Cat's Eye (manga)

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Cat's Eye
Cat's Eye.jpg
The eighth volume of the Jump Comics edition, depicting the main characters
キャッツ アイ
(Kyattsu Ai)
Genre Action, Drama, Crime, Kaitō
Manga
Written by Tsukasa Hojo
Published by Shueisha
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump
Original run 19811985
Volumes 18
Anime television series
Directed by Yoshio Takeuchi
Produced by Norio Hatsukawa
Shunzo Kato
Music by Kazuo Otani
Studio Tokyo Movie Shinsha
Licensed by
Network NTV
English network
Original run July 11, 1983March 26, 1984
Episodes 36
Anime television series
Directed by Kenji Kodama
Produced by Norio Hatsukawa
Shunzo Kato
Music by Kazuo Otani
Studio Tokyo Movie Shinsha
Licensed by
Network NTV
Original run October 8, 1984July 8, 1985
Episodes 37
Manga
Written by Tsukasa Hojo (story)
Sakura Nakameguro (scenario)
Illustrated by Shin Asai
Published by Tokuma Shoten
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Monthly Comic Zenon
Original run October 25, 2010January 25, 2014
Volumes 8
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Cat's Eye (キャッツ♥アイ Kyattsu Ai?, stylized as CAT'SEYE) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tsukasa Hojo. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1981 to 1985, and collected into 18 tankōbon by Shueisha. The story follows the adventures of the three Kisugi sisters, Hitomi, Rui and Ai, who are art thieves trying to collect all the works belonging to their missing father.

The manga was made into a televised anime series originally broadcast in 1983 to 1984 on NTV, with a second season ending in 1985. It has also received two live-action adaptations; a TV movie in 1988 and a theatrical film in 1997.

Cat's Eye is one of Weekly Shōnen Jump's best-selling manga series of all time, with over 18 million copies sold.[1] The anime has also aired in a number of countries outside Japan, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Philippines, and China. In 2007, ImaginAsian broadcast the first season of the first anime on ImaginAsian TV, and then gave the first half of the series its first North American home video release. Right Stuf Inc. announced that they licensed the entire series in 2013 and release it on DVD under their Nozomi label.[2]

A remake manga of the series drawn by Shingo Asai, also titled Cat's Eye (キャッツ・愛 Kyattsu Ai?, spelled with the kanji for "love"), began publication in the debut issue of Tokuma Shoten's Monthly Comic Zenon anthology, which was published on October 25, 2010.[3] It was serialized until January 25, 2014, which comprises eight tankōbon volumes.[4]

History[edit]

Compared by Animage to an all-girl "Lupin III",[5] Tsukasa Hojo's sexy trio of leotard-clad cat burglars became an instant sensation when it first appeared in Weekly Shōnen Jump in 1981.[5] It ran for eighteen issues, attracting as many female readers as male. The story became an animated television series in 1983, where it proved equally successful with its mix of crime and passion. The same titled opening theme of the series became a hit in its own right, selling over 800,000 copies.[5] The initial thirty-six episodes were followed in 1985 by a second series of thirty-seven episodes which took a lighter tone, concentrating on the love triangle between two of the characters.[5] This was followed by a live-action TV special in 1988, and a live-action feature film in 1997.[5]

Plot[edit]

The three Kisugi sisters

The protagonist of the series is the beautiful Hitomi Kisugi. Together with her older sister Rui and her younger sister Ai, they run a café called Cat's Eye.[5] Hitomi and her sisters lead a double life as a trio of highly skilled art thieves, leaving razor-thin "Cat's Eye" calling cards (adorned with a red cat emblem and capable of slicing through metal, skin and imbedding into concrete walls) at the scenes of their crimes. They steal works of art (mostly paintings) that belonged to their long-missing father, Michael Heinz, who was a famous art collector during the Nazi regime), in the hopes of him contacting them.

Toshio Utsumi, a young clumsy police officer investigating the Cat's Eye case, is the fiancé of Hitomi and a frequent visitor of the café. Proud and dedicated to his profession, he swears to capture and bring down the Cat's Eye gang, but is completely clueless about the sisters' true identities, even when his coworkers have already begun to suspect the truth. Hitomi regularly informs the police in advance about her next job, and then uses Toshio's research about the security surrounding the target to help plan the job, about which Toshio has no idea.[5]

At the end of the series, Heinz leaves a note for his daughters stating that he cannot reveal himself yet because the mafia may kill him, but he may appear in five years' time. However, the "Heinz" turns out to be the sisters' treacherous uncle Cranaff, who betrayed Michael years earlier. After losing a final bet to the Cat's Eye, Cranaff decides to atone for his sin by setting fire to the museum, killing himself and all the crime syndicates. Hitomi eventually admits to Toshio that she is part of Cat's Eye and flees before he can arrest her. Toshio vows to track her down, attempting to "arrest" Hitomi at the airport with a wedding ring. He resigns from the police force and travels to America to find Hitomi, but finds that she has lost her memory due to a viral meningitis. Toshio spends time with her until her memories come back, and the two rekindle their relationship.

The trio, as well as the Cat's Eye café, also appear in Hojo's later works, City Hunter[5] and Angel Heart. However, the three series do not share the same continuity.

Characters[edit]

The three Kisugi sisters

Hitomi Kisugi (来生瞳?, Age 24)

Voiced by: Keiko Toda
Hitomi is the main protagonist of the series. Second daughter of Michael Heinz, Hitomi is usually the one who actually commits the heists, and is hence uniquely referred to as the Cat's Eye. Like Rui, she is an accomplished athlete and well versed in a number of disciplines and skills ranging from horseback riding to safe cracking. She is a skilled gymnast and is able to perform complex acrobatic moves with ease and grace. She is able to escape most restraints and handcuffs with minimal effort, and it is inferred that she is ambidextrous as well as double jointed. She is a skilled martial artist with proficiency in a number of disciplines, most notably judo, boxing and karate, and also has degrees in kendo and aikido.
Like Rui, Hitomi is also able to disguise her appearance effortlessly and can speak several other languages.

Rui Kisugi (来生泪?, Age 27)

Voiced by: Toshiko Fujita
Rui is the second protagonist of the series. Hitomi's elegant and fashionable older sister, Rui is the leader of the “Cat's Eye” group and the one who usually outlines and plans the heists. With model good looks, worldly sophistication, and a razor sharp intelligence she is able to handle almost any situation. She is extremely athletic and proficient in a great number of activities and skills including car racing, hang gliding, parachuting, helicopter piloting, motorcycle riding, roller skating, skateboarding, martial arts, electronics, handguns and scuba diving. She is a skilled actress and is able to disguise her appearance effortlessly. She is also fluent in a number of languages including English, French and German.
Rui acts as the mother figure for her sisters and is very protective of them. She is the only sister who has any lasting memory of their parents.

Ai Kisugi (来生愛?, Age 16)

Voiced by: Chika Sakamoto
Ai is the third protagonist of the series. Baby sister of the trio, Ai has a spunky, tomboyish personality and demeanor, and has a genius-level I.Q. and is particularly adept in mechanics, computer programming and engineering. She has built a wide array of gadgets to help her sisters in their heists. A typical teenager, she seems to be preoccupied a lot and dreams of falling in love. Being a high school girl, she also has a pet tabby kitten called "Tiger".
While not as skilled as her sisters, Ai has none-the-less mastered a number of skills and is regularly the one who operates the get-away vehicles for the heists, including helicopters, gyrocopters, trucks, motorcycles, cars and mini-planes. Her greatest weakness lies in the fact she is physically the weakest of the three siblings (evident in the anime when she tried to suplex a wrestler, only to have the maneuver backfire on her), but in exchange, she is also the most agile.

Toshio Utsumi (内海俊夫?, Age 24)

Voiced by: Yoshito Yasuhara
Toshio is the male protagonist of the series. High school sweetheart to Hitomi. Toshio always dreamed of being a police detective even when in high school, and upon graduation from Academy was assigned to the Inunaki (犬鳴?, "Crying Dog") District Police Station in the heart of Tokyo. While Toshio has wanted to marry Hitomi, he has vowed not to until he has captured the Cat's Eye (he has however made the first step and proposed to her).
While a bit clumsy and not very good at finding clues, his dogged determination and unyielding persistence has impressed his supervisors. He is however very stubborn and gets into verbal fights with his Chief constantly. Toshio doesn't carry a gun and prefers to use his wits and fists to contend with criminals. He has a weakness for beautiful woman and constantly makes Hitomi jealous.

Chief (課長 Kacho?)

Voiced by: Kenji Utsumi
Toshio's demanding Section Chief, who oversees the Detective's Division of the Inunaki Precinct. Nothing really is known about him, even his full name is never disclosed. He is constantly at odds with Toshio over his handling of the Cat's Eye investigation, and scolds Toshio at every opportunity.

Mitsuko Asatani (浅谷光子?, Age 24)

Voiced by: Yoshiko Sakakibara
A special investigator sent in from Tokyo Police HQ to assist in the Cat's Eye investigations. Asatani has a very shrewd intellect and has a very cunning personality, and is considered an elite officer of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. She is an expert markswoman (won the All-Japan Air Pistol Championships) and is proficient in several martial art forms, she's a 4th-degree black belt in karate and 2nd degree black belt in judo, making her more than a match for Hitomi. She is also quite a beauty, even being crowned a beauty queen during one of the Cat's Eye cases. She is one of the first person to suspect Hitomi as the true identity of Cat's Eye, but is never able to find definitive proof. Her main weakness is that she must wear prescription glasses all the time, as she is practically blind without them.
While never really elaborated in the TV series, in the manga she is said to have a secret crush on Toshio, much to the chagrin of Hitomi.

Michael Heinz (ミケール・ハインツ?)

An Wunderkind artistic prodigy in Germany during the 1930's, Heinz was so gifted that by age 10 he already began composing the beginnings of his impressive art collection, which contains not only elaborate paintings and lithographs but also one-of-a-kind jewelry, sculptures and metal works. Heinz's was even able to create exquisite musical instruments. As such Heinz's works were highly sought among art collectors and galleries and many would pay exorbitant amounts to own one of his works.
When the Nazi party began taking over Germany, Heinz fled the country for fear of political/artistic suppression. Traveling around the world, he eventually settled down in Japan where he met and married a young Japanese woman. After the birth of their third daughter, Heinz travelled to the U.S. where he disappeared under mysterious circumstances. His vast and priceless collection of art works were soon auctioned off and dispersed to art dealers around the world. Eventually many pieces found their way to Japan in the hands of various private deals (many with criminal ties). In subsequent years, the collection were stolen piece by piece, regardless of heavy security, by a trio of thieves calling themselves "Cat's Eye", who were actually Heinz's grown-up daughters seeking clues to his whereabouts and hoping to get his attention to get him out of hiding.
Rui, Hitomi and Ai find that their father is in the U.S. and they go there to track him down. It is eventually revealed that Michael was actually betrayed and forced into exile by his jealous twin brother Cranaff (クラナッフ), who then stole Michael's identity for profit with the syndicate. The revelation ends the sisters' hope of finding their father through recollecting his art work, and the Cat's Eye cease operations afterwards.

Sadatsugu Nagaishi (永石定嗣?)

Voiced by: Tamio Ōki
Trusted friend and confidant to the three sisters, a very good friend of Heinz and his wife. Nagaishi provides detailed information for Cat's Eye's heists and also helps them acquire any hardware and/or other sophisticated equipment that they may need that Ai cannot provide. His background is a mystery but he may have been a member of the Armed Forces as he has some military expertise.

Kazumi (和美?)

Voiced by: Chiyoko Kawashima
A girl from Ai's school who took a picture of Hitomi while shooting photographs of the moon with a telelens. She later boasted to one of her friends that she had taken pictures of Cat's Eye, sending Ai (who overheard the conversation) panicking. Kasumi became determined to reveal Cat's Eye's true nature and planned to go to the place Cat's Eye's next target with her camera. She managed to get a good look at the backside of Cat's Eye and thought that Hitomi fits that picture very well, and became only more convinced when she sees Hitomi playing around with some punks in the park. Asatani has noticed this too and takes Kazumi into her confidence. With a story about her dad being away (that it is unsafe for a young girl to be alone at home), Kazumi infiltrates into the Kisugi's home and asks Ai to let her stay the night. However, the Kisugi sisters managed to cunningly circumvent Kazumi's suspicion by appearing that Hitomi was still at home during the Cat's Eye mission.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Tsukasa Hojo's Cat's Eye was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1981 to 1985, with the chapters collected into 18 tankōbon by Shueisha. It was later re-released as 10 aizōban in 1994, 10 bunkoban in 1996, and 15 kanzenban between 2005-2006. The kanzenban release was published by Tokuma Shoten, instead of Shueisha.

The manga was also released domestically in several foreign countries, such as Italy by Star Comics, in France by Tonkam, and in Malaysia by Comics House.

Other books[edit]

Anime[edit]

Series I[edit]

Cat's Eye first aired 36 episodes from July 11, 1983 to March 26, 1984, made by Tokyo Movie Shinsha and directed by Yoshio Takeuchi.[5]

On April 16, 2007, ImaginAsian announced that they would broadcast the first season of Cat's Eye on ImaginAsian TV, and would thereafter give the series its first North American home video release,[6] which happened in September 2007. The show began broadcasting in June of that year, with the first DVD released later that September. As of August 2008, it is currently unavailable. However, ImaginAsian still held the license and was working to someday re-release the series.[7] At Anime Expo 2013, Right Stuf Inc. announced that they had licensed the series and will be release it on DVD under their Nozomi label.[8]

Series II[edit]

37 new episodes of Cat's Eye were created and broadcast from October 8, 1984 to July 8, 1985, and directed by Kanetsugu Kodama.[5] The second series gradually refocused on the farsical love comedy between Hitomi and Toshio and was played more for laughs.[5]

Cast

  1. Hitomi Kisugi — Keiko Toda
  2. Rui Kisugi — Toshiko Fujita
  3. Ai Kisugi — Chika Sakamoto
  4. Toshio Utsumi — Yoshito Yasuhara
  5. Chief — Kenji Utsumi
  6. Mitsuko Asatani — Yoshiko Sakakibara
  7. Sadatsugu Nagaishi — Tamio Ōki
  8. Kazumi — Chiyoko Kawashima

Opening theme:

  1. "Cat's Eye" by Anri、Leslie Cheung (eps 1–36)
  2. "Derringer" by Mariko Tone (eps 37–73)

Ending theme:

  1. "Dancing with the Sunshine" by Anri (eps 1–12)
  2. "Dancing with the Sunshine" by cathi Linn (eps 13–36)
  3. "Hot Stuff" by Sherry Savage (eps 37–73)

Adult anime[edit]

Cat's Eye was unofficially adapted into an adult anime in 1985. Titled Cat's Ai: Milky Girl, the porn pastiche was released straight to video.[9]

Live action adaptations[edit]

A TV movie Cat's Eye was aired on July 23, 1988,[5] including Mie from the band Pink Lady as Rui.

A live-action movie Cat's Eye directed by Kaizo Hayashi was released on August 30, 1997,[5] starring Yuki Uchida as Ai and Norika Fujiwara as Rui. Produced with an eye for the Hong Kong market, the film adds a Triad boyfriend for Ai ("Street Fighter II" Zero's Kane Kosugi) who is ordered to kill the trio.[5] During a climactic shoot-out at the Triad's restaurant headquarters Michael Heinz is found alive, and rescued.[5] The storyline basically follows the anime, though the outfits now resemble the black vinyl Catwoman costume from Batman Returns. This film is not currently available in the United States, though it may be purchased through some Asian DVD retailers.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Top Manga Properties in 2008 - Rankings and Circulation Data". Comipress. 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  2. ^ "Right Stuf Adds Cat's Eye, Princess Nine, Campanella, Sengoku Collection Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Cat's Eye returns in Comic Zenon" (in Japanese). Comic Natalie. 
  4. ^ "キャッツ♥愛" (in Japanese). Comic-zenon.jp. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Clements, Jonathan (2001). The Amine Encyclopedia. Berkeley, California: Stone Bridge Press. pp. 57–58. ISBN 1-880656-64-7. 
  6. ^ "Broadcast and DVD Release of Orguss, Nobody's Boy Remi and Cat's Eye coming from ImaginAsian6". Anime News Network. 2007-04-16. Retrieved 2007-08-05. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "Right Stuf Adds Cat's Eye, Princess Nine, Campanella, Sengoku Collection Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Clements, Jonathan (2001). The Anime Encyclopedia. Berkeley, California: Stone Bridge Press. pp. 57–58. ISBN 1-880656-64-7. 

External links[edit]