”Nya nya nya nya nyaa nya” still sounds awesome.

If you’ve got even a passing interest in anime, odds are you’ve heard “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis.” Evangelion’s TV opening theme is both ubiquitous and unique, with its of hymn-like opening, brassy instrumentation, and driving beat giving it a one-of-a-kind mixture of modern, retro, and classical elements.

But no matter how many times you may have heard “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis,” no one’s never heard it like this: with the song’s lyrics replaced by “nya,” the Japanese-language version of a cat saying “meow.” Oh, and not just for certain words, but for every single syllable of the song!

As you listen to “A Nyankoku Nyanko’s Thesis,” (nyanko meaning “kitty” and nyankoku a play on words with zankoku/cruel), you might be surprised at how good the vocals sound, and there’s a reason for that. See, “A Nyankoku Nyanko’s Thesis” is no fan parody, but a professionally produced alternate version of the Eva theme sung by none other than Yoko Takahashi, the vocalist who sang “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis.”

The icing on the cake is the lovingly recreated Eva TV opening animation sequence, just this time with cats filling in for the anime’s cast of characters. There’s Cat Shinji

Cat Rei

Cat Misato

…and even Cat Gendo!

▼ Father praised me…and was also a cat.

What really makes the song work is that in contrast to its ridiculous premise, Takahashi plays the vocals completely straight, even though she’s clearly in on the joke. “When they approached me with the idea,” she says, “I was instantly impressed by how cat-ful it was! It’s just plain cute and ridiculously funny, so I was so happy to be involved, and it was a lot of fun.” That’s not to say singing the song’s cat version was easy, though. Similar to the challenges faced by Pikachu’s voice actress, Takahashi had to consider the proper inflection and emphasis of every nya, and she says the ones she poured the most of herself into come at the very end of the video, at the 1:25 mark, which corresponds to the line “Shinwa ni nare” (“Become a legend”) in the human-language version

▼ Also the Nerv emblem has been reworked as Neko (the Japanese word for “cat”) with a Romanized-Japanese plea of “I want to eat rice with bonito flakes nya give me a bunch of it nya.”

While Evangelion has never needed a reason to get weird with its promotional antics, there’s an actual reason for this feline-style cover, which is that Eva is currently the theme for the current crossover even in Japanese mobile game Battle Cats (or Nyanko Daisenso, to use its Japanese-language title).

▼ The Eva/Battle Cats preview, narrated by Misato voice actress Kotono Mitsuishi.

Fans have quickly embraced the nya-enhanced version of the song, leaving comments online such as:

“I love how it’s such a dumb idea, but they were so earnest in producing the sound and visuals.”
“I keep watching it over and over…”
“It’s mysteriously additive.”
“There’s even a cat entry plug!”
“When the song started, I totally didn’t expect them to do the whole minute and a half!”

And the craziest thing of all? There’s more to come. While the video corresponds to the approximately 90-second “TV size” version of “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis,” the song’s complete version is more than twice as long, and the on-screen text promises that there’s a nya-version of it coming soon.

Source: PR Times
Top image: PR Times
Insert images: PR Times, YouTube/にゃんこスタジオ公式チャンネル
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