She and Her Cat

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She and Her Cat
She and her cat.jpg
Cover art for She and Her Cat.
彼女と彼女の猫
(Kanojo to Kanojo no neko)
Genre Drama
Original video animation
Directed by Makoto Shinkai
Studio CoMix Wave Inc.
Released 1999
Runtime 5 minutes
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She and Her Cat (彼女と彼女の猫 Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko?), subtitled Their standing points, is an independent five minute Japanese anime OVA created and directed by Makoto Shinkai. It is about the relationship between a male cat and his female owner told from the cat's perspective.

Plot[edit]

The story occurs over the span of a year. On a rainy Spring day, She finds Chobi outside and brings him home with her. Chobi falls in love with his owner because of her kindness and beauty. During the summer Chobi gets a girlfriend, Mimi. Mimi loves Chobi and wants to marry him, but he refuses because he is in love with She. On an autumn day She has a long conversation over the phone. When it's over She cries and becomes depressed. Chobi does not understand what the conversation was about or what happened but concludes that it was not her fault. He stands by her and comforts her. Time goes on and it becomes winter. She continues going to work and moves on with her life. In the end Chobi and She are happy with their life together and say in unison, "This world, I think we like it."[1]

Characters[edit]

Chobi

Voiced by: Makoto Shinkai (Japanese), Massimiliano Alto (Italian)
Chobi is a male cat and the narrator of the film. He is a stray cat before She finds him outside her door. He admires her and falls in love. Since he is a cat he does not fully understand what happens in the human world.

She

Voiced by: Miko Shinohara (Japanese), Perla Liberatori (Italian)
Chobi's owner is only referred to as "She" and her real name is never given. She lives alone in an apartment and leaves every morning and takes the train to work. Chobi describes her to have the kindness of a mother and beauty of a lover.

Mimi

Mimi is a young, small, and cute[citation needed] cat and Chobi's neighbor. She becomes his girlfriend during the summer and wants to marry him. Mimi's character is not voiced.

Style[edit]

The animation used is a series of still images with very little motion. The entire movie is done in black and white with monochrome shading. Makoto Shinkai creates the background images by taking real pictures and editing them with computer graphics. Unlike the rest of the images in the movie, the cats and She are drawn making them contrast with the detailed background.[2]

Interpretation[edit]

It is not known what the conversation She had was about, but many viewers believe she had a boyfriend and their relationship ended over the phone. This caused her to become depressed. Since She joins Chobi in saying the last line of the movie, "This world, I think we like it," it is also assumed that after time she is no longer depressed and appreciates her relationship with Chobi. Like many of Shinkai's other movies, She and her Cat deals with sadness, loneliness, and human emotions.[3]

Development[edit]

She and Her Cat was developed completely by Makoto Shinkai with the exception of the music. He spent five months working on the making of this movie. Chobi's monologue was recorded in his own living room. He used the knowledge he learned from working at Falcom, a video game company, to create the animation. This was one of his earlier movie projects and got him the attention he needed from companies to fund his later movies. The works he is most famous for are Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 5 Centimeters per Second, and Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below.

All of the music is composed by his former Falcom co-worker, Tenmon, who has composed the music for all his later films as well.[4]

Production[edit]

Makoto Shinkai originally made his own copies of She and Her Cat on CD-R and sold them at CG events, anime conventions, and by mail through his website starting in April 1999.[3] The movie caught the attention of Haniwara, a producer from Mangazoo and offered to sell it through his company. On March 2001, Mangazoo released the movie in a CD-ROM format which is now out of print. The latest version of the movie can be found in the DVD of Voices of a Distant Star as an extra.[5] The only version to reach the United States is the subtitled version that comes with Voices of a Distant Star released by ADV Films on June 2003. The DVD includes three different versions of the movie: the full five minute version, a three minute version, and an even shorter digest version.

Awards[edit]

Human Grand Prix in SKIP Creative Human award – 2000

Grand Prix in 12th DoGA CG-animation contest [5]

Reception[edit]

There is a lack of professional criticism on She and Her Cat, however the movie was well received by its viewers. Users of anime social networking sites anime-planet and MyAnimeList ranked it #495 and #453 respectively out of all listed anime TV shows and movies on the sites. Many reviewers praise the style of the animation along with the music because it creates a simple but melancholic atmosphere. A user from the website Internet Movie Database (IMDb) says, "The use of classic black and white images to convey the mood and atmosphere of the story was wonderfully done."[6] Viewers also praise the different point of view the cat gives when describing his relationship with his owner.

Crossover[edit]

In Shinkai's other movie, 5 Centimeters per Second, the female character Akari pets a cat on the street named Chobi and mentions Mimi.[7] Also, in Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below, the female protagonist Asuna has a pet cat named Mimi.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "She and Her Cat". Anime Vice. 
  2. ^ Sondhi, Fason. "She and Her Cat". Short of the Week. 
  3. ^ a b Alverson, Brigid. "Makoto Shinkai: Making Anime for One Person at a Time". MTV Geek. 
  4. ^ "She and Her Cat". Makoto Shinkai Fan Web. 
  5. ^ a b "She and Her Cat". 
  6. ^ "Their Standing Points". 
  7. ^ "Film: 5 Centimeters per Second". 

External links[edit]