Friday, November 25, 2011

Dark Side Cat (anime), via Crunchyroll

This series is very brief, only six episodes long, with each episode running approximately 6 minutes (even less than that, I think, if you cut out the opening credits). Basically, if you find yourself at all interested in watching this, you should give it a try - it doesn't even take much of a time commitment.

Synopsis:

Wherever Dark Side Cat goes, there is mayhem. Even if he's just chasing a rat, he somehow manages to destroy property and bother humans along the way. The mayor is determined to rid the city of stray cats, especially Dark Side Cat. One of the series' few recurring human characters is a freelance reporter who finds herself fascinated by Dark Side Cat.

Review:

I added this to my Crunchyroll queue because it starred a cat, and because the image Crunchyroll used (which I have also used in this blog post) looked kind of cool. I didn't know how short the show was until I started watching.

The opening credits, which feature catchy music and Dark Side Cat being intense and awesome, are great, and I didn't even mind that the exact same opening animation was used for each episode.

The show itself is a lot of fun. In the first few episodes, Dark Side Cat causes trouble and inadvertently helps out a few humans. The show could very easily have continued in this vein, with no recurring characters and no overarching plot other than "Dark Side Cat causes trouble and the police are after him," so I was surprised when the freelance reporter showed up a second time and started learning things about Dark Side Cat's past. Not only that, but the series actually manages to have something of an ending. Sort of.

I know that there are Dark Side Cat fans out there who wish the show had continued and were not sure whether the sixth episode was really the last episode. While part of me, too, would have liked the show to go on a bit longer, I do think it ended at a decent spot. The show's briefness kept the humor and setup from getting old.

This is a show I could see myself rewatching if I needed a pick-me-up and didn't have a lot of time. The energy is great, and I love Dark Side Cat. He is somehow both cute and angry at the same time, and his fashion sense (his outfit includes a swirly cape and a skull!), nimbleness, and lighting speed are all fun to watch. I only wish that he had gotten a chance to talk (during a weird moment, the reporter gets turned into a cat, and some of the other cats talk to her), and I would have liked to learn how Kiki, the black kitten, came to be his companion.

Watch-alikes and Read-alikes:
  • Invader Zim (non-Japanese animation, TV series) - Something about the look of Dark Side Cat (maybe the color scheme?) reminded me of this show. This is another humorous series. Zim is an alien who is determined to take over our planet. Only one person, Dib, recognizes Zim for what he is and tries to stop him. I've written about some of this series.
  • Chi's Sweet Home (manga) by Kanata Konami; Chi's Sweet Home (anime TV series) - If all you'd really like is another series with cats, you might want to try this, although the tone is wildly different from Dark Side Cat. This is a light, sweet slice-of-life series about a stray kitten taken in by a small family. I've written about the first volume of the manga.
  • Catman (anime) - Another flash animation series with very brief episodes. Again, if you're interested in shows with cats, you might like this - although, be warned, the characters are cat-people, not actual cats. I haven't seen this series yet, although it's in my queue.
  • Samurai Jack (non-Japanese animation, TV series) - If you'd like another series with lots of action and simple visuals, you might want to try this. Samurai Jack is thrown into the future before he can defeat the evil Aku. Until he can find a way back to his own time, Jack does his best to right the wrongs that Aku's control over the world have caused.

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