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06-27-12, 8:03 PM
Anime Relations: Mayoi Neko Overrun!, Mayoi Neko Overrun! Specials
This entry will be my second for the day. I'm on a roll :D

The fact of the matter is I don't always enjoy writing these entries. I obviously sometimes have some trouble finding things to write for each anime and I don't always look forward to it. More often than not I would rather be moving on and enjoying a new anime than reflecting on the one I just watched. The reason I continue to do it is I know that somewhere down the line I'm really going to enjoy being able to go back and look at what I was thinking the first time I watched this anime or that anime.

Present me is usually a total dick to future me, so I'm making it up by giving him something nice to read and reminisce about.

Anyways, on to more pressing matters. I just finished Mayoi Neko Overrun!. I must say I was surprised. Going into it I was expecting utter chaos. It was rated below a seven, which usually isn't a great sign. My theory thus far is that for any given anime you have two parties: those who love it with a passion and those who didn't care for it at all. Thus it's logical to think that most of the ratings would be on extremes of the spectrum and thus the average rating would be more of a thumbs up/thumbs down and not a very reliable way to judge if you'll like an anime.

If we throw out the people who just hate it for various reasons in the interest of keeping an open mind then we're just left with the avid fans: which are the people who for the most part are writing the reviews. If someone hated the anime for no good reason you immediately discount their review, but when you look at the reviews and see people who were fans of the manga or whatever the anime was adapted from complaining about it you're immediately given the impression that it's not going to be great.

That's the impression the ratings and reviews of Mayoi Neko Overrun! had me anticipating. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I would ultimately totally disagree with those ratings and those reviews.

In my opinion Mayoi Neko Overrun! is somewhat underrated. If I could I would have given it a 7.6/10 but unfortunately MAL only supports whole number ratings. Unlike other harem anime this one actually made you feel good: the characters were all good people with actual problems just looking to be loved. While their love was particularly strong with regard to Takumi all of them really harbored the feeling that Nozomi voiced several times through out the anime: "I love everyone."

When you take into account the fact that they're all essentially orphans it's understandable that there might be this other facet. Rather than simply the story of a bunch of girls chasing a guy Mayoi Neko Overrun! is the story of a bunch of misfits looking to be accepted and create a family. The harem aspect where Fumino, Nozomi and Chise fall into a different kind of love with Takumi is almost secondary and always takes a backseat to the characters affections towards the group as a whole.

For me this set it apart from the rest as being something more. Something more meaningful, more appealing and ultimately more emotional. You feel more strongly for the characters plights than you would in a traditional harem. Being able to observe and enjoy emotions like that in this setting was refreshing and enjoyable.

Another thing setting it apart was the fact that there were two other fairly significant male characters that actually added a lot of flavor to the story. Ieyasu is a funny otaku who adds comic value to the story, but also has a great deal to offer in terms of directing the plot. This might sound a bit thin even when you think about it a little bit, but the fact of the matter is he's a constant in Takumi's life. He's not just there either standing on the sidelines: he's a part of the group and helps influence decisions that they make. It's even more so with Daigorou. He's quiet and keeps to himself a little bit but he's always there giving support to the characters. He's someone who I would really like to know in real life because he seems like a very responsible and reliable guy to have as a friend.

In terms of the female lead characters each was unique in her own way. Fumino was a tsundere with more emphasis on the "dere" than is typical. So much so that I cringe to call her a tsundere. She has a gruff exterior and wants to seem tough but she's quick to show her affection towards Takumi and the other characters when it matters right from the beginning, which is why I hesitate to use the word tsundere. She's very loveable once you see her true feelings peek through and she's honestly probably one of my favorite harem characters I've seen thus far.

Chise is awesome. She's rich and does crazy, but awesome, things with her money in order to make her friends happy. She comes off as being bossy and mean, but the truth is (as is shown abundantly throughout the anime) she just wants to fit in just as much as the others. She's no different from them because her parents are never around and as a result she's virtually an orphan. She has no real family and wants desperately to become part of the one she found at Stray Cats. It's even harder for her, however, because nobody realizes it and she would never admit it.

Nozomi is probably the deepest and most interesting of the three. She is in many ways the sole driving force behind the plot. Throughout the series we uncover more and more about her personality and in the end her past. As much as she drives changes in the plot her fellow characters drive changes in her. The Nozomi we see in the last (real) episode of the anime is far more developed and grown up emotionally than the one that Otome picked up at the beginning of the series. She discovers that it's ok to be a burden sometimes, and that that's part of being in a family. While learning this she brings this realization to the rest of the characters as well and they learn a great deal from the experience. Slowly she learns to depend on this family she's found and by the end she would do anything to avoid losing them.

It's really a lot better of a story than I thought it was going to be, and it made me very happy to watch it. It was a great and fairly emotional ride which was presented in such a way that you could really appreciate the comedy without losing the sentimentality. The episodes like eight and nine were probably some of my favorites even though they seemed to come out of the blue a little bit (which I believe was due to a director change or something like that). They were exciting, fun and offered a change of pace which kept the fun from stagnating. I understand why some people might not like that but for me it enhanced the experience a great deal.

Really fun, really heart-warming, really cute little anime. Definitely a good watch despite the critics. I'd recommend it hands down to anyone looking for something fun and not too involved, but not totally devoid of meaning and depth.

Oyasuminasai
svast
Posted by Fuu-nyon | 06-27-12, 8:03 PM | Add a comment
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