What's Michael?

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What's Michael?
What's Michael.jpg
First tankōbon volume cover
(Howattsu Maikeru?)
Written byMakoto Kobayashi
Published byKodansha
English publisher
MagazineWeekly Morning
English magazine
Original run19841989
Original video animation
StudioKitty Films
Released 25 November 1985 25 July 1988
Runtime55 - 60 minutes
Anime television series
Written bySatoru Akahori
Music byKōji Makaino
Michiaki Katō
Original networkTV Tokyo
Original run 15 April 1988 28 March 1989

What's Michael? (ホワッツマイケル?, Howattsu Maikeru?) is a Japanese manga series created by Makoto Kobayashi. In 1984, it began its serialization in the Weekly Morning magazine. The manga shows Michael, an orange American Shorthair tabby cat, his feline friends, and other domesticated pets in a series of humorous episodes. Michael is not a specific cat, but rather a feline version of the everyman as he appeared in drastically different settings across chapters: he's a normal cat in some chapters (with different owners in different chapters), an anthropomorphic cat in others, and he even dies in some chapters.

Dark Horse Comics released the series in the US as eleven volumes between 1997 and 2006, and in 2020 released the first volume of a "Fatcat Collection", which spanned the first six volumes.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13] The manga was presented in the standard left to right American reading format.[clarification needed]

In 1986, What's Michael? received the Kodansha Manga Award for general manga.[14]

The manga was adapted into two anime OVA films in 1985 and 1988, and a 45-episode TV series in 1988–1989.


Most episodes of the series fall into one of two kinds of stories. The first portrays the cats in a realistic way, living out normal lives with their owners. It finds humor in how humans observe their pets' naturally quirky behavior. The second type of story is complete fantasy in which all the animals are given anthropomorphic characteristics such as walking on two legs, wearing clothes, and being able to talk to each other; these episodes place the animals in a clichéd storyline and mixes up their human personae with normal animal behavior.


No. Release date ISBN
1 18 January 19854-06-176507-8

Chapter 01-21

  1. Michael's Intro‼ (マイケル登場‼)
  2. Beauty and Kitty (美女と子猫)
  3. Terrorist (テロリスト)
  4. A Day in Michael's Life (マイケルの1日)
  5. Suspicious Niboshi Case (疑惑のニボシ)
  6. Michael VS. Rocky (マイケルVS.ロッキー)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kobayashi, Makoto (1997). What's Michael? - Michael's Album. Translated by Lewis, Dana; Smith, Toren. Dark Horse Comics (published 1 April 1997). ISBN 978-1-56971-247-4.
  2. ^ Kobayashi, Makoto (30 July 1997). What's Michael? - Living Together. Translated by Lewis, Dana; Smith, Toren. Dark Horse Comics. ISBN 978-1-56971-248-1.
  3. ^ Kobayashi, Makoto (1997). What's Michael? - Off the Deep End. Translated by Lewis, Dana; Sather, Jeanne; Smith, Toren. Dark Horse Comics (published 29 October 1997). ISBN 978-1-56971-249-8.
  4. ^ Kobayashi, Makoto (1997). What's Michael? - Michael's Mambo. Translated by Lewis, Dana; Sather, Jeanne; Smith, Toren. Dark Horse Comics (published 28 January 1998). ISBN 978-1-56971-250-4.
  5. ^ Kobayashi, Makoto (November 2001). What's Michael? - Michael's Favorite Spot. Translated by Kotobuki, Hisashi; Gleason, Alan; Lewis, Dana; Winkler, Erin; Smith, Toren; Hernandez, Lea. Dark Horse Comics (published 16 January 2002). ISBN 978-1-56971-557-4.
  6. ^ Kobayashi, Makoto (17 July 2002). What's Michael? - A Hard Day's Life. Translated by Lewis, Dana; Hernandez, Lea. Dark Horse Comics. ISBN 978-1-56971-744-8.
  7. ^ Kobayashi, Makoto (2003). What's Michael? - Fat Cat in the City. Translated by Lewis, Dana; Hernandez, Lea; Smith, Toren. Dark Horse Comics (published 19 February 2003). ISBN 978-1-56971-914-5.
  8. ^ Kobayashi, Makoto (2003). What's Michael? - Show Time. Translated by Lewis, Dana; Hernandez, Lea; Smith, Toren. Dark Horse Comics (published 17 September 2003). ISBN 978-1-56971-972-5.
  9. ^ Kobayashi, Makoto (2004). What's Michael? - The Ideal Cat. Dark Horse Comics (published 14 April 2004). ISBN 978-1-59307-120-2.
  10. ^ Kobayashi, Makoto (2005). What's Michael? - Sleepless Nights. Dark Horse Comics (published 22 June 2005). ISBN 978-1-59307-337-4.
  11. ^ Kobayashi, Makoto (2006). What's Michael? - Planet of the Cats. Dark Horse Comics (published 10 May 2006). ISBN 978-1-59307-525-5.
  12. ^ Kobayashi, Makoto (2020). What's Michael?: Fatcat Collection Volume 1. Translated by Lewis, Dana; Smith, Toren. Dark Horse Comics (published 12 February 2020). ISBN 978-1-50671-414-1.
  13. ^ Dark Horse comics (12 February 2020). "What's Michael? Fatcat Collection Volume 1 TPB :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics". Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  14. ^ Joel Hahn. "Kodansha Manga Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved 21 August 2007.

External links[edit]