DVD Review: Cat Planet Cuties – The Complete Series

cat_planet_cuties_screenshot_5Cat Planet Cuties (aka Asobi ni iku yo!) is a series about love, aliens, cats and dogs but is Cat Planet Cuties – The Complete Series a ‘purrfect’ release or should it be kept in the dog-house? Find out in our DVD Review of Cat Planet Cuties – The Complete Series.

Synopsis:

Bombshells from outer space! 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!

Our View:

Cat Planet Cuties tells the story of Eris, a human-looking-cat from the planet Catia, as she spends her days on earth researching the culture and lifestyle of human beings, however after spending several weeks living within Kio’s home (which later becomes the Catian Embassy) Eris starts to develop feelings for Kio, much to the annoyance of Manami and Aio, who also have feelings for Kio. Combine this love triangle with Secret agencies, robotic cats, psychotic cat lovers and enemy dog-aliens and your left with a rather mixed-up anime series that could have provided more entertainment than just sexual frustration and skimpy clothes.

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The start of Cat Planet Cuties seemed like it was going to offer an explosive alien encounter story with gun fights, car chases, explosions and comical alien encounters, but after the first three initial episodes (and introductions to more Catia’s) there is hardly anything left over other than a loosely based alien encounter story with lots of sexual comedy and cat fights. As soon as the initial episodes are finished there is the typical ‘beach episodes’ with everyone wearing skimpy bathing suits, Eris announcing that she wants to ‘mate’ with Kio due to her Cat-styled Mating Cycle and plenty of naked bath scenes with both the cats (and girls) of the main cast.

There is more to the series than sexual innuendos and cat fights though, as another alien race, called Dogisia (humans that look like dogs),which made contact with earth in secret many years ago and throughout the series they secretly try to stop the Catians from making official contact with the humans. In addition to the Dogisia encounters there is encounters with secret organisations, namely cat-lovers, who want to accqurie Eris for themselves so inevitably Eris gets capture a fair few times within this rather ‘loose’ series.

The reason I say the story is rather ‘loose’ is because it doesn’t follow a direct path, instead it follows around four different stories with each never taking centre stage. For instance there is the continuing relationship story between Kio, Eris, Manami and Aio, a continuous (but random) Impeding danger from Secret cat-loving organisations and Dogisia affiliates and finally there is the Catians trying to negotiate with the humans, which after episode three you hardly ever see happening. Combine these together and it creates a rather ‘fumbled’ story with no direct progression of the overall story, things just ‘seem’ to happen, this is until towards the end of the series when more deeper and emotive stories take place, such as the arrival of Rauri, as well the Dogisian’s an all-out attack on the Catians.

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It’s also worth noting that before each episode begins there is an ‘episode introduction’ whereby the narrator gives a small description (with video) of what will happen in the episode. Each of these ‘introductions’ are done using different styles of TV introductions, for instance the first few episodes mimic the opening sequence to Star Trek by saying “These are the voyages of the Star Trek Catia” while later episodes depict the opening to Mission Impossible by saying “this mission if you choose to accept it”. While these don’t add anything to the overall story it’s a nice little gesture to American TV shows, plus its fun to try and guess which show they are trying to mimc. It’s not just the introductions either, as cameo appearances from other anime series (such as Sacred Blacksmith) and movie posters (such as Armageddon) are also shown.

Extras:

Unlike most anime DVD releases Cat Planet Cuties features a variety of extra content, most of which is located on the second DVD disc. Included is Cast Commentary, Special Mini-Episodes, Textless Opening & Closing videos as well as ‘The End’ clip.

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Disc 1:

  • Episode 1 Commentary (Scott Sager – ADR Director, Monica Rial – voice of Aoi, Tia Ballard – voice of Eris) discuss the roles that Tia and Monica play

Disc 2:

  • Episode 9 Commentary (Christopher Bevins– Line Producer, Aaron Dismuke – Voice of Kio and Brittney Karbowski – voice of Manami) discuss the characters and the show
  • Extra Bonus Features 1 -12 (3 minutes)
  • The End (14 Seconds)
  • Ichika Special (4 Minutes)
  • Text Less opening video
  • Text less closing videos

In my eyes the extras included on the Cat Planet Cuties disc are just as confusing as the series itself, with the ‘Extra Bonus Features’ and ‘Ichika Special’ being the exact same footage as the ‘next episode previews’ just narrated/voiced over differently, apart from that everything remains business as usual for a FUNimation produced series, with the English Audio Commentary providing the most entertainment.

Specs:

Media: DVD 9 x2
Running Time: 2:39:37 (Disc 1), 2:24:38 (Disc 2) (13 Episodes)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 448Kbps (English), Dolby Digital 2.0 224Kbps (Japanese)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps

Overall:

Cat Planet Cuties provides a mixed-up story that if looked hard enough provides a comical love story between different races of characters (which apparently can mix together) merged with a battle between Cats, Humans and Dogs. It’s an interesting story that starts off rather well but unfortunately doesn’t go very far until the closing episodes of the series when all hell breaks loose, this aside there is plenty of fan-service, whether it be big boobs, cat fetishes, naked bath scenes or bathing suits – Cat Planet Cuties has got you covered, and this is what it does best – fan service.

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The Visual and Audio quality of the series are what you’d expect to receive from a FUNimation produced series, with English Audio being presented in 5.1 Surround Sound and Japanese Audio presented in its original 2.0 Stereo sound. While 5.1 Surround Sound is available (on the English Dub) it is not needed and does not do anything to further enhance the audio experience. Both the English and Japanese Audio are equally enjoyable to listen to, and the inclusion of removable English Subtitles (which are white) means that viewers can watch the series in its original Japanese ‘raw’ format, if they so desired.

The biggest downfall with this release, other than the overall series, is the DVD Production as the chapter points are non-existent. Traditional anime DVD’s chapter points are ‘Intro, Opening Song, Part 1, Part 2, Ending and Next episode preview” but with Cat Planet Cuties the series is just split into two halves, thus making it extremely difficult if you just want to skip the opening or ending videos. It’s not just the Chapter Points either, the extra features are slightly misleading with only one text less opening song being included and that the text less ending songs are in the wrong order (series introduction wise).

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Cat Planet Cuties is a series I thought I would enjoy watching with its comical charm, sharp visuals and colourful animation style but in reality it’s a stale, repetitive and slow series where I was waiting for something interesting to happen. If Cats and Sexual innuendo’s are your type of thing then you will most likely enjoy what Cat Planet Cuties has to offer otherwise there isn’t anything new here.

Score: review-stars-2

Cat Planet Cuties – The Complete Series will be available on DVD from the 8th July 2013.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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