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Cat Planet Cuties: Complete Collection (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

May 10, 2012 by  



“Cat Planet Cuties” is a sci-fi harem anime series with fan service, well-endowed characters and plenty of action, but some may find the series too mild compared to other anime series of the same genre.  Overall, “Cat Planet Cuties” is a fun and enjoyable series worth watching!

Images courtesy of ©2012 FUNimation Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Cat Planet Cuties: Complete Collection (Asobi ni Ikuyo!)

DURATION: 12-Episodes (325 Minutes)

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition 16×9 HD Native, Dolby TrueHD English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD Japanese 2.0, Subtitles: English

RATED: TV 14

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RELEASE DATE: May 15, 2012

Originally Created by Okina Kamino

Directed by Yoichi Ueda

Series Composition by Katsuhiko Takayama

Music by Tomoki Kikuya

Original Character Design by Noriko Morishima

Art Director: Hiroshi Kato

Chief Animation Director: Noriko Morishima

Mechanical Design by Naohiro Washio

Animation Production by AIC PLUS+

Featuring the voices of:

Haruka Tomatsu/Brittney Karbowski as Manami Kinjō

Kana Hanazawa/Monica Rial as Aoi Futaba

Kanae Itō/Tia Ballard as Erisu

Mutsumi Tamura/Aaron Dismuke as Kio Kakazu

Aki Toyosaki/Lara Woodhull as Melwin

Ayahi Takagaki/Cherami Leigh as Ichika

Fumihiko Tachiki/Sonny Strait as Yūichi Miyagi

Hiromi Hirata/Martha Harms as Maki Itokazu

Iori Nomizu/Luci Christian as Antonia

Kikuko Inoue/Staci Moon as Kuune

Minako Kotobuki/Cherami Leigh as Chaika

Naomi Shindoh/Aleisha Force as Durel

Yui Horie/Colleen Clinkenbeard as Jens (Janes)

Yukiko Monden/Jami Marchi as Jack

She’s as frisky as she is curvy – and kitty wants to play! The flirty fun begins when nice guy Kio has a close encounter with a sexy, alien cat-girl named Eris. She’s every nerd’s fantasy come true, and she and her fellow intergalactic felines are setting up base in Kio’s house. Unfortunately, Kio doesn’t have a lot of time for heavy petting. Secret agencies and enemy dog-aliens are sniffing around, hoping to get their paws on his pussycat pal’s tail! The guy’s definitely got his hands full – but with Eris jumping in his lap to purr in his ear, it’s likely Kio will land on his feet!

In 2003, Okina Kamino and illustrator Hoden Eizo and Nishieda would work on the Japanese light novel “Asobi ni Iku yo!” (Let’s Go Play).  In 2006, a manga adaptation by 888 was created and serialized in the manga magazine “Monthly Comic Alive”.

With the popularity of the manga series and light novels, a 12-episode anime adaptation was created in 2010 titled “Asobi ni Ikuyo: Bombshells in the Sky” and now, the series will be released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment under the name, “Cat Planet Cuties”.

“Cat Planet Cuties” revolves around a shy teenage boy named Kio Kakazu.   Kindhearted and sophisticated, Kio’s uncle pressures him about having a girlfriend and the first girl he tries to push himself on is a teenage girl with cat ears and a tail (thinking the girl is cosplaying).

The girl is actually a real alien named Eris, a Catian who has the body of a human but have cat tails and ears and also have a lot of feline qualities.  Eris a 16-year-old scout and when Kio accidentally gets drunk and passes out, when he wakes up, he finds a naked Eris in his bed.  Not sure what is going on, he realizes that Eris is a real alien.

When his neighbor and childhood friend Manami comes over, she wants to confront Kio about the girl that he came home with.  Meanwhile, at the same time, his teacher Ms. Itokazu comes over to bring some work and both are shocked to see a teenage girl with Kio that is barely dressed.  And wonder why she is cosplaying.

But Kio and Eris tell her that she is not from this planet and at first both can’t believe it but when Eris shows proof that she is an alien and news reports on television show a space ship being found, both Manami and Ms. Itokazu react with concern and both immediately leave Kio’s home.

We quickly learn that Manami is trying to become a CIA member and is a candidate for recruitment.  She is excellent with spy communications and weaponry and  she has been secretly listening into Kio’s conversations (as she has his room bugged) and with revelations that an alien being is on Earth, she has been assigned to target Eris.

Meanwhile, it is revealed that Ms. Itokazu is a leader of the Beautiful Contact Japan Sect. that are working on human and alien communication but want humankind to encounter aliens that are found in fictional sci-fi movies.  Not a cat girl with big breasts.  So, she wants to make sure that Eris is eliminated.

As for Kio’s other friend, Aoi Futaba, she and Kio share the same passion for classic films and she secretly has a crush on Kio.  But while she seems shy and quiet around him, in reality, she’s a deadly killer who works for the Immigration Bureau of Japan and is among their top agents.  She has a technologically advanced battlesuit and weaponry and her bosses have been working with the Dogisians and thus her job is to eliminate Kio and Eris.

But will these women kill their friend?  Especially Aoi and Manami who both have a crush on Kio.

And what will happen when the Catians and Dogisians arrive on Earth?

“Cat Planet Cuties” features the following characters:

  • Kio Kazaku – The protagonist and kindhearted teenage boy.  Kio is the first to meet the Catian named Eris.
  • Eris – A Catian and 16-year-old scout who is exploring Earth.  She is very grateful to Kio and because she is entering her first heat, she wants Kio to be the one to mate with her.
  • Aoi Futaba – A teenager who works for the Immigration Bureau of Japan.  While she looks like a shy girl and has a crush on Kio, she is a warrior who is excellent with firearms.  She has been given orders to assassinate Kio and Eris, but her love for him may brand her a traitor.
  • Manami Kinjou– A childhood friend of Kio and his next door neighbor.  She has had a crush on him but she keeps her emotions within her.  She has been wanting to join the CIA but when she is ordered to assassinate Kio and Eris, she chooses to risk her career.
  • Maki Itokazu – Kio’s teacher and a leader of the Beautiful Contact Japan Sect.  Her orders are to make sure that Earth meets a certain “better” kind of alien, but since Eris was the alien to come in contact with humanity, she is told to take out Eris, to erase that meeting between alien and human.
  • Qoone – The Catian Starship Captain known for her large breasts.  She tries to establish diplomatic relations between Earth and Catian.
  • Melwin – The Catian Starship First Officer.
  • Chayka – A member of the Catian Starship Crew.
  • Durel – The Catian Starship Doctor also with large breasts.
  • Rulos – The computer AI of Eris’ personal ship.
  • Janes – The Dogisian in charge of relations between Earth and Dogisian.  She and the Dogisians are trying to eliminate Eris and friends.

VIDEO:

“Cat Planet Cuties” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1).  AIC Plus+ did a magnificent job when it came to the visual look of the anime series.  Backgrounds are well-painted and detailed, the characters designs and even mechanical designs look very good and plenty of shadows and details.  Overall, the series looks great on Blu-ray.

AUDIO:

As for the lossless audio, “Cat Planet Cuties” is presented with an English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack and the Japanese version is presented in Japanese 2.0 Dolby TrueHD.  Because the series features a good balance of dialogue and action, I was hoping to hear a more immersive soundtrack for the action scenes.  A little more use of the surround channels, but for the most part, the lossless soundtrack is good.  I did notice differences with the Japanese and English version, as Kio sounds much more younger (ie. junior high or early teens), whereas the English version, Kio sounds like an older teen.   Nevertheless, voice acting is well-done on both soundtracks and the English version of course, has a been more dynamic range thanks to its 5.1 lossless track.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Cat Planet Cuties: Complete Collection” comes with the following special features:

  • Episode 1 Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Scott Sager (ADR Director), Monica Rial (voice of Aoi) and Tia Ballard (voice of Eris).
  • Episode 9 Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Christopher Bevins (line producer and voice director), Aaron Dismuke (voice of Kio) and Brittney Karbowski (voice of Manami).
  • Extra Bonus Features – (7:58) 14 previews for the next episode.
  • Textless Opening Song – (1:32) Textless theme song “Now Loading… Sky!!”.
  • Textless Closing Songs – Featuring six textless closing songs.
  • Cat Planet Cuties U.S. Trailer – (1:34) FUNimation Entertainmen trailer for “Cat Planet Cuties”.
  • TRAILERS – FUNimation Entertainment trailers

EXTRAS:

“Cat Planet Cuties: Complete Collection” comes with both the Blu-ray and DVD edition of the OVA’s.

For those wanting a mild harem anime series, you really can’t go wrong with “Cat Planet Cuties”.  As one would expect, there are a lot of female characters, one teenage boy and some of these characters are more well-endowed than others, it’s a banal storyline.

In Japan, there are far too many anime series where female characters are all after the one male character and in some way, there can be comparisons with “Cat Planet Cuties” to other alien harem anime series such as “To Love RU” and even “Heaven’s Lost Property”.

The good news is that the series is beautifully animated and it was able to integrate a good amount of action and not so much focus on the fan service. Also, it’s a series that tends to cater to those who enjoy Furry type of anime series.  Cats and dogs with human characteristics, these type of anime series tend to have a strong fanbase.

With that being said, the caveat is that it focuses too much on the political conspiracy and while the Catian’s are exciting to watch, the Dogisians were an uninspired antagonist.  Also, I found the character of Kio to be normal and average, whereas “Heaven’s Lost Property”, its main character is a pervert and in “To Love RU”, the main character is a person who is confused of his feelings of who he likes.  With “Cat Planet Cuties”, it tries to fit everything in the light novel series in 12-episodes and thus everything feels short and almost rushed.  The ending, especially of what happens to Kio was like an easy way out for the writers to solve the harem issue.

Still, I did enjoy “Cat Planet Cuties” and its multiple characters and how the Catians try to get accustomed to the Planet Earth but also the “heat” problems that female cats go through to find a mate.  These issues were fascinating and fun to watch but once again, as the group have their few episodes of having fun together, with only 12-episodes, it just felt too short and made me wonder how much of Okina Kamino’s storyline was missing from the animated series.

As for the Blu-ray release, I will say that the animation especially the painted backgrounds look magnificent on Blu-ray.  The characters are well-designed and while you tend to expect anime TV series to be soft in colors, the overall anime production by AIC Plus+ was well done!  Lossless audio was good but I was hoping for a bit more immersive audio during the action sequence.  And there are two audio commentary tracks as well as bumpers and textless opening and closing themes included.

Overall, “Cat Plant Cuties” well no doubt entice the anime fans who love anime harem series, well-endowed, furry characters and also sci-fi action.  But for those who want a deeper storyline or even more fan service may find “Cat Planet Cuties” a bit too mild for their tastes and that there are other better sci-fi anime harem series out there.

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