Gia's List: 9 Bizarre Anime Cats from Another Universeby Gia Manry, Jun 25th 2011
You don't need to read an article on Hello Kitty motor oil or hear about a café featuring cats to play with in Akihabara to know that Japan is completely bonkers for felines. But rather than rush out a mediocre list of the "best," "coolest," or "cutest" cats in anime, this list is all about tapping into that craziness to bring you nine of the weirdest cats in anime and manga, from cat girls and talking cats to cat plushies to plain old bizarre cats.
9. Blair (Soul Eater)As far as bizarre goes, Blair isn't all that wild— she's basically a cat that turns into a busty, flirtatious woman. But she manages to rank on our chart for two reasons: one, in addition to being a cat she's also a witch. And a pretty powerful one, too, as it turns out. And the second reason? She could have been a one-off throwaway character, but Soul Eater's Atsushi Ohkubo actually developed her into a regular character of significance, with real character development and association with the rest of the series' colorful cast.
8. Nyanpire (Nyanpire The Animation)Cross a cat with a bat, marry the result to Hello Kitty, and Nyanpire is more or less what you'd get: an adorable merchandise-ready cat with fangs, wings, and...a cross for a belly button, oddly enough. If that's not quirky enough with you, Nyanpire also keeps company with an angel cat, a kitty version of Japanese warlord Date Masamune (named, of course, Date Masamunya) and exactly one normal cat, a Siamese with a pink bow twice the size of her head. (Two seemingly normal bats also appear.) The show doesn't start until July, which is why Nyanpire only ranks #8...for now.
7. Yoruichi (Bleach)It's not that Yoruichi is a hot humanoid female with phenomenal physical and spiritual powers who also turns into a cat that helps run the Bleach equivalent of a magical item shop. It's that in cat form, Yoruichi's voice goes from a babe's to a creepy old man's in no time flat. It weirds out the characters in the show, who all thought Yoruichi was a dude until she revealed her boobtastic form, and admit it: it threw you for a loop when you first heard it, too.
6. Nya (Pita Ten)An adorable little black cat that just wants to ruin your life. Nothing personal, of course; he's just helping his protégé Shia learn the ropes of being a demon. The problem, of course, being that Shia is more inclined to make a visitor tea and cookies than trip them on the stairs. Nya also has a hate-hate relationship with Sasha, an angel who appears to coach on the series' heroine Misha— though to be fair, Sasha is incredibly annoying.
5. Shamisen (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)For the vast majority of Haruhi, Shamisen is a perfectly normal cat, unless you count that he's hefty despite originating as a stray. Kyon acquired him at the behest of Haruhi, who wanted to include the cat in her amateur film as the familiar of Yuki, who plays a witch. Then Haruhi inadvertently grants Shamisen the ability to speak. The baritone cat turns out to be quite a philosopher. (Also of note: he's a male calico, which is exceedingly rare, and Haruhi names him after an instrument traditionally strung with cat hide, true to her kind and caring self.)
4. Doraemon (Doraemon)Yeah, it's obvious, but look: Doraemon is one wacko cat...robot...thing. Apparently in the future, cats don't have cat ears. And they have pouches like kangaroos. Doraemon can pull just about any wacky invention you can think of out of said pouch, but it pretty much never works the way it's supposed to. It's a great big circle of fail, really: Doraemon, a malfunctioning robot in the future, is taken in by the Nobita family, who are poor because their ancestor was an idiot. So the robot cat heads back into the past to when that ancestor, Nobita Nobi, was a child in an attempt to help him develop into a productive member of society. Every attempt fails ridiculously, of course. How is this show not depressing?
3. Chiyo-chan's Dad (Azumanga Daioh)To be fair, there were a lot of weird cats in Azumanga Daioh. And in the series' continuity, this cat is actually just a weird pillow-plushie thing. But in the insane subconscious of both space cadet Osaka and cat-obsessed athlete Sakaki, said pillow is actually the father of their child genius friend, Chiyo-chan. He levitates, plays baseball, and turns red when he's angry. And he's played by Norio Wakamoto, the former policeman turned voice actor of Hellsing Ultimate's Alexander Anderson and Code Geass' Britannian emperor.
2. Catbus (My Neighbor Totoro)Is it a cat? Is it a bus? Do you need a license to drive it? Would you even get in one? Did it just eat those kids? What's creepy for some is charming for hundreds of thousands, and Hayao Miyazaki's Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro is a prime example. The Catbus is so popular that it got its own short film spinoff, Mei and the Kittenbus— which could also be called Son of Catbus, since it follows the original Catbus' offspring —which screens at the Ghibli Museum in Japan.
1. Kuroneko-sama (Trigun)Trigun's Kuroneko-sama may not seem all that weird in the first couple of episodes of the series. Sure, he's got kind of a football-head thing going on, but that's just a style choice, right? But then you start to realize...this cat is everywhere. Does it have access to a teleporter? Is it stalking our show's hero, Vash? Could it actually be after Vash's $$60,000,000,000 bounty? Or is it something more philosophical, perhaps a statement on mankind as a lazy observer? Or...you know, maybe it's just a small black cat.
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