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Cat’s Eye (1983 – 1985)

Weekly Shōnen Jump is one of the best selling and longest running manga anthology magazines in Japan. The first issue of which releasing with a cover date of August 1. 1968. One author who has had his work published in this magazine is Tsukasa Hojo. He’s particularly seen a lot of success with the 35 volume series City Hunter. But that is not what we’re talking about today. I’m here today to recommend you guys another one of Tsukasa Hojo’s works. Today we’re gonna be talking about the series he did before City Hunter. That being Cat’s Eye.

So Cat’s Eye is a 73 episode TV anime that released between 1983 – 1985. It was produced by studio TMS. As well as being directed by both Yoshio Takeuchi and Kenji Kodama. Takeuchi was responsible for the first 36 episodes and Kodama was responsible for the last 37. Meaning that there is a bit of a sudden style change after episode 36. And like I said in the introduction, Cat’s Eye is based on a manga, written and illustrated by Tsukasa Hojo. It was being published in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1981 to 1985.

In Cat’s Eye we follow the three Kisugi sisters, Rui, Hitomi and Ai. During the day they run a nice little cafe called Cat’s Eye. But by night time, the three sisters turn into the highly skilled art thieves, also known as Cat’s Eye. Coincidence? Well the police certainly seem to think so. But Cat’s Eye aren’t your average art thieves. They only look for specific art pieces. Those being the art that primarily belonged to the collector Michael Heinz. A famous art collect from during the Nazi regime in Germany. He also happens to be the Kisugi sisters father. For unknown reasons, he has gone into hiding. And the reason the Kisugi sisters are stealing these art pieces, is that they hope it will give them a clue as to where their father is hiding. But the middle sister Hitomi also have to be careful her night time work does not get in the way of her relationship with Toshio Utsumi. A detective assigned to the Cat’s Eye case, who also happens to be Hitomi’s boyfriend.

So to just get right into it, Cat’s Eye as a series is a lot of fun. If you’ve ever seen Lupin III, you know exactly what you’re getting here. It’s a lot of the same fun hijinks of how they can fool the police and avoid getting caught. But what separates Cat’s Eye from Lupin is primarily two things. The first is that it’s an all female main cast. The second is that we get more in terms of the interpersonal relationship between the characters, as well as more day to day stuff. Cat’s Eye basically just takes the things that works in Lupin and tries to add it’s own little spin to things. Some things work and others not so much. But all in all, it’s a pretty decent package. If I were to find any flaw it would be that it goes on for a bit too long without really changing. So 73 episodes might feel like a lot because of it. The other negative is that the series doesn’t end. They just give us a final episode, letting us know it’s the final episode and then leave us without really having solved the mystery surrounding the Kisugi sisters main motivation. The whereabouts of their father or why he even went into hiding. An actual ending does exist, but you need to read the manga for that.

Cat’s Eye is available for streaming on Crunchyroll, though not for everyone due to licensing restrictions. You can find it here: https://www.crunchyroll.com/cats-eye

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