Cat god Mayu is punished by her mother for misusing her powers, forcing her to live on Earth: more specifically, Japan. She is soon taken in by a young lady named Yuzu Koyama, who owns an antique shop. Although she's supposed to bring good luck to the shop, Mayu mainly spends her days playing video games and interacting with her other god friends.
Cat gods, poverty, cherry blossoms, fiancees, deadlines, memories, typhoons, antiquity, and one-sided crushes. None of these scenarios are anything new in anime. But to quote Disney's 1948 film So Dear To My Heart; "It's what you do with what you got that counts." Good shows know how to put these events into a cohesive whole, where they all fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Of course this depends on a few things, like having a cast you can get invested in or a narrative flow that keeps past events in mind. But if it all melds together, then it's a big help.
Unfortunately, Cat God is not a good enough show to do this. It's not really an awful show, either. However, its lack of focus doesn't do it any particular favors. Episodes have little to do with each other - often you forget what went on earlier in the show. And when the show does bring up past events, you'll either barely remember, or be like, "Oh. Yeah..that scene." Even worse, it feels more like it doesn't really matter.
If you're watching Cat God for cute cat-girls, you might want to look elsewhere. The series' few cat-girls, like Mayu (typecasted by Haruka Tomatsu in another ratty powerless god role), are squat half-chibis who are kind of cute, but look suspiciously like Touhou rejects. Mayu's personality itself is actually kind of hard to pin down; it floats somewhere between careless, lazy, and irresponsible, though there are times where she's actually helpful. No, if any character is there for the sake of grabbing male viewers' attention, that would be the perky, well-endowed Yuzu Koyama, voiced by Yui Horie.
Part of the humor in the jokes in Cat God revolve around how everyday the mingling of other gods/goddesses in Japanese society are, and how casually they fit in among the human beings (even if that means going outside and finding themselves between a tank
In fact, aside from male comic relief character Gonta, it's really hard to connect with anyone in this show. And Gonta himself is such an idiot that it's hard to WANT to connect with him. He might come across as sensible and dependable at first, but then he meets Yuzu and more or less permanently turns into an idiot. Admittedly, it leads to one of the few running jokes we found amusing. ("PORORIIIII!")
That said, the fact that the jokes often do work to the series' advantages in Cat God is encouraging, though it tends to be from episode to episode rather than within them. Maybe that could have salvaged the show too, if Cat God had not chosen to pull out a "rescue mission" arc right out of the blue in its final episodes. Really Cat God, that's no way to treat your viewers. (Not to mention the needless character introduced at the start of said arc, whose story is wrapped up long before the inane rescue mission.) It really drags down a show that, up until then, we were having fun with, whether it be the show itself or making fun of it.
So while Cat God looks nice and has its moments (episode 6 especially), it's definitely a series you have to shut off your brain to enjoy, similar to director Hiroaki Sakurai's earlier Maid-sama! and GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class. If you can do so, you'll probably have a good time with the wacky antics of the gods/goddesses. Just don't expect the pinnacle of comedy.
The main show wasn't too bad, but the ending was dreadfully disappointing and brought down the series quite a bit. Add a star if you stop at episode 9 and don't continue past that. — Stig Høgset and Tim Jones
Recommended Audience: Some light fanservice here and there, mostly cleavages and swimsuits. Nothing too outrageous. Even slapstick violence is relatively light, usually thrown in Gonta's direction...who more often than not deserves it. Anything heavier violence is usually relegated to the "property damage" department.
Version(s) Viewed: Crunchyroll stream, sub only.
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Cat God © 2011 FLIPFLOPs (Akita Shoten) / Y
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