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?
With mainstream anime, it's generally possible to talk about things like "plot," "characters," or "moral message." Cat Soup flies in the face of such unnecessary baggage. The anime has no recognizable story, 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. Salvador Dali would send his love.
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 (anyone ever play Banjo-Kazooie?).
As for the plot, the first 2 minutes of the show start out with one of the main characters accidentally drowning herself in a bathtub. Her soul is then stolen by Buddha... and well, it only goes downhill from there. 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.
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 see this anime, make sure that comprehensibility is not high on your "priorities" list.
Cat Soup can be summed up as "What the *%@$". The art is odd-ball and bizzaro, there's no dialogue, no script, hardly any developed characters (Strange ones at that) and that's not even touching the "plot".
The point of Cat Soup isn't about the plot but the journey; the places you will go and the people you'll meet, as messed up and crazy as they are. There's the elephant made of water, the pig that is cruelly taken apart (It gets worse), the man with the mask and spiked speedo and everything else. To mention it all would ruin the surprise and those are just the screenshots. I don't know what to rate the story and as such, leaving it be.
The animation is simple, strange, odd, brutal and it suits it perfectly. There's nothing spectacular in a technical standpoint but artistically, it's great. Half of the fun is in the events, the other half is in the presentation of said events. It doesn't delve into complete abstract dope-trip visuals that look messy and confusing but it has restraint.
No dialogue, no voices and that's perfect. At first I didn't entirely like it but it brings about it's own charm. It grew on me and I learned to enjoy the silence of the cats and whatever beings they meet along the way. The music is subtle and doesn't get in the way but it has a presence due to it being some of the only sound at times.
Characters? What characters? There's a cat, his big sister and whatever beasts and things that inhabit their messed up world. Who needs depth when you have a water elephant?
Quite simply, you have to watch this. It's odd, funny, strange, disturbing; all sorts of stuff. It's genius and madness; insanity and brilliance and at the end, I don't even know what I watched. It's Cat Soup. Drink it up and come along for the ride. Just, don't be influenced when you do though.
Kinda hard to score it... but well worth it.
Since Cat Soup is such a non-sequitor and expiramental anime, it is hard to review in conventional terms. There really is no story to rate, but Cat Soup is so interesting and entertaining, that holding the lack of story against it is a crime unto itself. Cat Soup is probably the strangest thing that I have ever seen, even more so than Fooly Cooly, which is extremely tame in comparison to Cat Soup. Fooly Cooly is a housecat, and Cat Soup is a female tiger in heat with an extremely bad case of rabies. Cat Soup will literally blow your mind into a thousand little pieces, and then blow those little pieces into a thousand more littler pieces. Due to its Non-sequitor nature, there are part in which nothing seems to make any sense what so ever, which is why I found it so interesting. Cat Soup is the reason why there is such a thing as an OVA format, which allows Cat Soup to be so original. However, I would not recommend watching it more than once, unless you are really into surreal art, which then I would say, watch it until your eyeballs fall out, but for guys like me, It was good once, but after that I am good.
How can I rate the art of an anime, when the anime itself is a piece of art itself. Cat Soup takes the commonly accepted boundry of society, and completly shatters it. Now I have no idea what kind of symbolism or any other type of art terms are in play here, but I imagine some art students at a small west-coast college could debate this for hours on end about the sorts of symbolism is involved and say things like " This shows the deep struggle of mankind" or something like that. I wouldn't know.
There are two main characters in Cat Soup, we do not know their names, but they appear to be a brother and sister. There are several other characters involved, like a pig that they eat a part of and he still lives. We do not learn much about these characters, but they are fun to watch as they are thrown into this world that makes about as much sense as a bowl of petunias thinking "Oh no not again" (HHG2TU references!) They are extremely entertaining to watch.
I highly recommend that everyone see this at least once, but I would only recommend watching multiple times if you are an extreme love of surreal art.
I might be missing something very important in the story, but I didn't find this entertaining at all. I don't see how it was "dark." Throughout the show, I was confused as to what was going on, and that made me very bored. Maybe if I watch it a second time, I'll understand more, but this time through I was at a complete loss.