(ニアアンダーセブン, Nia Andā Sebun
?), also known as NieA under 7
, is a 13 episode anime series about Mayuko, a poor, introverted student who lives above a Japanese bathhouse, and NieA, a freeloading, freewheeling alien who lives in her closet and eats her food. The series begins on a light comedic tone (most of the early episodes are about schemes to rejuvenate the bathhouse), and deepens somewhat as it explores the evolving relationship between Mayuko and NieA, but the overall ending is upbeat.
The series touches lightly upon issues of discrimination, stereotypes, alienation, city life vs small town life, and assimilation. Mayuko, who attends a cram school, is a young girl living away from her family and expresses a lot of melancholy. NieA, who is apparently placed in an inferior class by her fellow aliens due to being a physical minority among them, immediately accuses anyone who calls her a 'stupid no-antenna' or the like, of discrimination. Other aliens adopt various stereotypical cultural styles, one chooses Indian dress and opens a convenience store, another chooses to associate herself with the Chinese revolution. This theme of the outsider alien is carried through in the brief comic live-action sequence which ends each episode, "Dalgit's Tidbit of Indian Information."
is based on a doujinshi by graphic designer Yoshitoshi ABe and published by Kadokawa Shoten. Much of NieA_7'
s staff was made up of people who had worked on Serial Experiments Lain
(director Takuya Sato was the storyboard artist for Lain
, Yoshitoshi ABe was the character designer for Lain
, etc.); it is commonly supposed that they chose to do this light-hearted series to cool off after the dark and psychologically intense Serial Experiments Lain
. This idea is further supported by the character Chiaki, a UFO fanatic who shares a name with Chiaki J. Konaka, the script writer for Lain