Nokotan drools over deer crackers, much to Torako's dismay, in My Deer Friend Nokotan
(Wit Studio)

Will ‘My Deer Friend Nokotan’ Episode 2 Fix the Problems With Episode 1?

Okay gang, let me hear you … I’m sorry, let me deer you: Shikanokonokonokokoshitantan! Shikanokonokonokokoshitantan!

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My Deer Friend Nokotan managed to become one of the most highly anticipated anime of the summer 2024 lineup. For one, it took its rather unwieldy Japanese name—Shikanoko Nokonoko Koshitantan—and turned it into a catchy, viral opening theme song. The series has also unleashed a parade of unhinged trailers and social media antics that turned heads. If those heads had antlers like Nokotan’s, walls would’ve surely broken.

Unfortunately, the first episode of Nokotan released to immediate online outrage and controversy. The subtitles and the dub script (which are identical) were notably lackluster, with the subtitles containing multiple very obvious errors. The low-quality translations led many to think that Nokotan suffered from AI. However, it’s more likely that, thanks to the series’ distributor REMOW, the subtitles are just bad human work that didn’t go through a quality check.

From that angle, I’m personally rather anxious about Nokotan’s second episode. Did REMOW hear the feedback and scramble to fix the script? Or will one of this season’s most delightful anime be eternally plagued with subpar subtitling?

More antics in episode 2

It’s a huge bummer that My Deer Friend Nokotan’s low-quality translations are what is on everyone’s mind, rather than the merits of the show itself. Of course, it can’t be helped—distributor REMOW brought this upon themselves and should be held accountable (but without aggression, please).

But beyond the bad translations, the first episode of My Deer Friend Nokotan absolutely delivered. There were multiple moments that were just as delightfully unhinged as the trailer promised. The CGI deer where the funniest use of the uncanny mix of computer animation and 2D that I’ve seen. Nokotan couldn’t fit through the doorway of her classroom because of her antlers, so confidently walked straight through and completely destroyed the wall, accompanied by epic music singing, “Shiiii-kaaaaa!” (Shika is the Japanese word for “deer.”)

But maybe the best moment was Nokotan seeing the pile of deer crackers (a staple of tourist culture around Nara, Japan, which has scores and scores and scores of deer wandering around) that she herself left on Torako’s desk. Her drool was animated like a cascading waterfall, complete with a rainbow. Excellent.

New episodes of My Deer Friend Nokotan will premiere every Sunday at 11:3oPM, Japan time. That means episode two will drop at 10:30AM ET/7:30AM Pacific on Sunday, July 14, 2024. Hope you’re reading for a hype singalong that early in the morning!

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Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.