[RR] Mayoi Neko Overrun! Review
“Mayoi Lameness Overrun”
Over the years, we had a quite a few romance drama themed anime masterpieces, ranging from Shuffle, Da Capo, Clannad, Kanon and more newer examples, Hanasaku Iroha and AnoHana. Mayoi Neko Overrun, an anime with enough potential to join in the list of masterpieces, yet, proceed into the wrong path and turned the anime into one of the worst. It seems that in this anime, different directors and production teams are changed weekly through the episodes and that might be one of the main reasons for the show’s downfall. We had all seen anime’s downpour in quality due to staff changes at times, and Mayoi Neko Overrun is a prime example.
The plot revolves around Tsuzuki Takumi, a high school student who is running a confectionery, in the name of “Stray Cats” with his sister-in-law, Otome. The sister-in-law is an extremely good-natured person and is always running around helping people. One day she brings home a runaway girl, Kiriya Nozomi, effectively living with them too. Nozomi’s closed mind gradually opens to them and works as a pâtissière at Stray Cats.
The concept of Mayoi Neko Overrun was surprisingly deep. It is about the feelings of being abandoned and all alone.. or in other words, “stray cats”. I was quite satisfied with the first few episodes, cleverly applying it’s heavy concept, providing atmospheric familial love and romance. Alas, later on, the anime turns into a downhill, turning into another To Love-ru. From then onwards, a lot of random episodes keep flowing in, no more drama, no more tear-jerking, no more touching confessions, no nothing. Now, there’s hot springs, beaches, etc.. There is very little plot development, and even if there is, it doesn’t matches well with the plot pacing, and what’s more, any kind of developments will already be spoiled by randomness and ecchiness.
Most of the characters in the cast has typical personalities in a harem genre show. Takumi, the male lead who everyone loves for some reason, has probably the most random personality ever. Maybe it’s because of the different directors and producers managing the anime. He is at times seen as an innocent guy trying not too hard to be pervy and at times, he is a creepy otaku, joining in the hands of his galge maniac friend, Ieyasu.
The other characters can also be something seen as typical characters we seen like in a thousand harems. We have Fumino, the tsundere girl and Nozomi, who mysteriously acts like a cat and Chise, the wealthy ojousama who can make anything possible with her monies. The characters were actually developed well in the early episodes, as the said characters were “starting” to flesh out pretty well, giving high expectations. But once again, everything starts going downhill when the randomness starts. The series tries to provide some more development at the last few episodes but I would say it’s a bit too late, and besides, any developments at this point will only make the anime even more awkward.
The art, for a 2010 anime, is a bit disappointing as well. The character designs look a bit old school, especially with such big eyes and round face. What’s more, the character models are obviously recycled and reused, as almost every characters are drawn with similar designs. The quality of the visuals differs in each episodes, probably because of the different production teams and directors. At some episodes, the animation looks smooth, while on some, it looks stiff and rigid. Also, on some episodes, the outlines look overwhelmingly thick, while on some, it at least look okay. Though ultimately, there was never a time where the change is good enough to rise the visual quality to at least “above average.” There are also some where the non-plot characters are turned into a blob of white, like this anime here, though the latter is a better show obviously.
The voice acting is quite satisfying, at least,
and is probably the only good thing about the anime. The OP and ED songs aren’t anything special though, typical Jpop I would say. The melodies aren’t catchy; you will probably find yourself skipping them through after listening to them a few times. The background music aren’t any attention-grabbing either, and to put matters worse, there are a lot of scenes without background music, creating an awkward atmosphere. The “quiet scenes” without the background music at times work, and at times doesn’t, and it’s definitely the latter for Mayoi Neko Overrun.
The fact that each episodes have a different director, scriptwriters and artists is quite unique although ironically, it might just be the cause of this show’s downfall. In one episode, there is a whole episode about shooting a PV, one whole episode on mecha parodies, and another episode on custom Jenga games with Saki references. The jokes aren’t as good as other shows too but a minority of them are still laughable. Overall, this anime starts out quite good in terms of storytelling but later on, it sorts of became an experiment for various directors. Besides, having so many fillers in such a short 13-episodes anime just doesn’t help.
This review is part of the
Reviews Recollection Project.