Cat's Eye

Hitomi is a young woman who runs the popular Cat Cafe with her two sisters Rui and Ai. They also have secret lives as a trio of art thieves known as Cat's Eye, as it says on their calling card they leave. The purpose of their thefts is to collect the art pieces left behind by their father who has been missing for some time, and hope the art will provide some clues to either his whereabouts or his fate. Hitomi's love interest is police officer Toshio, who is obssessed with catching Cat's Eye. Not only does he not know Hitomi is Cat's Eye, but also his discussions with her about museum security gives the trio opportunity to bypass it when they strike. The only clue Toshio has so far about them is that they are women, which he found out when he bumped into Hitomi during a chase (and touched her breast). Time and time again though Cat's eye slips through his fingers, gaining the ire of his frustrated police chief. Special investigator Mitsuko is brought in to try and solve the case, and using her intellgence and fighting skills nearly unmasks them, but thanks to Ai's high tech savvyness she fails. Cat's Eye's rival is a blonde known as "lupin's bride" who nearly beats them to their act, but decides to help them when she finds out who they are. Does she know something about their father....?


I always loved City Hunter the anime, and then I heard of Cat's Eye and I caught some of it at a convention several years ago. I didn't appreciate as much until just recently, as I've always loved watching classic anime. It definitely has that 80's vibe, and you get that feeling with the opening titles. As the for the anime itself, it's a very engaging caper comedy/action/drama. It's difficult to limit it to one category as one moment there's plenty of intrigue and action, and then there's schoolgirl antics, Toshio being scolded by his boss or him being slapped by Hitomi for being "ecchi" again. There's also added intrigue with the plotline concerning the trio's father, and brings up a lot of questions: who was he, how did his art get scattered all over the place and why is he not in the picture (so to speak)? This adds a layer of interest to the series and makes you want to tune in to find the answers. As for the anime design, it definitely takes from Tsukasa Hojo's manga pretty well. He has a knack for drawing body types well from the muscular broad shouldered guys to the curvy and leggy ladies. The animation is pretty fluid for an 80's show and doesn't really look cheap like other series do of the time. I always get a kick out of the end song which have the girls in leotards doing aerobic exercises, which was the mainstay back then (I remember we had to do aerobics in Junior High), in fact their thief outfits are like leotard body suits. It's a fun nostalgic romper, and on top of that you have a story where the thieves are the heroes, or rather the heroines which is another plus, and I like that. Thumbs up.


Yuri on Ice!!!


Yuri Katsuki is talented figure skater and hopes to be as great as his longtime idol, Russian champion Victor Nikiforov. He is Japan's best, and soon he is competing against his idol at a championship. Yuri though succumbs to pressure frequently and during his skate he fails several jumps, and can only watch his idol win another championship. Victor's fellow countryman, a talented upstart also named Yuri, is disgusted with Yuri K's performance and says he could do much better. The miserable Yuri waves off an chance to take a photo with Victor, which leaves the champ concerned. Yuri K returns home seeing himself as a failure though people still acknowlege him. He returns home to his familys hot spring inn, and has gained weight from eating his favorite pork cutlet bowl a lot. He still shows greatness at the local skating rink, perfectly imitating Victor's skating routine, but he feels his career has ended. He returns to the inn and finds Victor relaxing in the hot spring, apparently waiting for him. Victor has gone against his coaches wishes and retired from skating to come to Japan and be Yuri's coach, as he feels he has the potential to be the next greatest skater. Yuri P has heard of this, and also rushes to Japan, but to get Victor to come back to Russia and be his coach. Victor decides to hold a skate-off, to the public, and decide what he should do and who he should coach. He selects music for the two, music that is contradictory to the skaters strength. It's only when Yuri gets tips from a female dancer does he know what to do. The result: Yuri P returns home by himself and gets a different coach, while Victor stays in Japan and coaches Yuri K. Victor puts Yuri through his paces to make him the best he can be, and to be ready to skate in the national circuit, the international circuit and then the Grand Prix...


Some fans may be disappointed to learn that this anime series is NOT about "yuri" that is "girls love!" In fact there's hardly any girls in sight! Yuri in this case refers to the main Japanese character's name as well as one of young Russian skaters. When I heard that it was about all guys, I immediately said "Yaoi on ice." But turns out I was wrong, as this a very thoughtful, though also humorous anime about figure skaters striving to be the best in the world. What I liked the best is the research that went into all of the background information about ice skating: the jumps, the skating contests, the music and so forth. The creators certainly know their stuff, and I felt right at home after all of ice skating championships I watched on TV, particularly the Winter Olympic skates. And just like watching the real contests, I got nervous watching the characters perform, getting nervous wondering whether or not they will land their jumps. The main characters are great: the somewhat flamboyant world champ Victor, his Russian hot head upstart Yuri P and the star of the show the talented but flawed Yuri K. Victor sees something special in Yuri and we can see it, and he wants Yuri himself to know it which is something he has difficulty with. The humor of the show derives mostly from Victor's antics which borderline on Yaoiistic tendencies, such as him standing up in the hot spring nude to introduce himself to Yuri, or how he gets real close to Yuri and touches his chin as if trying to seduce him or something, scaring Yuri.  Of course there are plenty other skaters that they will meet during the competition which vary from super cute, obsessive and downright sexual, which all are pretty funny. I'm not sure how this series will end, but I'm hoping we will see Yuri K stand at the top podium at least at some point in the story, because it's been built up well. Anyway I give this one an enthusiastic thumbs up!