Nyaruko Triggers Lovecraft Boom


The popularity of Haiyore! Nyaruko-san has apparently triggered a Cthulhu Mythos boom amongst otaku, with sales of Japanese editions of Lovecrafts’ works soaring the instant the anime aired.

For those as yet unaware, Nyaruko is actually a moefied anthropomorphisation of Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos and one of the Outer Gods from legendary American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft’s hugely influential Cthulhu Mythos.

Lovecraft’s cheerful introduction of the entity might just be considered at odds with her presentation in the anime (although the chaotic nature of both portrayals do at least match):

And through this revolting graveyard of the universe the muffled, maddening beating of drums, and thin, monotonous whine of blasphemous flutes from inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond Time; the detestable pounding and piping whereunto dance slowly, awkwardly, and absurdly the gigantic, tenebrous ultimate gods — the blind, voiceless, mindless gargoyles whose soul is Nyarlathotep.

To preserve the viewer’s sanity at least until the comments begin, only images of the dread entity in its guise as Nyaruko may be shown here:


The Amazon salesrank of H.P. Lovecraft’s Complete Works Vol. 1 (in Japanese and first published in 1974) boomed massively the instant the anime aired, although how one of his works got into the “light novel” category in the first place is likely something known only to the fungi from Yuggoth:


How well Lovecraft’s stultifying prose actually translates into Japanese is probably rather less relevant to this performance than the popularity of Nyaruko in her chaos love comedy incarnation.

The total mismatch between the impassively grim darkness of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and the consumer banality of otaku culture is puzzling many, although given the (still ongoing) boom in guitar sales prompted by K-ON! it is probably not surprising them:

“I can’t but think a lot of these anime influenced buyers will not be reading their copies…”

“Volume 6 is good. The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath and similar are great fun.”

“I expect a lot of the people will be making sanity checks as a result of the huge disparity in content between the anime and the books…”

“Will the Cthulhu Mythos spread amongst anime otaku now? At least they might read something apart from manga and light novels.”

“I love The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, in volume 2.”

“She actually introduces herself as Nyarlathotep on the classroom blackboard, but says ‘please call me Nyaruko, nyan.'”

“How many people picked that up I wonder…”


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