Okay, so here are the facts: Starting this week, Crunchyroll is going to be airing Nyanbo, a new series about cats who look like they're made out of cardboard boxes, marking the latest series to be streamed worldwide simultaneous with its release in Japan.

Now here's why that's weird: The reason that the cats are made of cardboard boxes is because Nyanbo is about cat versions of Danbo, a character from Kiyohiko Azuma's Yotsuba&! who does not actually exist, and is instead a "robot" made out of cardboard boxes by two of the characters for a school project.

So just so we're clear on this, rather than making an adaptation of Yotsuba, someone instead decided to turn an extremely minor side character into a family of cats and do a show about that, because sure! Why not?


Yotsuba&!, by Kiyohiko Azuma


If you haven't read Yotsuba&! --- and you should, it's great --- Danbo (sometimes translated as Cardbo) was created as a school project by Yotsuba's neighbor Ena and her best friend Miura. Yotsuba, being young, imaginative, and extremely impressionable, assumed that Danbo was real, and rather than disillusion her (and to leave the door open for future pranks in Miura's case), Ena and Miura decided to let her go on believing that Danbo was a real robot.

As for how we got to cats... folks, your guess is as good as mine on that one, but I'm assuming that it results from the fact that Danbo ended up being a weirdly popular piece of Yotsuba. Azuma's simple design translated pretty well into action figures, leading to plenty of Danbo merchandise, and if we've learned anything from the Internet, it's that you can only go right combining your merchandising with cats.

As for the show, it's going to be composed of entirely new adventures that will have nothing to do with the source material, instead focusing on a cast of different-colored cardboard cats with quirky personalities.

For more, AnimeNewsNetwork has the full rundown of characters and voice actors. Nyanbo begins tonight at 6:15 PM at Crunchyroll.

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