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Cat God -Nekogami Yaoyorozu- PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 02 November 2011 00:00

Cat God

Sometimes you just wonder why they bother. Cat God follows Mayu - a mischievous cat god, banished to the mortal world where she's living with antique shop owner Yuzu - and tries so very hard to let you have fun at her adventures. But it's a long way short of succeeding...

After proving too much of a handful for her parents to deal with, Mayu was been stripped of her divine powers, banished from the realm of Takamagahara, and sent to the world of humans until such times as she learns how to behave properly. Fortunately, she landed on her feet - cats do that - and ended up living with Yuzu, the owner of an antique store. Although the fact that she's been there four years already tells you all you need to know about her behaviour. Now that Yuzu's finances are in precarious state, though - a portent of an impending visit by the God of Poverty - it's time for Mayu to make herself useful. Poverty's no fun for a god, after all...

The God of Poverty is Shamo, just one of a small menagerie of fringe characters who are her to try and liven things up. She's joined by Sasana, Mayu's fiancée (their marriage was arranged before anyone bothered to check their gender, apparently); Gonta, the god of harvests who struggles to get anyone to pay attention to him (you'll soon understand why); Meiko, Sasana's deadly rival for Mayu's affections; Yuzu, Mayu's absolutely delightful landlady; and a few more besides. They're all quite hard to keep track of, to be honest.

The typical episode sees Mayu and her friends get into trouble in a variety of creative ways, but while a few of them sill raise a giggle (the battle between Mayu & co and the miniature yin-yang sorcerers that belong to under-pressure mangaka Yukina is a particular highlight) a lot of their adventures just fall flat. The series does a lousy job of making you care about the characters, or why they get on the way that they do - they're just there, and leave you feeling "Okay. Next?"

The series also makes the mistake of trying to insert a serious storyline into the last few episodes after trying hard to be something else for 11 episodes before then. This is a pet hate of mine - if you're a comedy, stick to the comedy. If you're a drama, be that from the start. If you're going to be both, at least try and weave the two aspects together from the start - don't be one for 11 episodes and then try to switch tracks, because it just feels cheap and lazy.

Nice touches? The show's obsession with old Sega hardware certainly plays to retro console junkies - you'll see GameGear, Megadrive and others all lovingly realised - and the animation quality is pretty decent. But that's really about it. It's all pretty substandard overall, and not something I'd go out of my way to recommend.

Rating - **