Takumi Tsuzuki is a high school student who attends the Umenomori Private Academy, free of charge, alongside Fumino Serizawa, a childhood friend of his whom always says the opposite of what she feels. He spends most of his time at school fending off Chise Umenomori, the granddaughter of the board chairman and a pampered princess, who is constantly roping him into her eccentric hobbies. After school, he goes to work at the "Stray Cats" confectionery, a cake shop run by his adoptive older sister, Otome Tsuzuki, until it's time to go to bed. This is the average routine in the day and the life of Takumi.
Mayoi Neko Overrun follows another seemingly average day in the life of Takumi. With his sister away from the shop, having gone to save someone else in need of help, Fumino takes it upon herself to wake him up so that he won't be late for their usual walk to school together, giving him a glimpse of her blue and white striped panties in the process. What a nice way to start the day.
When Otome returns home, she brings with her a girl named Nozomi Kiriya, whose hair and mannerisms resemble that of a large cat. It turns out that she is a runaway that Otome can't help but take in. Takumi's ordinary days are transformed into splendid chaos as he tries to unravel who this mysterious beauty is and what she's running away from...
#1: "ItchaLove Come Home! (イチャラブCome Home!)" by Kanae Itou, Yuka Iguchi, Ayana Taketatsu (eps 1-5, 8-10, 12-13) #2: "Mayoi Neko Doukoukai no Uta (迷い猫同好会の歌)" by Kanae Itou, Yuka Iguchi, Ayana Taketatsu (ep 6) #3: "Kanadete Hoshi Uta (奏でて星歌)" by Hitomi Mieno (ep 7) #4: "Bloomer no Uta (ブルマの歌)" by Umenomori Gakuen Bloomer Ha (ep 11)
I have very mixed feelings about Mayoi Neko Overrun. It's quite something to say that a series is both generic yet still one of the more... unique harems to come out in a while. This all stems from the fact that the scriptwriter, director and key artist changed every single episode for the twelve week duration of the series. The result is that studio AIC squanders what little potential the series already had and gives the directors free reign to do one-shot episode experiments. What would have been a mostly cliche but still above average harem turns into possibly "the" trainwreck of the year.
with the positive: The most interesting part of this series was that despite a formulaic harem setting, the show had a motif; a constantly echoed theme that ties all of the characters and stories together. The theme is stray cats, both literally and figuratively. The show examines what it means to be abandoned and alone, what it means to search for and find a place where you can belong, and what it means to have a family and a home. While not as well-developed as it should have been because of the aforementioned trainwrecking, these ideas are woven into the plot and the backstory of every single character. It all starts when Nozomi, a blue-haired emotionless catgirl with abandonment issues, is taken in by protagonist Takumi's older sister. This unofficial adoption forces the other two members of Takumi's harem to reexamine their own lives. Blond tsundere Fumino grew up with Takumi in an orphanage, a victim of non-stop bullying. Even blonder ojou-sama Chise is surrounded by wealth and yes-men who abide by her every word, but the fame of her parents ensures that they are never around and she is always alone.
Despite archetypal definitions, the characters in this series manage to have a little extra depth to differentiate them from other harems. Otome nee-san is far more mature and understanding than her carefree attitude would lead you to believe. Same goes for Kaho, a childhood friend and conniving corporate rival of Chise's, who in one episode fosters a misunderstanding in order to strengthen the bonds between all of the characters. Two seasons prior, AIC made Sora no Otoshimono a successful harem by playing up the fact that the protagonist was an unabashed pervert, proving an interesting contrast to the indifferent or wimpy male leads of most harems. Well, Overrun does the exact opposite here. Not only does Takumi try to weasel his way out of dealing with the girls, but his indecisiveness is actually justified by just how irritating and passive-aggressive the girls actually are. Nozomi is silent as ever, but the writers don't even attempt to push Chise or Fumino as moe or submissive. They are incredibly overbearing and often cause Takumi a lot more trouble than they're worth. The characters are not quite unlikeable (I was fine with them), but it was still interesting to see a show actually get away with making a guy not want his harem.
Speaking of Takumi, for a male lead in a harem, he is surprisingly absent. The show is supposedly about his developing relationship with these girls. Yet even from the first episode, he frequently seems like a supporting character in his own series. Late in the show, there is an episode about the family taking care of a lost young girl (which again allows the characters to reflect on their own thoughts of loneliness) and Takumi doesn't appear at all. This is a mixed blessing but moves toward the positive. One, the show starts with Fumino and Chise already having a crush on Takumi, preventing any contrived or shallow origin story for their romantic interest in him. The chronic absence of the male lead also keeps the girls from fawning all over him like other harems (though like I said, their characterization already prevents this). The girls have a lot of scenes to themselves, where they meditate on their own thoughts and solve their own problems. If you are tired of seeing harem girls waiting around for their "man" to come and fix everything for them, this series can be refreshing occasionally.
Describing the series like this, you'd wonder what went wrong. And here is where we come back to the dreaded switching of directors every episode. The show is a mess. Every individual episode is solid enough, but the series itself lacks coherence and is riddled by random, one-off fillers in the midseason that fail to progress the story at all. This is probably the only harem I've seen where one of the girls full-out confesses to the guy early in the series, in three episodes which build up to a nice climax despite starting off a bit shaky. And yet it takes this build-up and does nothing with it, opting instead to just go for random gag episodes. Four in particular stand out: 4 was from the director of Gag Manga Biyori and jumped the shark for many viewers, as it ignored previous plot developments, and "all" characterization up to that point. If you've seen a lot of harems, you'll know the main guy always has an otaku sidekick to make him look good by comparison. Ever wanted to know what would happen if that idiot otaku ended up being the lead in a show? Well, Overrun gives you the chance to find out in episode 6. I've gotta admit: that otaku's got guts. He literally wastes millions of dollars and still manages to troll everyone. The worst of these fillers was easily 7, which is the season finale of some super robot series. Here, Overrun subverts like no one has ever subverted before. The episode is not a parody, it is played completely straight. There is no humor, it is a completely different series featuring Mayoi Neko's characters, and it's absolutely boring. And then 8 is an episode of Saki. The final four episodes return to the main storyline, but even then: one of them doesn't feature half the cast, and two more juggle the generic school athletic competition plot. The series starts off promisingly, then proceeds to waste just enough time to make sure we don't see the fruits of that progress by the end. It's a shame because by the time the story comes back around, there are quite a few nice, sentimental moments that make you wish it went a bit further.
The technical side of things is a mixed bag as well. In the visual department, the character designs (both male and female) are quite nice to look at. The artwork manages to keep a consistent style across all of the characters. For once, a series finally decides to give characters eye colors that don't match their hair; this complimentary coloring for the female leads is especially nice. Still, with the show constantly cycling through staff, the art suffers from notable inconsistencies across the series. Episode 1 has thinner lining and more shapely clothing, episode 5 has more angular faces and emotive shading, etc. A few episodes (4 & 6) have a lot of off-models, though some may have been deliberate (though it's contested whether it was worth it). For the most part, the art survived the episode transitions better than the storytelling did. The animation is below average and never really on par with the art, but being a comedy series, it doesn't really need to be.
On the sound side: the voice acting is serviceable but as the actors are voicing archetypes, it never goes anywhere beyond the range you'd expect. The OP song is average J-pop but the lyrics really have no rhythm and seem rushed all the way through. On the other hand, the ED has a tropical ring to it and actually sounds quite nice. What background music is present is usually done well. The problem is that there simply isn't enough of it. Entire scenes and large portions of the episodes are completely silent with no music at all. Sometimes it successfully contributes to the atmosphere, but sometimes the lack of music makes unfunny scenes even less funny. Still, the recurring piano theme played during all of the emotional scenes is commendable.
My biggest disappointment with Mayoi Neko is that AIC basically sacrificed the actual adaptation to create a display booth for the talent of the various directors involved. While it may have not been a big deal with just any harem, Overrun seemed to have started off doing just enough differently from the rest of the pack to make me think the show had some potential. The fact that it's based on a light novel series and not the usual ero-manga, and a popular one at that, adds to this notion. If that weren't enough, the more faithful manga adaptation has received near unanimous praise. If you can forgive its faults, there are a lot of nice emotional beats that make it a decent recommendation for sentimental rom-com fans. Otherwise, it's strictly for harem watchers and trainwreck gazers. There is simply no excuse for a show to have so much filler when it has a short run time and a wealth of material to adapt. It feels like I've watched a four or five episode show when the series was slated for twelve. I shouldn't ever feel like that.
In short this show is a disaster. Well, the first three episodes were sweet and I actually enjoyed them. At that time Mayoi Neko Overrun! seemed like a typical harem with a good character development. I was even thinking that Overrun is worthy of eight points, no kidding. But then the randomness came.
Y’know, randomness is not really equal to bad quality. Take a look at Galaxy Angel — that show is so damn random but it’s hilarious. It has good humorous episodes and equally good dramatic episodes in stock. But sadly I’m not here to speak about Galaxy Angel, I have Overrun to review. Thus
after three episodes of enjoyable story I got some stupid fanservice stuff, overblown instant drama, surrealistic comedy wannabe and so on… What the hell was going here? Did this show get flu or something? Overrun was trembling with fever between various plot bases. It looked to me that each episode was done by its own team of creators, and those teams never got a chance to talk and share ideas with each other. Judging by the giant list of Overrun’s episode directors here on MyAnimeList, I presume that I was right.
Ah, I especially want to talk about the culmination, the zenith of all that randomness: the mecha episode, which was 7th if I’m not mistaken. The episodes from 4th to 6th already were fillers, but the mecha surpassed all my expectations. At first I thought that it’s going to be a parody of genre, but nope, the creators just took the character design from Overrun and merged it into some stereotypical mecha plot. They made the 26th episode of Grand Braver, a fictional anime series which some of Overrun characters watched. Well, I’m not against such spin-offs. Have you seen Kujibiki Unbalance OVA? Damn, that was fun. But again, here the creators didn’t even try. It’s a straight-forward last episode of a mecha show. Since you don’t have a clue what happened before, so there’s no deep plot, and you absolutely have no jokes to laugh at. Personally I’m not a mecha fan, so the Grand Braver was extremely boring. I watched this for about 3 hours, constantly pausing it and going to kitchen to make another cup of coffee or grab more snacks. No, seriously, I was about to drop Overrun but couldn’t. Sadly I’m a faggot, so I never drop anything. Sigh.
It got better after the mecha but that’s just because you can’t do anything worse than that. Overrun never returned to the level of its beginning. Oh, and the last episode was a recap. So nice of them to remind me of all the horror I went through.
Because of all those problems we have absolutely no character elaboration in this show. They’re just doing all the director wants them. Tsuzuki, the male lead, can be a borderline otaku freak or some dude who don’t give a thing about what happens around him; Umenomori ranges from spoiled whiny brat to depressed lonely girl; Kiriya switches from just strange and introverted type to gloomy and dispirited one for no apparent reason… Only three of regular cast are somewhat stable: Serizawa, residential tsundere, the otaku Kikuchi and that other guy, but he’s just furniture so he has no personality at all.
By the way, let me put something straight. AIC decided to do 13-episode anime and had 8 volumes of ranobe to work with. So why did we get so filleresque show, huh? I can’t believe that ranobe can have a plot so retarded. If there are any people here who read them, I want to know what they really consist of, so I beg of you to tell me.
But okay, enough with the plot. Maybe Overrun has some strong sides on technical plane? Well, the artwork is decent, the music… Erm… There was music, right? I guess it’s decent too, since I can’t remember anything good or bad about it. So no luck here either.
And thus it’s time to wrap up. Overrun is overrun with fillers, plot stupidity, clichés and lacks any noticeable good aspects except the beginning. I can recommend you to watch it only if you’re masochist.
So at last, Overrun, here is your 5 points and sayōnara! Even the power of Umenomori zaibatsu was not enough to make you enjoyable. Hm, wait, maybe I should check my bank account or something…
P.S. For this season I picked up Mayoi Neko Overrun! (with exclamation mark), Angel Beats! (with exclamation mark again) and K-ON!! (with two exclamation marks). I think it is a really good marketing move to make the viewer uncomfortable with all those titles constantly shouting at him.
It's not a great story, you will not have a complex story on this one so if you care about story on a comedy anime then this is not for you. The story revolves on a mysterious girl that acts like a cat or it might really be a catgirl they don't really explain why she is like that and she meets this guy Takumi who was an orphan and convince her to live with him and her ''sister'' who adopted him and basically is about their daily life and comedy.
Art & Animation
The art style is very good, I liked how well animated this was
and it was consistent every episode, the characters design were very good.
The sound was very good in every aspect, voice acting, i loved the OP, i never skipped the OP.
I liked every character but they could have developed the catgirl, I liked Fumino it was too tsundere though but they were funny, they will make you laugh every episode, this is why i liked them, but i still don't know nothing about the catgirl Nozomi.