What's Michael?

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What's Michael?
What's Michael.jpg
Cover art of the North American release of volume 4, Michael's Mambo, featuring Michael, his "wife" Poppo and their kittens
(Howattsu Maikeru?)
Written byMakoto Kobayashi
Published byKodansha
English publisher
MagazineWeekly Morning
English magazine
Original run19841989
Original video animation
StudioKitty Films
ReleasedNovember 25, 1985
Runtime55 minutes
Anime television series
Written bySatoru Akahori
Music byKōji Makaino
Michiaki Katō
Original networkTV Tokyo
Original run April 15, 1988 March 28, 1989
Original video animation
What's Michael? 2
StudioKitty Films
ReleasedJuly 25, 1988
Runtime60 minutes
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

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, although Michael is not a specific cat but rather a feline version of an everyman as he appeared in drastically different settings across chapters, even died in some. It is currently released in the US by Dark Horse Comics. The manga was presented in the standard left to right American reading format.

In 1986, What's Michael? received the Kodansha Manga Award for general manga.[1]

The manga was adapted into two anime OVA series 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 1985ISBN 4-06-176507-8

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. Michael's First Day (マイケルの1日)
  5. Niboshi Suspect (疑惑のニボシ)
  6. Michael VS. Rocky (マイケルVS.ロッキー)
Michael sits on the railings in front of a manga artist, doing his cat things until the manga artist throws a lighter at his head and he falls to his death from the 7th floor.
Michael poses with a female nude model, but he just can't seem to be able sit still which makes the photo shoot take forever to finish.
An international terrorist shoots dead Michael's lady owner, then proceeds to shoot him, another cat who looks just like him that just happens to pass by, and a mother cat who looks like him and the kittens she's breastfeeding in the closet, but decides to give up because there are still so many other cats who look like him who was witnessing the whole assassination.
Michael is trying to hunt but fails, then for some reason just stands on his hind limbs and dances away, which confuses the terrorist from the previous chapter.
Michael, in human clothes, is interrogated by two cat policemen. He reportedly stole niboshi from the Monroe shop on third street, even left a paw print. In turn, he accuses one of the interrogators of not covering his poop with sand. They both deny accusations, but their obvious "guilty cat" body languages give it all away. In the end, all of them are still easily distracted cats, and just go on to chase flies and geckos.
Rocky is a very well-trained dog who's good at fetch. Michael, on the other hand, simply doesn't care as much as his owner wants him to.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joel Hahn. "Kodansha Manga Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved 2007-08-21.

External links[edit]