Anime Review: The Everyday Tales of a Cat God Complete Series Premium Edition

setThe Everyday Tales of a Cat God Complete Series Premium Edition
Studio: AIC Plus +
Publisher: NIS America
Genre:  comedy/fantasy
Runtime:  308 minutes (2 Blu-Ray Discs)
Release Date: June 4th, 2013

Nekogami Yaoyoroz, also known as Cat God, or as titled for the U.S. release, The Everyday Tales of a Cat God, is best-described as an urban fantasy sitcom without the laugh track.  Debuting in the summer of 2011, the anime is based off the manga of the same name that’s ongoing but has four collected volumes available.  While it’s definitely more comedy, there are some fantasy elements, as the show is based around a banished nekogami, a cat god, living with a down on her luck human, where more and more gods show up and it follows their adventures.  Definitely more light-hearted than some of the other anime I’ve reviewed lately, The Everyday Tales of a Cat God still offers a bit of the slice-of-life anime like Bunny Drop and Anohana, without the gut-wrenching heartbreak. 

04The series starts off with Mayu, a cat god in charge of forgotten things and lost memories, getting exiled by her mother to Earth for gambling and using her powers to do so.  Mayu has a very limited set of abilities left to her disposal, and she ends up landing in Yuzu’s care.  Yuzu is a human shop owner of Antiques Unlimited, and she barely does enough business to scrape by, but that doesn’t stop Mayu from basically living off her and playing video games all day, with the occasional help finding something Yuzu may have misplaced.  Gonta, a fox god, lives in the same city, and has a huge thing for Yuzu, who is pretty much completely oblivious to his affections.  Gonta is also the only male among the main cast, not including the two supporting guys thrown in basically for comic relief.  Sasana is another cat god like Mayu, but with a deeper connection to Mayu, as they’re betrothed.  Apparently there was a miscommunication between their fathers, and so the two are to be wed eventually.  Meiko is the granddaughter of the god of destruction and wealth, which I’m still amused go hand in hand, who is very fond of Mayu, which leads to her and Sasana constantly butting heads with each other. 

05The gods living in the city with Mayu end up teaming up reluctantly when it’s rumored a god of poverty is coming to town, and they decide they want to keep it out.  Shamo isn’t actually in town to destroy anyone’s lives, but to check up on the other gods to make sure they’re keeping up with their duties.  Shamo is the calmest of the bunch, and ends up playing Mayu’s games almost as much as Mayu does.  Shortly after that, the cherry blossoms are failing to bloom when a rather large package arrives addressed to Mayu, which contains a rather enormous pot.  Despite Shamo’s warning that something important is inside of it, Mayu actually tries to do the right thing, as it’s a traffic hazard and it’s blocking people from getting into Yuzu’a store.  The next day, Yoshino, the god of cherry blossoms, shows up with the right pot as a gift to Mayu.  It seems she sent the wrong one to her and would like the large pot that Mayu ditched the day before back, as that’s what she uses to set the blossoms, well, blossoming. Hilarity ensues while they try to track down the rather large pot. From there on out, it’s a pretty set cast, with this core group trying to fix every day, well for them, god problems to get through their day.  Other characters do show up after they’re introduced, particularly in the OVA, which had pretty much everyone in it from the series in some fashion. 

09From the first episode on, the series is fairly episodic, with only a few plot elements carrying over from one episode to the next.  The few plots that take more than a few episodes are towards the end of the series.  The OVA isn’t meant to wrap up an unfinished series either, but acts more like a fun episode outside of it, for no other reason than to have an extra fun episode that seems to take place roughly a year after Yoshino arrived, based on the timing of the cherry blossoms.  So while it’s not as sweeping, and isn’t telling an over-arcing story, Everyday Tales of a Cat God doesn’t fail to entertain, and it can be watched in chunks without having to remember who did what on the first disc from the last disc.  It is a Japanese anime comedy, so expect a few things to be over the top as far as reactions go, set-up of the comedy gag, and of course chibi-fication of the characters, but it’s not as cracked out as, say Daikon Brothers, and is a bit more restrained.  So while it’s a bit more sedate, it has the effect of not being nearly as memorable, but it’s still pretty cute and a bunch of fun, and a nice change of pace from the heart-stomping I’m usually reviewing.

Visually, the animation is pretty decent, and the Blu-ray quality is fantastic.  The voice actors do a great job on this.  Like all the NIS America releases, though, this is Japanese only audio with English subtitles.  As far as extras go, on the discs you got the OVA, which really counts as an episode unto itself, complete with the opening and closing credits, clean versions of the opening and closing credits, and then seven bonus mini episodes where they try to help Mayu with a video game problem. They’ve not put DVDs in with this release, like other releases before, so you will have to have a Blu-ray player for this set, unlike most past sets; the upside is that it’s a little cheaper than the other sets, but not really by two DVDs worth.

14What about the usual extras not on the disc, but bundled with them? They are definitely here in the premium edition. Aside from your two Blu-ray slim cases with the added artwork on the exterior, the usual oversized hard slip case with the wrap around artwork tags along, with the 32 page artbook. The artbook is less artbook though and more of a scrapbook created by the characters from the show itself. Each episode and the OVA are covered with a brief synopsis written by the character that features in it. If the character makes their debut in that episode, they wrote the entry. After that, it goes into reference drawings the animators would have used and some other interesting sketches, along with the usual poster pages. Of course, at that point, Mayu can’t let that stand, and makes little notes all over the book on the character design pages, not on the artwork itself, but around it. This ends up making it a great companion piece to the show, and the artwork towards the end is really well done. This isn’t a hard one to recommend if you like the lighter side of things, but want something a little more toned down and less spastic than most anime comedies. There is a storage issue if you’re low on space, as this will take up about the space you’d reserve for a coffee table book, but a bit lighter. It is at least decent enough to look at, and getting it directly from NIS America’s website is usually cheaper than anywhere else.



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