and sense of balance are incredibly acute.

Nuku Nuku appears amazingly human or rather alive. She eats, sleeps and needs to breath, but whether she truly requires to do the first two, or if she simply does so out of habit or because she enjoys it, is unknown . As to the last however, although mostly a high tech android her organic components still apparently require a continuous supply of oxygen. She cannot survive unsupported in the vacuum of outer space nor underwater for instance.

Nuku Nuku possesses extraordinary developed senses including both hearing and smell. She can apparently hear things from considerable distances and even identify individuals whom she is familiar with by scent from certain distances. It is unknown how developed or acute her other senses are. She has never demonstrated enhanced vision capabilities and although she does possess a sense of taste, it is unclear how well developed that sense is. It is apparent that her sense of touch is not as developed as her other senses however. She may or may not even have the capability to feel pain as Kyusaku Natsume once stubbed out a lit cigarette on her hand accidentally without her even realizing it. Nuku Nuku frequently employs a pair of extendable wing-like antennas that resemble cat’s ears from the base of her skull. The exact nature of these antennas were never definitely explained but they appear to act to feed her additional sensory information and enhance her available sensor data.

Nuku Nuku is a formidable hand to hand combatant. She combines her physical abilities with her natural acrobatic abilities into a unique and highly flexible fighting style.

One of Nuku Nuku’s weaknesses is water. She is simply incapable of swimming or, more to the point, although she appears to be a human being, her body is most definitely not. Her enormous body weight makes it impossible for her to even float. She can overcome this limitation with the help of specialized equipment via an aquatic propulsion unit designed by Kyusaku Natsume known as the Mermaid Machine RX73.  

Although she does so rarely, upon occasion Nuku Nuku may employ certain weapons or rather adapted technological equipment as weaponry. Kyusaku Natsume has in fact created some specifically for her personal use as custom engineered accessories.

History: Nuku Nuku was once an ordinary cat who lived on the streets, feeding off the refuse and scraps of humans. That is until her path crossed with a young boy named Ryunosuke Natsume one Christmas Eve. Ryu was the only son of an eccentric genius who had fled his wife’s domineering grasp and her family’s extensive corporation with an experimental and highly advanced android that he had invented. Kyusaku Natsume had created the NK-1124 but had been distressed that Mishima Heavy Industries had been interested only in the military and combat potential of the NK-1124 and run off, taking the only prototype and his son with him. Ryu befriended the cat and hoped to make her his pet. His father was reluctant to take the feline in, warning his son that they were fugitives but before Ryu could release her, they were found by pursuing agents of the Mishima Heavy Industries, Kyoko Koitabashi and Arisa Mitamura. In their flight, their car was wrecked but both the Natsumes were unhurt and their precious cargo the NK-1124 was undamaged. The cat however had been mortally injured.

As she lay dying, a tearful Ryunosuke was distraught, blaming himself for having brought the innocent cat with him. His father affected by his son’s tears, sought to console his grieving son and implanting the dying cat’s brain inside of the NK-1124. In doing so the Natsumes did not lose a pet … instead they gained a daughter! Renamed as “Nuku Nuku”, she became the incredibly beautiful, extremely naïve, and incredibly eccentric daughter to the even more eccentric mad scientist who has a day job as a high school science teacher to pay the bills. And despite Ryuunosuke’s best efforts to try and get his adopted big sister/pet to pass as an ordinary human, he is hampered by Nuku Nuku’s tendency to sleep on rooftops, chase mice, and drink motor oil (which she thinks is perfectly natural to do). All of this is compounded by being stuck in the middle of the strangest custody battle between two of the world’s most dysfunctional parents in the personas of the deranged Kyusaku Natsume and the ruthless businesswoman Akiko Mishima, who is desperate to retake her son from his father’s bad influence and the strangeness of his pet android/bodyguard. Of course she also incidentally happens to command one of the world’s largest military armaments manufacturing corporations and isn’t afraid to use it and her faithful employees, the Office Lady Warriors Kyoko Koitabashi and Arisa Mitamura, against Nuku Nuku. Actually both Kyoko and Arisa seem to have developed a disturbing loathing for Nuku Nuku’s constantly defeating them and a maniacally desire to destroy the NK-1124 once and for all. And if Akiko doesn’t start something, you can be sure that these two overzealous employees will.

Akiko has made numerous attempts to acquire her son back and has employed numerous tactics such as attempting to brainwash Ryunosuke’s friend Yoshimi or funding Kyusaku’s old mentor, Professor Yoshikawa to build another android designed to be the NK-1124’s successor. Having lost his entire family in an accident several years ago, Yoshikawa fondly modeled the SNK-98 as a duplicate of his granddaughter, Eimi but during the final phases of construction, there was an explosion that cost the Professor his life before he could complete the SNK-98. Eimi proved to be incredibly powerful, perhaps even equal to Nuku Nuku, but a flaw in her technical design makes her extremely unstable and prone to overheat in extended combat operations and overload. To that end, Eimi escaped from Mishima Heavy Industries in order to acquire the NK-1124’s body as a replacement housing … for herself. She just hasn’t quite figured out how to put her brain in Nuku Nuku’s body. Yet. Although she will figure out a way …someday. Providing that she doesn’t get carried away and destroy the NK-1124 in the process. Eimi’s personality is a trifle bit unstable as well.

Despite all of their bickering and arguments and murder attempts, Kyusaku and Akiko remain faithfully tied to one another and upon occasion have been induced to set aside their differences and work together (usually against an even greater threat). To that end, Nuku Nuku has occasionally served an ally to Akiko and the Mishima Heavy Industries, whether against the rogue Eimi, to a temporary truce to celebrate Mother’s Day, to opposing a deadly malfunctioning killer satellite, or serving a professional waitress in one of the Mishima Corporation’s chain of restaurants. These temporary alliances never last long however.

While the entire family is fighting it out between themselves for his sake or what they perceive as for his benefit, Ryunosuke is easily the most mature member of the entire family and remains hopeful that his family will one day be reunited. Nuku Nuku hopes so too, if only for a little peace and quiet.

Comments: Created by Yuko Takada, “Banno Bunka Neko Musume” was a radical departure for a manga author who is better known for his series such as “3x3 Eyes” and “Blue Seed” which have heavy overtones of deep melodrama and the supernatural. It was originally a series of short manga strips but proved so popular that a six episode OAV (Original Animation Video) series was released in 1992.

Nuku Nuku was voiced by the renowned seiyu (voice actress) Megumi Hayashibara, who incidentally is also the Japanese voice for Ranma Saotome’s girl form in Ranma 1/2, Lina Inverse in the Slayers, Rei Ayanami in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Lime in Saber Marionette J, Faye Valentine in Cowboy Bebop, and Haruka Urashima in Love Hina. However the OAVs proved to be so popular that due to demand, it prompted a TV series remake of the same name and a second OAV known as “Nuku Nuku Dash!” in 1998.

Although both utilize the various characters and basic premise, both are only loosely based on the original OAV series which some fans believe strengthen it, while others detract these changes. One of the more striking changes in both of these remakes is that Nuku Nuku frequently undergoes a transformation (similar to Cutey Honey or Sailor Moon) in which her regular clothing vanishes to be replaced by a skintight jumpsuit for combat and adheres to a formulaic basic episode that sees her battling it out with a Monster of the Week.

The TV series was more comedic in nature while the Dash! series was not only more serious but also altered the ages of the characters; Ryunosuke is no longer a child but in his teens and has a bit of crush on Nuku Nuku who is much more mature and thought to be 18 or 19 years old and sports a very different hair shade.

Profile provided by Michael Higuchi.

CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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