Don’t worry cutie, there’s plenty of pussycat to go around!
What’s better than cute kittens or cool aliens? Busty aliens in skin tight suits with cat ears, naturally! Prepare to have an extra close encounter with FUNimation’s Cat Planet Cuties: The Complete Series on DVD/Blu-ray combo. A sexy, harem-style anime with a sci-fi action twist and plenty of geeky references, Cat Planet is a fast-paced, playful series full of fan service in sleek, shiny animation.
Cat Planet Cuties follows bookish high school freshman Kio and his quiet life in Okinawa that turns upside-down when he meets Eris. Both innocent and flirty, alien cat-girl Eris comes from a planet where apparently the populace consists of beautiful, curvy women with kitty ears and tails –called Catians. The pair have little time for play however, as more extraterrestrial felines and a dangerous doggie-girl, secret agents and alien fanatics quickly bounce their way into the mix. See if Kio and company really do have nine lives to survive all this excitement!
Bubbly as the cast of Cat Planet Cuties is, the main draw as in many harem anime series is the visuals. Due to the at times spastic plot –such as every girl in Kio’s neighborhood suddenly turning out to be a spy for one secretive organization or another- it’s best to not think too hard about realism and enjoy the ride. Many plot points do somewhat sort themselves out and the overall story is easy to follow. Watch out for spoilers in the following particularly fun episodes of the series:
· E3. We’ve Come to Stay. Eris has just settled into Kio’s house when the rest of the intergalactic kitty crew arrive. To the delight of all, the girls decide the best way to greet human authorities is in super tight, high school girl swimsuits! Also enter a sexy, dog-eared alien foe.
· E4. We’ve Come to Kidnap You. Kio, Eris and crew visit Tokyo and the amazing, real life otaku shopping mall Nakano Broadway. A personal favorite episode, the sequences of the collector paradise are pretty accurate, giving viewers a fun glimpse into the shops filled with anime figures, art books and other treasures. Eris is later kidnapped by an amusing cult that worships people with cat ears and tails.
· E7. We’ve Come to Swim. The sexy swimsuits are back for a beach scene, and the episode also has a nice mix of action and touching drama. The girls come to terms with Kio as their common love interest and the dogs launch a powerful attack.
· E11. I Came Looking for You. The Catian mothership is frozen in time by dog aliens and hurtles out-of-control towards Earth. It will either destroy the planet on impact, or be forced to self-destruct, killing many Catians trapped onboard. Can Earth-bound Kio and Eris find a way to save the ship, the Catians and all humankind? The intensity picks up in this two part finale episode.
· E13. Come Drop By. A naughty bonus episode filled with games like strip mahjong. Enjoy the fanservice!
Not much in the way of extras here. There’s an episode one commentary, textless opening and closing songs, and FUNimation trailers. The unusual bonus feature is a string of short clips that are for the most part wordplay jokes set to random animated scenes like fish swimming, two boys playing on a beach, etc. It seems the humor gets lost in translation and the scenes are just plain weird rather than entertaining.
Choice of English 5.1 Surround or Japanese Stereo with English subtitles. As with most titles, the original Japanese track is recommended for optimal viewing. Eris in English comes off as gratingly ditzy and it’s questionable if Kio has hit puberty. While in this case, the nature of the voices is somewhat appropriate, they are still unpleasant to hear. Opening and closing songs are peppy and light, as expected of a standard harem anime. They appeal but are not extraordinary.
Female character designs are the definite draw for Cat Planet Cuties. The gals bounce generously in decent quality animation and there are numerous cultural visual references well presented that add a nice dose of humor to the action. The opening sequences sum up the “story so far” in the style of anything from Star Trek to Charlie’s Angels. Spaceship and robot designs don’t have incredible detail but are often quite cute and, of course, cat-themed.
It’s obvious the creators of Cat Planet Cuties had a particular audience in mind: otaku that love cute and sexy cat-girls, sci-fi action, gun fights and loads of pop culture parody. Happily, they’ve hit their mark in a fun, sometimes endearing, and always entertaining way. Due to mild nudity and sexual situations, the series is likely not best for younger audiences, but the play never reaches an obscene level. Anime fans, enjoy these flirty feline aliens that certainly would do Lum proud!
ComicsOnline givesCat Planet Cuties: The Complete Series a near purrrfect 4.5 out of 5.
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