「迷い猫、抜いた」 (Mayoi Neko, Nuita)
“Stray Cat, Pulled Out”

Leave it up to Chise to use her Umenomori wealth to rip off the game of Jenga, add in a bunch of semi-erotic stipulations on the blocks (e.g. cosplay), and rename it Power Blocks for her personal enjoyment. Remember when this show was about the hardships of being an orphan and the love square that develops? Because I sure don’t. Actually, that’s a big fat lie since I blog about this series and can just flip back into the Mayoi Neko Overrun category and be reminded of episode three and how I’ve missed it so. Back then, I was pretty surprised at the direction things took and second-guessed my original presumption that this would just be a stereotypical harem anime with slapstick humor throughout. Fast-forward to the present five weeks later and I think it’s safe to say that my original hunch was more or less spot on, as things deteriorated to the wacky randomness seen in Yabuki Kentarou‘s To LOVE-Ru.

Quite honestly, I don’t mind the level this series has dropped to since it was more or less what I was expecting back when I wrote the Spring 2010 Preview, but I can’t help but wonder if this anime is based on Kentarou’s manga adaptation of Matsu Tomohiro’s light novel more so than the original source material itself (which would explain the To LOVE-Ru similarities). Early on, there was indication that this anime adaptation could go almost any which direction, so naturally there was some underlying feeling of disappointment when I learned that this is the path they’ve chosen to go. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of viewers probably feel the same way, whereas those who never fathomed the possibility of slapstick harem levels have already jumped ship. The latter group probably never would’ve sat through 26 episodes of To LOVE-Ru and blogged to tell about it either, so I don’t really blame them. In my case, I realize there’s little to no depth in the episodic showings for the past several weeks, but I still take enjoyment in the cheap fan-service shots and ludicrous depiction of some of the Stray Cats Association’s activities.

It always helps when you have a rich girl with crap loads of money to throw around like one Sanzenin Nagi in Hayate no Gotoku, but I actually got a great deal of enjoyment from watching Ieyasu secretly working with Chise to rig the game so that she’d have her way with Takumi. With the promise of having an otaku’s dream come true with one of his favorite seiyuus, Ieyasu’s unrelenting efforts to see that through made him the one to watch this episode. It was even better when Nozomi sort of caught on to what they were up to and pitted them against one another by leaving only two safe blocks left to remove and Kaho’s turning coming up after Ieyasu’s. Caught in the moment of that, I found it absolutely hilarious how Ieyasu went for it and sold out Chise, only to have Kaho voluntarily retire from the game right after.

Needless to say, Chise wasn’t going to have any of that disobedience crap any longer and dealt with Ieyasu swiftly the following game. Kaho slipping into the control room later on to sabotage Chise and her cheating ways eventually led to a square off where one of Fumino’s options would require her to kiss Takumi. It may have been late in the episode, but I felt that was a good comedic take on the harem aspect. Of course, nothing ever comes from that, but at least Takumi did score some brownie points with Fumino, Nozomi, and Chise by giving them new uniforms that he got as his prize for winning the Power Blocks tournament. All in all, this entire episode might have been completely random and have nothing to do with the main story (if there even is one), but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t entertained.

Seeing as a different director, writer, and key animator are basically brought in every episode, it almost feels like Mayoi Neko is technical demonstration of sorts by AIC. While the writing may be completely over-the-top, it’s undeniable how well they showcase their abilities as a studio in a different manner every week. This one gave us a taste of their 3D abilities with the Power Block animations, which were reminiscent of GONZO‘s work in Saki and pretty cool to watch for that very reason. In any case, I find the less time I spend worrying about why things are getting ridiculously off track week after week and just realize that’s the direction they’re going for in this series, it’s a lot easier to get into each episode and enjoy it. However, it’s not so much shutting off your brain so much as simply going with the flow and enjoying the ride. Try it.

 

Preview

33 Comments

  1. YAY!! im really first XD, first time o.o… i wonder when they are going to return to the normal story… i dont really see the point in making this random episodes… they are fun to watch but still, i did like that the anime gets back to the proper way…

    Trejon
  2. cutemi2
  3. I think I may be in that group that will drop this series… I dropped To-Love-RU as well since it was too random for me with no plot development. Such a disappointment, this series started off as a great light hearted harem series and then just went the full retard.

    joshua
  4. The reason for the similarity with Saki is because they share the same director.
    If you look closer you will actually discover that many of the screens can be traced back to Saki.
    And for those who said the show betrayed the source material – the light novel,
    think twice as the author is actively involved in the creation of the TV series.
    Chance is high that he approved the series to take this path,
    if not outright demanded it to be.

    Academus
    1. Be careful with that “actively involved” as it may be he’s getting to sit there and just take it with a stiff upper lip. However, if he *has* approved this – well, I think he’ll find he’s made a strategic error in drawing in new readers. As I said elsewhere… this is great “omake” but terribly misleading for potential new fans.

      Vexx
      1. Actually when I posted I remembered that the author is in the team, I just forgot the exact name of his post.
        and if you look at the Japanese Wikipedia you can find his name among the staffs:

        シリーズ構成 – 松智洋
        I assume I don’t need to explain what his post is responsible for.

        So not only the authors is involved & approved of how the show is done,
        it is also possible that he engineered the rotating director thing to make the show so random.

        I think it will be better if you don’t expect it to be a faithful adaptation of the light novel, since the staffs don’t plan to do so at all.
        Instead, consider the show to be something more akin to Lucky Star.
        Enjoy the reference and NETA and shout out, etc.
        Because IMO that’s what the staffs are aiming at from the beginning.

        Academus
  5. Yeah, this had totally made me really disappointed. I wished they had went for the adaptation of the light novels instead as it’s more serious unlike all this slapstick humor over and over again… I don’t think this help the impression of the series at all of the light novels as the manga adaptation of it is quite …. different.

    Silver
  6. I had some hope for this series after the first few episodes but by the looks of things we have yet another disappointment. I’ll withhold my judgments until the fansub is out but by the looks of things I’m also gonna drop this anime after this episode.

    Tomer
  7. Yeah, i am the same. I loved the first Episodes, until they began to ignore the Storyline and began to add some Random “fan & Service” … Without nothing to do with being Orphan and so… Well since the “Hot Spring” Episode. since there i dropped.. Sadly and i began to like it..

    Germanguy
  8. You know.. if this were “omake” at the end of a satisfying adaptation of the light novels, I’d be laughing my head off. However…. they seem to have blown off doing a story in favor of 9 episodes of “omake” random theater. So I’m annoyed.

    I can’t see this as being any kind of advertisement to improve sales of the light novels (which are actually quite good from what I’ve been able to scrape up). The manga isn’t much better, reading like some beginner’s doujinshi.

    Vexx
    1. Well, the light novels are known to be quite good. Then we have an adaptation of it by the author of To-Love-Ru… which of course changed EVERYTHING… Of course I do like To-Love-Ru but I definitely do not want him to touch Mayoi Neko Overun! because look at what he did to it. And then, AIC decided to adapt the manga version instead of the original source version… noooo~

      Silver
      1. I suspect that’s the case too, but Yabuki Kentarou’s manga adaptation only began its run in January of this year and only has one volume released to date. Given the lack of Yabuki-influenced material, it’s likely there’s still a fair bit of material taken from the light novels, but has been adapted to what we’ve been watching by the anime creators themselves.

      2. Yeah, after doing some more research, it seems I was wrong. The anime just did their own adaptation of it and it just totally went the wrong way. Of course I still enjoy it and the manga version as well.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Silver
  9. “Quite honestly, I don’t mind the level this series has dropped to since it was more or less what I was expecting back when I wrote the Spring 2010 Preview, but I can’t help but wonder if this anime is based on Kentarou’s manga adaptation of Matsu Tomohiro’s light novel more so than the original source material itself (which would explain the To LOVE-Ru similarities).”

    Hey, you shut your mouth! The manga adaptation is WAY BETTER than this anime, so Kentaro Yabuki is doing it justice. FYI, Yabuki has NOTHING to do with the anime adaptation, they just bring in a different director for every episode.

    DK
    1. Woah woah there. That’s quite rude of you. Everything you said is perfectly fine except for “Hey, you shut your mouth!” which is totally unnecessary.

      Anyway, the manga adaptation is definitely pretty good despite what I sound. I was on a bad assumption initially that since I have not read anything other than the first volume, I believed that Kentaro totally changed everything to pure slapstick humor because I thought the anime was all based on the manga. I totally forgot to realized that Kentaro had so far only released one volume so that’s definitely bad on my part.

      Now only if the anime adapt the the beach scene as it had some awesome stuff there…

      Silver
  10. I liked how this series started but after the mecha episode, I’m done. It was getting interesting. I wanted another show like Nyan Koi but I guess I had high expectations

    hmm
  11. I think that this show is totally hilarious now with all of the parody. If I wanted to watch drama + romance with a twist of comedic flare, I’d head directly for a KEY series (like Angel Beats). This is a harem show. It never tried to pretend it wasn’t a harem show.

    It’s kind of like FMP Fumoffu… which was another hilarious series that just had fun with the premise of the show.

    Jaysus
  12. I actually want a set of those blocks !!
    it’s be hilarious to play with my friends!
    instead of cosplay outfits we say lines that would usually accommodate with the outfit!!
    kahhh~!
    I’d buy it. [nug nug please japan, make a set!!]

    Sunny
  13. This episode was funhny and some scenes weer hilarious especially Otome kicking the tower down with her boobs, Chise’s “The end” and ORAORAORAORAORA when she pulled the first block.
    I enjoy this show every week. And at least it more or less makes sense compared to to love ru.

    Rockmanshii

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