Black Cat: anime review

Title: Black Cat
Genre: action, fantasy, sci-fi
Released date: 6 October 2005 – 30 March 2006
Episode: 24
Director: Shin Itagaki
Animated by: GONZO Studio
Comment:When I started watching Black Cat, I knew I could not expect anything like depth, originality or even rationality from it. The anime was supposed to give us a good time and that should be enough. Nevertheless, I was disappointed. Creating fun and exciting anime is not as easy as it sounds. Black Cat is about a group of weird people; Train Heartnet (aka Black Cat) the former ruthless assassin, Sven Vollfied the sweeper, Eve the genetically modified nano-girl and Rinslet Walker the famous thief. The anime takes us along their adventure to hunt down criminals and ultimately save the world. Before I share my opinion about the series, I must tell you that I haven’t read the manga version of Black Cat. I watched it with no prior knowledge about the characters or the story and that’s not my fault, of course. To me, the show hardly made any sense.

Train is a cold-blooded assassin for reasons never shown in the anime except for one brief flashback scene in which Zagine, Train’s trainer, appeared and that doesn’t provide any additional information about Train’s past. Later he meets Saya, the sweeper with, again, no details but that she wears yukata all the time. They converses briefly on the rooftop a few times and Train suddenly turns into a typical merciful, kind-hearted hero. I knew I have said many times that character development was always important but this miraculously swift transformation of Train just didn’t work. As for Sven, how he acquires his special ability to see into the future and his relationship as a father figure to Eve are quite interesting but, sadly, he spends most of his screen time as a mere comic relief. I think he lacks involvement to the story. The world renowned thief, Rinslet, appears to have no motive. We see her searching for some intelligent all the time and she shows up out of the blue now and then for no good reason. Ironically, Eve who is the least human of all the main characters shows most emotion and complexity of normal human. She is genetically-engineered girl who is regarded by her creator as a deadly weapon. She then learns to be loved and love others in return after she meets Sven. The other minor characters possesses various unique super powers but none of them does anything but give us occasional colorful battle scenes.

The series do have the main plots, Train’s and Eve’s, but it wanders aimlessly away too often. New insignificant people shows up all the time while the main characters hardly progress further. The worst part of the show is its climax. When Eve is turned into Eden and her conscious trapped inside, all the characters from previous episodes show up to help save the day. It is not so bad to see familiar faces again but the contexts behind these people are too thin. The viewers hardly know who they are, how do all of them come to the right place and time and why do they have to be there. Maybe they are just good people and want to save the world. I need something more than that. The redeeming qualities of the anime are the thrilling action sequences and funny moments and probably the use of opera music during battle scenes. The animation is average in general. Conclusion: Black cat may be entertaining to young viewers who are easily dazzled by flashy and energetic scenes. But to more mature viewers, it is a messy work.
Rating: D+

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