Saturday, June 09, 2007

Cat's Eye

There are only a few old anime series - or series of any kind - I can still recommend today. There are some movies (and I'll soon add a post about the old "Sherlock Holmes" movies produced by Universal in the late 1930s and early 1940s) I might recommend, some books I'll always love, but not many series, and especially not many anime series. "Cat's Eye" is one of them.

"Cat's Eye" is a story of three young women, sisters, of a trio of very talented art thieves (the same three sisters) and three members of the police force who try to catch those thieves. In 73 episodes the three women steal back their father's artworks, because they contain the last message he could give to them, a secret they really need to know. In 73 episodes three detectives from the Japanese police (one of them enamoured with the middle sister and one - the only female - suspecting the three sisters from the beginning) try to catch "Cat's Eye", as the mysterious thieves call themselves on the visiting card with which they announce each theft.

I first watched the series in French TV, some years before it was first shown in Germany. I couldn't understand much of the story then - my French has always been quite basic, enough to get through the day as a tourist in France, but not enough to understand everything on TV (or write a blog in French) -, but I got the basics.

For an animated series (and at that time, anime wasn't main stream, not even in France) it was quite action filled. The three sisters all had their jobs to do: The oldest, Nami, usually did the reconnaissance, dressing up as an elegant woman that would not be suspected when looking at an art collection. The middle sister, Hitomi, did most of the thefts (normally helped by her older sister when two people were needed). And the youngest sister, sixteen-year-old Ai, created the technical gadgets the sisters needed for some thefts (like backpacks that unfolded into gliders). There is quite some action as well, the three sisters are very agile and use that in order to commit their thefts. There's a lot of climbing, running, jumping and then there's all the gadgets.

The graphics are not too unusual for animated series of that time and often remind me a bit of "Lupin III" (and there's another thief as a hero of an anime series). Unlike what most people expect when they hear 'anime', the female characters aren't cute and child-like (the way most people expect girls in an anime to look), but have normal proportions. The same goes for the surrounding as a such - it looks quite realistic, too. There's no unrealistic hair-colours either (like pink or light blue), most characters (except for those from Europe or America) are either black- or brown-haired (as is to be expected in Japan). The picture I have included shows all three sisters Nami, Hitomi and Ai from left to right in their attire as "Cat's Eye".

The German translation isn't bad on the whole (even though, except for all other characters who still bear their original names, the youngest sister has been renamed and is called "Love" - which is a correct translation of the Japanese word "Ai", but a stupid name for a person in a TV series) and I don't mind the Japanese original isn't on the DVDs Anime Video has started to release this March.

"Cat's Eye" is still a series I can only recommend, especially since the topic (it's a crime story with elements of love story and adventure) isn't exactly 'for kids only'.

No comments: