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Cat Soup

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Cat Soup

Postby Curt » March 3rd, 2007, 4:24 pm

I think of all the animes that have been made in Japan`s history, Cat Soup is one of the hardest to review. What the hell can one say about something so incredibly bizarre?

Indeed; Cat Soup manages, through its 30-minute length, to be one of the most bizarre things that I've ever viewed. Through its course, the viewers are shown an elephant made of water, a mechanical swamp, a pig eating itself, and many more odd sights. The plot itself is simple: Cat dies, cat's brother tries stealing her soul back from Death and succeeds in liberating half of it, two cats go to try getting back the other half. What it is truly about is communicating a dreamlike state ... and that, it does quite well.

With mainstream anime, it`s generally possible to discuss things such as "characters," or "moral message." Cat Soup flies in the face of such unnecessary baggage. The anime has no recognizable connection, the characters have no names and almost no dialogue, and the OVA as a whole doesn`t even begin to make any sort of sense.

Even with the similarly constructed Angel's Egg, one has an ample opportunity to comment on the existentialist themes, the various ways the movie could be interpreted, what the characters symbolized, etc (or, in my case, give the anime all ones and say it was boring as hell). Cat Soup does not pretend to have things like "symbolism" or "themes."

Instead, Cat Soup opts to be an enthusiastically unintelligible mind-f***. To call it nonsensical is actually somewhat wrong - this is dissensical. The anime does not make sense, and things that get too close to it will probably make less sense as well. Cat Soup is not only devoid of logic, it emits an aura of anti-logic... and yet, amazingly enough, despite all of this, the anime remains remarkably entertaining.

For one, Cat Soup sports some of the best, most imaginative animation that I have seen in any work. The imagery really is brilliant; while watching, I felt like I was viewing an animated surrealist painting.

Also, I thoroughly enjoyed the sound of the OVA. When present, the music is a kind of fake cuteness that reminded me of the music from Alien Nine. Oddly enough, this music fits the anime well, and is a good pick by the director. Sound effects are sufficiently mind-warping to match the visuals. Also of note, there is no real "dialogue" in the anime; instead, word bubbles are formed over the character`s heads, with garbled gibberish to accompany it.

Cat Soup is almost completely devoid of a coherent storyline, but fortunately enough, that doesn`t make the anime any less interesting. Similarly, though lacking in development, the characters still manage to be amusing and memorable.

Verdict: 8.0/10(Total insanity aside, Cat Soup is a very good way to spend 30 minutes. The OVA as a whole is remarkably funny, and this really has some of the best animation around. All in all, I thoroughly recommend it; however, when you view this anime, make sure that comprehensibility is not high on your "priorities" list.)
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Curt
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