Kyatto Ninden Teyandee
|Cat Ninja Legend Teyandee|
Cover art for the DVD box set in the United States, showing Yattarou, Pururun and Sukashii
(Kyatto Ninden Teyandee)
|Genre||Action, Comedy, mecha|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Kunitoshi Okajima|
|Produced by||Ippei Kuri|
|Written by||Mayori Sekijima
|Music by||Kenji Kawai|
|Licensed by||Discotek Media|
|Original run||1 February 1990 – 12 February 1991|
Kyatto Ninden Teyandee (キャッ党忍伝てやんでえ?, Cat Ninja Legend Teyandee) is an anime series produced by Tatsunoko Productions and Sotsu Agency. The series originally aired in Japan on TV Tokyo from 1 February 1990 to 12 February 1991, for a total of 54 episodes. Saban picked up the North American rights to the series in 1991, and produced an English dub (Samurai Pizza Cats) that became a cult hit among anime fans due to its rapid-fire pop culture references and more farcical nature.
The series is set in the mechanical city of Edoropolis (a portmanteau of "Edo" and "metropolis"), a mechanical city which fuses feudal Japanese culture with contemporary culture, and is populated by cybernetic anthropomorphic "animaloids", or animal androids. The city is notionally led by Shogun Iei-Iei Tokugawa, but as he is a doddering eccentric, the city's actual leadership lies in the hands of his daughter Tokugawa Usako and a council headed by the ambitious prime minister Kitsunezuka Ko'on-no-Kami, a fox who constantly plots to overthrow the Shogun with the help of his trusted advisor Karasu Gennarisai, and Karamaru, the leader of an army of ninja crows.
Unknown to the prime minister, council member Inuyama Wanko-no-Kami, the commander of the Palace Guard, learns of his designs on leadership, but is unable to prosecute him for treason because of the plausible deniability he maintains. Instead, Inuyama enlists the services of Yattarou, Pururun and Sukashii, three cat ninjas who work in the city's pizzeria, along with their operator Otama. Known collectively as the Nyankī, they are assigned to stop Ko'on-no-Kami and his evil henchmen's plans to take over Edoropolis.
The incidental music was composed by Kenji Kawai (Ghost in the Shell, Patlabor, Ranma 1/2). The opening ( "A Time for Beautiful Days" (おっとどっこい日本晴れ Ottodokkoi nihonbare?)) and ending ("To Be Yourself") songs were composed by Etsuko Yamakawa, Takeshi Ike and Anju Mana and sung by Reina Yazawa and Ai Orikasa. Ami Itabashi, the singer of the ending song of the Macross OVAs, sang the insert songs.
The English version, Samurai Pizza Cats, is well known for the fact that when Saban licensed the series, proper translations of the original Japanese episodes were either of poor quality or non-existent, so it was decided to write completely original dialogue for the English dub, playing the show as a wacky, Animaniacs-esque comedy in contrast to the less farcical original version. Of the 54 episodes that were originally produced in Japan, 52 were translated into English. The two untranslated episodes were clip shows that did little to further the series' plot. Some episodes of the dubbed version were never aired in the United States for censorship reasons.
A number of episodes were released on video in Japan, but a complete release of the show was held up for many years owing to poor sales of the videos. It was rumoured for some time that the reason for the show's lack of a DVD release was due to the original masters of some episodes being lost, but this proved not to be the case. Starchild Records released the complete series on DVD in Japan on August 8, 2012, as part of a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Tatsunoko Pro. The limited edition set sold well, placing second in the national animation DVD sales charts the week of its release.
In North America, Discotek Media announced on March 12, 2012 that they had licensed the home video rights to the series with plans to release both the Saban English dub and the original Japanese version with English subtitles in separate box sets for each version. The Japanese language box set was released on April 30, 2013 while the English dubbed version is due for release later in 2013.
|Kyattou Ninden Teyandee|
In 1991, Tecmo published a video game based on the original Japanese version, Kyatto Ninden Teyandee, for the Famicom (NES). It was released as a Japanese-only release, but was bootlegged outside Japan under the title Ninja Cat. Although the game was never officially released in the West, three complete English translations are available via a fan-made ROM patch. A standalone handheld LSI game (similar to Nintendo's Game&Watch) was also made.
Players take the role of the three main cats and otasuke (rescue team) members, who can be switched to at any time and have their own special abilities to progress through the game. The game features most of the characters in the series as well as an additional villain, a mysterious scientist named Dr. Purple (Dr. パープ) who shows up later on in the game and appears to ally with Ko'on-no-kami (the Big Cheese). The creators of the TV series stated that Dr. Purple was going to appear in a new season of the show and was meant to replace Ko'on-no-Kami as the new main villain. It was supposed to have happened after Ko'on-no-Kami and Karasu Gennarisai left Edoropolis after the comet incident (episodes 52–53). However, it never happened since the show only ran for one season and was cancelled soon after.
The main characters of the series were also intended at one point to appear in the Wii fighting game Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars. The game's producer, Ryota Niitsuma, was quoted in an interview as saying: "One of the main anime we got more requests for than any others was Samurai Pizza Cats... I wanted to see that, but we couldn't reach an agreement."
Various toys and model kits were released in both Japan and Europe by Bandai, the latter usually being reboxed versions of the prior. Action figures for the Nyanki and the Otasuke (the Japanese originals came as model kits comparable to today's Gundam toys, while the European figures came pre-assembled). There were also both large and small (Gachapon-sized), rubber-like figures, as well as playsets for the smaller figures, including the Nyago King and the pizza parlor.
- "キャッ党 忍伝 てやんでえ". Tatsunoko Productions. Retrieved 2009-08-16.(Japanese)
- Clements, Jonathan; McCarthy, Helen (2006). The Anime Encyclopedia. California: Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 1-933330-10-4.
- Cats Legend Teyandee (dead)
- Chipman, Bob. "Found in Translation". Escapist Magazine. The Big Picture. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- "キャッ党忍伝てやんでえ". StarChild. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
- "Discotek Licenses Samurai Pizza Cats/Cats Toninden Teyande". Anime News Network. 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
- "Samurai Pizza Cats - Discotek Media Announces DVD Plans for the Classic '91 Series!". tvshowsondvd.com. 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
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- "Kyatto Ninden Teyandee (NES)". Gamefaqs.com. 1991-07-19. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
- "Samurai Pizza Cats NES game translation patch". Romhacking.net. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
- "Tatsunoko vs. Capcom Producer Niitsuma Discusses Characters". Anime News Network. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
- "The Lost Characters of Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom". Kotaku. Retrieved 1 April 2012.