Banished to earth for awhile, one young cat god finds herself coping with an everyday existence.
What They Say:
Meet Mayu. She’s a cat god, but because she couldn’t stop getting in trouble, she’s been cast down from the heavens and is now doomed to suffer on Earth! Oh, no! But then, one day, she is taken in by the earnest and kind Yuzu, who owns an antiques shop called Antiques Unlimited. As Yuzu is quick to learn, Mayu’s laziness knows no bounds. She’d rather play video games than turn over a new leaf.
The everyday tales of this cat god and her harrowing adventures to the candy shop, a landfill, and a beach resort show Mayu and her friends that sometimes, the simplest things in life are the best.
There is also Gonta, who is obsessed with Yuzu, but Mayu wanted his role in this summary to be minimal. So there you have it.
The audio presentation for this release is pretty good as we get the original Japanese language track in stereo using the lossless uncompressed PCM codec. The series is one that is mostly dialogue based with a lot of minor frantic moments that come up with overly excited characters. That keeps it mostly center channel based with some minor moments of directionality and placement throughout. It doesn’t stretch itself much but it handles it well when it comes to the overall design of the show since it’s a comedy based series and hits all the right marks. The higher pitched material avoids any problems and the show generally works as it should for a series of this nature. We didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally airing in the summer of 2011, the transfer for this twelve episode series and OVA is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. It’s spread across two discs with nine on the first and four on the second. The show, animated by AIC+, has a good look about it though it’s one that generally goes for a simpler design overall with the way the characters are designed. There’s a lot of activity and movement throughout the episodes and it’s captured well here as there’s some great colors and fluidity overall. The backgrounds have a bit of detail which is well handled, but mostly the show is a big, bright and colorful piece that looks good throughout. We didn’t have any problems with cross coloration or line noise and only the smallest amounts of background noise in a few scenes of solid colors.
The packaging for this release mirrors other NIS America releases in that we get an oversized heavy chipboard box that holds a hardcover artbook and the two clear thinpak cases. THe front cover is a bright and colorful piece with the blue sky background that allows the character artwork of the cute gods to stand out all the better. It’s appealing and simplistic but lets you know exactly what kind of show is inside. The back cover does essentially the same but it shifts up the characters and their designs and places them against a bright yellow sunset kind of background instead. The artbook that’s included is a good one that has lots of character pieces, with dialogue done by the characters that talk about their situations while also showcasing various design elements and more. It covers the majority of the artbook but it also includes a couple of really nice full page full color art pieces.
The two thinpak cases inside are similar in a way to the box art itself as it features the core characters of the series with Mayu mostly as the central focus here with the way she’s so full of life. Wether playing videogames or just bounding through the halls, they’re cute and active covers that set the right mood. What helps is that they do wrap around to the back of the case and that gives it a more expansive and fun feeling. The back covers also break down the episode by name and title along with what extras are there as well as a good looking technical grid that covers everything cleanly and accurately. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover for either of them.
The menu design for this release is kind of weak overall as we get a largely yellow shaded piece that takes up the background as a whole. It’s broken up with a small picture sectio along the left side that has various pint sized character animation bits floating in as it runs through its cycle that are cute but don’t do much overall. The right side has the logo along the top in a relatively small font while below it we get the navigation, which is simple to be sure. It’s just so small and against such a large area of empty yellow space that it feels positively spartan and off. Navigation is simple and quick to load and everything is laid out in a solid manner that makes it easy to work with. The menu as a whole just doesn’t do a lot to set up the mood and atmosphere for it.
The show has some cute extras that are spread across two discs. The first disc has the bulk of them with the seven mini shorts that were included on the Japanese home video releases which run a couple of minutes each and look more like flash/web shorts but are cute little side comedy gags. The second disc has the clean opening and closing sequences as its only extras.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the manga series Nekogami Yaoyorozu as created by FLIPFLOPs that debuted back in 2007 and has run for four volumes so far, Everday Tales of a Cat God is a twelve episode series with an additional OVA animated by AIC Plus+. The series is one that plays heavily to the comedy and it goes for the cute look to a big degree as it introduces us to a number of gods and familiars and keeps them all very pint sized and adorable even as they do various things. Like a lot of comedy series these days when they hit, they keep everything simple and light for the majority of it and then introduce something a bit more serious and threatening towards the end, which does through the dynamic off a bit but isn’t unexpected. Following it all up with a separate silly based OVA always helps as well.
The show introduces to the plane of Takamagahara, the place where all the gods reside even though few people recognize many of them at this point. While faith has sort of centralized to a few areas in the world, there are seemingly gods for every little thing out there. This introduces us to Mayu, a pint sized and cute female god of cats who hasn’t exactly been doing well in this area. Being the daughter of a more powerful god, she’s not lived up to her potential in a way and that has caused her to be kicked out of Takamagahara and down to Earth where she has to do a bit of a penance. This forms the basis of things until towards the end of the series where he role in the larger scheme of things as we see what she’s supposed to do with her life, which is a bit more amusing after seeing how she does spend the majority of her time doing little of anything.
While we see how Mayu gets thrown down to Earth and set up there later on in the show, the series really does throw us right into how life is for Mayu. She’s lucked out in hooking up with a young woman named Yuzu who runs an antiques shop that she took over after her parents died. Yuzu’s got that classic nice girl look and personality about her and she and Mayu manage to get along quite well since Mayu mostly spends her time playing videogames, eating and getting caught up in all sorts of smaller kinds of trouble along the way. A lot of these troubles come from other gods that show up that are doing their own thing, be it the God of Poverty or a nightmare eater that treats Mayu like a little snack since there’s so little to her in a way.
While the series is made up of light, fluffy and silly kinds of stories involving the various gods, miscommunications and some flashback material that shows us how Mayu and Yuzu got together that actually gets a little serious, it’s mostly about the interactions of the friends that coalesce around Mayu and Yuzu. These two are fun, but it builds a decent little group around them, from Mayu’s fiance, a girl named Sasana which is an amusing back story of its own, Meiko and Yoshino, two other gods that spend time there. Even the God of Poverty, Shamo, ends up connecting with the group a bit and has some amusing side stories as it progresses. The best of the characters though that left me grinning through is that of Gonta, a Fox God that’s integral to the town and the way its wealth is accrued. That’s a minor part of who he is as what makes him fun is the way that he’s absolutely in love with Yuzu and keeps hoping for situations where “things” “fall out” so he can fall in love/lust with her even more. He’s the only one that’s aware he does this as the others are oblivious but it’s hilarious seeing how close and how far he gets from it all. He’s the overactive person of the show and gives it a certain life that keeps it moving and going.
Everyday Tales of a Cat God is the kind of show that does what it does well, but it’s a kind of humor and approach that doesn’t always work for a lot of people. There are some very fun moments throughout depending on the situation, and I found myself gravitating towards the character of Gonta more than anyone else. For the most part, there’s just not a lot to connect with when it comes to the lead of Mayu and even Yuzu is a little thin for a lot of it until their back story is revealed. The use of characters like this and the field of gods does tend to play to predictable story angles and that’s done here as well, though there are some cute ones to be had. But for the most part, the series just didn’t do much for me with its characters or its humor. NIS America has put together a fantastic package here though and the fans of the show will love what they get though and that’s definitely a huge plus in that once again we get a product that does everything right for those fans.
Japanese 2.0 PCM Language, English Subtitles, 7 Bonus Mini Episodes, Clean Opening, Clean Closing, Hardcover Art Book
Content Grade: C
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A
Menu Grade: C
Extras Grade: B
Released By: NIS America
Release Date: June 4th, 2013
Running Time: 308 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.