My Deer Friend Nokotan – Season 1 Episode 1 Recap & Review

Girl Meets Deer

Episode 1 of My Deer Friend Nokotan begins with the narrator discussing the main character’s home city. The narrator discusses the type of school she attends and what type of clothes she’s wearing. Then, our female lead greets the audience. As our female lead heads to school, several deer monitor her from afar. Then, we cut away to two girls heading to school.

One almost trips but thankfully our female lead saves her. The girl thanks our female lead and we continue observing our female lead as she heads to school. While she’s heading to school, the narrator informs the audience that her name is Koshi Hirako, a second-year student at Tokyo Metropolitan Hinominami High School. 

Koshi is the student council president and class representative of 2-B. The narrator claims Koshi is known as the perfect girl in her neighborhood. However, the narrator says Koshi used to be a delinquent but wants to keep that a secret from everyone. Koshi says if people discovered the truth about her, all her efforts to become an honor student would go to waste. 

Then, Koshi spots a girl hanging from a utility poll and can’t believe someone died in the first episode. The hanging girl’s snot reaches Koshi and Koshi realizes the girl’s okay. Koshi observes the girl and notices she has antlers on her head. She starts questioning the logic behind this girl’s design. Next, Koshi attempts to ignore the girl and head to school.

The girl stops Koshi and guilts her into freeing her from her “hanging” predicament. Koshi helps the girl and asks her why she was stuck at the utility pole. The girl says she woke up and found herself there, but Koshi doesn’t believe her. The girl calls Koshi, “Miss Delinquent” making Koshi realize the girl knows the truth about her.

Koshi tells the girl that she’s not a delinquent and tells her to not get stuck on the utility pole again. Koshi departs and arrives at school seconds later. Her teacher asks the new transfer student to come inside. Koshi learns this new transfer student is the girl from before. The girl walks into the classroom, shattering the entrance with her long antlers, much to Koshi’s shock.

The girl introduces herself as Shikanoko Noko (or Nokotan). Everyone welcomes Nokotan with kind remarks and the teacher suggests Nokotan sit next to Koshi. Nokotan sits next to Koshi and Koshi tells her if she has any problems to let her know and to call her anything she likes. Nokotan calls Koshi “Delinquent Lady” and everyone in the class can’t believe Koshi’s a delinquent.

Koshi tells everyone, including Nokotan, that she’s not a delinquent. Nokotan tells Koshi that her “wild instincts” told her that Koshi is a delinquent and a lady. She points toward her glowing antlers for proof. Everyone’s baffled by this revelation and Koshi confirms she is a girl. Later, Koshi walks down the hall, and everyone marvels at her beauty.

Koshi wants to prevent Nokotan from revealing her secret. The former returns to class and notices Nokotan piled deer crackers on top of it. Nokotan arrives and tells Koshi she put the deer crackers on her desk as a “thank you” gift. The former realizes the latter’s not satisfied with this gift, so Nokotan rips off one of her antlers and gives it to Koshi. She tells Koshi that they’re edible. 

Koshi’s not satisfied so Nokotan rips off her other antler and says she can have both as a special offer. The former tells the latter she doesn’t want the antlers and says without them, Nokotan looks like a regular high school girl. Nokotan tells Koshi she’s willing to abandon her “character” for Koshi since she saved her life. 

Nokotan puts her antlers back on and wonders if Koshi wants to “punish” her. After more back-and-forth shenanigans ensue between Koshi and Nokotan, several girls ask Koshi if she and Nokotan are close. Nokotan attempts to tell her classmates how she and Koshi met. Koshi grabs Nokotan and flees to the student council clubroom. 

Nokotan teases Koshi about her intentions and Koshi promises Nokotan that she doesn’t want to perform any nefarious acts on her. Koshi tells Nokotan to keep her delinquent background a secret, otherwise, there will be consequences. Nokotan toys with Koshi and Koshi tells her to stop making antler jokes. This hurts Nokotan’s feelings, making her feel insecure about her appearance.

Koshi apologizes but Nokotan recovers from her sadness and removes her antler-headpiece like a human taking off a hat. Later, Koshi departs from school and hears some commotion going on in the school’s shed. Koshi checks the place out and discovers Nokotan lying on the ground with a bloodied skull. Nokotan gets up and tells Koshi she had a minor accident.

Koshi uses some first aid kid tools to help Nokotan recover. Nokotan tells Koshi she’s cleaning this unused shed by herself. Koshi tells Nokotan she’ll help her out because the latter’s injured. While Koshi and Nokotan clean the shed, Nokotan tells Koshi she enjoys activities more when she’s doing it with someone else. 

Then, Ms. Ukai arrives. She’s Nokotan and Koshi’s teacher. Koshi says she didn’t mind helping Nokotan clean this place up and Ukai informs Koshi that Nokotan planned to use this place to form a Deer Club. Ukoi also says that Nokotan told her that Koshi wanted to join the Deer Club, much to Koshi’s shock. Although Koshi doesn’t want to join it, Ukai and Nokotan convince her to join.

Ukai hands Nokotan the club’s application form. Nokotan fills in the details. Koshi will be the Deer Club’s president and the club will focus on caring for deer. Nokotan argues that she can’t be the president because she’ll serve as the Deer Club’s deer. Later, Nokotan hands Koshi a brush and asks her to comb her hair and antlers. A girl observes our pair from afar.

The episode ends with the narrator telling the audience that the battle of the Deer Club has begun.


The Episode Review

Before this season began, many folks were spreading this silly anime around like the plague. Many referred to it as Nichijou: My Ordinary Life’s spiritual successor while others found it to be a strange work. If there’s one thing everyone will agree on, it’s that the marketing for this work was top-notch. 

Outside influences aside, My Deer Friend Nokotan’s first episode was comedic gold. From its clever fourth-wall breaks to its bizarre situational humor, this anime has the chance to stand toe to toe with the best comedy anime like Great Teacher Onizuka or Golden Boy. However, only time will tell if this series will continue to deliver inventive and unique jokes. 

Comedy aside, the visuals were nice on the eyes. While the series doesn’t look different from other “moe” anime of the past and present, there are instances where that’ll take some folks by surprise. Additionally, that ending theme cinematic will surely entice fans to smile and laugh.

Overall, this episode of My Deer Friend Nokotan delivered the goods. It’s not a masterfully-written anime (so far), but it has the potential to be a smash hit.

 

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Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!
  • Episode Rating
    (4.5)
4.5