I haven’t been blogging this series, but it isn’t for lack of affection – I simply couldn’t abide the thought of adding anything else to my insane schedule. But the fact is that Nekogami Yaoyorazu is better than at least a half-dozen of the shows I did blog, and if I had it to do over again I’d certainly have dropped a few of the bottom feeders instead of hanging on like grim death, hoping for improvement that never came.
They don’t get much more under-the-radar than this humble little series from AIC PLUS+, despite the preposterously legendary cast. In fact it was the cast list that drew me in initially, and I think it says something about their affection for the material that so many giants of the industry were happy to appear in a low-budget comedy with very little fanfare. Headlining are Tomatsu Haruka as titular Cat God Mayu and Horie Yui as her human friend Yuzu. Hochan may be my very favorite seiyuu of all time, and Tomatsu Haruka has developed into one of the best and most versatile actresses in the business. They team up for the OP, and Haruka handles the extremely catchy ED. Indeed, the music a strength of the series, with the special “Matsuri” ED from episode 7 performed by Haruka and Sanpei Yuko on of my favorite songs of the year. Sanpei’s performance as the lovestruck fox deity Gonta is every bit the equal of the two stars, a comedic masterpiece.
This is one of those shows that just puts a smile on your face every damn time, without working too hard at it. It can range from very zany slapstick to genuinely moving character drama without missing a beat, and while it’s certainly a comedy first the heartwarming side of the series – usually involving Yuzu – should not be taken lightly. And there’s a real talent for sight gags and running humor, such as the hilarious yet somehow deep saga of the former grocery kingpin who keeps making fortunes only to lose them all and have to start over again thanks to poverty God Shamo (Toyosaki Aki). In my case it certainly doesn’t hurt that the Flipflops manga this is based on has a deep affection for cats, and the writing clearly bears the mark of folks who understand this glorious and sometimes maddening creature.
I apologize for not pimping this show every week, but for what it’s worth I heartily urge all of you to give it a chance. You won’t have to work hard to enjoy it and you’ll only realize after the fact how thoughtful and clever it could be.