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  • When I saw this movie a few days ago, my eyes were completely fixed to the screen. Its greatness held my attention to such an extent that I focused all of my attention on it for its entire duration. I would recommend seeing it not just to fans of anime, but to anyone who likes great movies period (or who likes really weird stuff). The style of art is beautiful, the sound is perfect, and the symbolism within it is breathtaking. I've heard complaints about the weird insertion of English text in the movie, but I think the way its done is complementary to the strange style of the movie. The self-attributed description of "Hello Kitty on acid" doesn't do justice to this film of absolutely epic proportions. I'd like to find more works by whoever made this, and see them.
  • First of all, this movie is 34 minutes long, which means you could watch it three times in a row and still have spent less time than you would have watching most other movies. Second of all--you need to do this. This sensational short film explores the potential of animation through a world of playful or horrifying but always powerful images. Cats riding in and drinking out of a water elephant, a circus featuring a bird that has consumed the sky, and pigs eating their own fried flesh--that's only the beginning. The scenes and images, extraordinary on their own, flow together without obvious causal links in a way that demands re-watching. Furthermore, the DVD includes an amazing director's commentary, which, given the extremely spare dialog, only enhances the viewing. The commentary gives a few interpretations of scenes, but also provides priceless quotes on the crafting of Cat Soup, along the lines of: "well, the artists were asking what we should do in this scene, but I didn't know myself, so its hard to say why it turned out as it did" (that's a bad paraphrase by the way). Also, the sound throughout the film is very high quality, very precise, and very moody. In all, the absolute minimum viewing experience should go as follows:

    First viewing: Watch the DVD without the commentary. Second viewing: Watch the DVD WITH the commentary. Third viewing: Rewatch without the commentary.

    Once you've watched it three times, however, you're not going to stop there...
  • Best animated movie ever made. This film explores not only the vast world of modern animation with absolutely boggling effects, but the branches of the human mind, soul, and philosophy. The story features a family of cats, where in the big sister dies, the younger brother sees this and rescues her body, but when she awakens she is left without a soul. So, the two sibling cats embark on a journey to find it. I have related this journey to many things. The history of the world, the bible, the cycle of life, and every time I watch it I discover more and more hidden themes and metaphors. If you aren't so into the physiological aspect of it then, you will still adore it. The animation is superb, and the creative scenes will have you attached to the screen. For example, the ocean freezing in time, god eating soup out of the earth, a strange and slightly SNM retelling of Hansel and Gretel. To conclude, Cat Soup is an absolute treat for anyone.

    PS- Not for kids, gratuitous violence included.
  • Wow. A truly fantastic 'trip' movie that has tons of super-surreal imagery, dark intent and a black, pretty strange sense of how cartoon animals must see the world. It's populated with a very cute off-world bunch of characters that bend and flow with warped backgrounds.As with all cool fantasy, the wandering plot is secondary to the eye-popping visuals and we follow a little cat and his zombie sister as they encounter death, deluge, water elephants, samurai swordsmen and pigs that fish. I'd never heard of it, but now I love it - probably because it reminded me of the surreal pencil-work of American cartoonist; Bill Plympton. It's a demented delight for fans of odd, pretty things and it had me glued to the screen for fear I'd miss something amazing. Simply put, it's 'Hello Kitty' without the 'o'.
  • "Nekojiru-so" ("Cat Soup") is based in the manga of the same name by Nekojiru. I can't compare both for I have not read the manga, and only found out it was based on a manga after popping the disc in the DVD and watching the short.

    This is described as "Hello Kitty on Acid", but I would describe it more as "Psychotic Lynchian Hello Kitty". Yes, that's more fitting. Plotwise, the short doesn't explain much, and it doesn't need to! With no dialogue what-so-ever, random cat noises here and there, and some pop-up speech balloons like in a comic book, the short needs nothing but its imagery to be understood. And this is supported by the fact that, "Nekojiru-so" is supposed to be understood differently by everyone. There's so much interpretation to be had, so many symbolisms and abstract imagery. And this is where it succeeds the most, it's such a personal experience!

    The animation is amazingly fitting, sometimes very weird and abstract. The art and backgrounds are also equally superb. Sound is top notch, the soundtrack is so fitting it enhances the feeling of doom, despair and just down right weirdness. And happiness too! Even though it's a very weird happiness...

    Opposite to what you may have thought from the cute-sy art, this is absolutely NOT a film for kids. Don't even think about popping this on for a kid. There are some very disturbing images / actions in these amazingly brilliant 30 minutes of art.

    Only downside? Too short... but it's like Tatsuo Sato says in the interview, if it were any longer, people might go crazy! But hey... I just wanted this crazy experience to last a wee-bit longer. That's it. The only downside.

    This is an absolutely incredible, stunning and dark short surreal animation that hooked me up from the beginning to the very end without letting go. It spoke so much to me, I had to watch it a second time almost immediately.

    So, if you're into surreal / abstract animation / film / art, you should be watching this right now, getting freaked out and developing your own interpretation.

    An amazing experience!

    9 out of 10.
  • ilovejeanrollin20 November 2003
    CAT SOUP is a short anime based on the legendary manga Nekojiru. It won the award "Best Short Film" at The 6th Fantasia Film Festival and also won the "Excellence Prize" at Japan's Media Arts Festival.

    When little kitten Nyaako's soul is stolen by Death, she and her brother Nyatta embark on a bizarre journey to get it back. In the surreal dreamscape of the Other Side, they encounter many fantastic characters and remarkable, often disturbing adventures.

    CAT SOUP is an anime like nothing you've ever seen. It's Hello Kitty on acid! It is very original, stunningly beautiful and possess a great sense of strangeness and lyricism. CAT SOUP is very surrealistic (there are no dialogue) and sometimes cruel and gory. So it is more an anime for adults than children (they may not understand at all!). A great journey for those who get the chance to see this absolute masterpiece. An must-see!
  • dbborroughs19 March 2004
    A young cat tries to steal back his brothers soul from death but only gets half of it and then has to go adventuring to get the other half... or maybe not.

    Frankly I'm not sure what happens in this film which is full of very strange, very surreal images some of which parents might find disturbing, (ie.the cats slicing off part of a pig who is traveling with them and the frying it like bacon which all three eat).

    This is a very strange film that some have likened to Hello Kitty on acid, I think its more like Hello Kitty as done by Dali. (Certainly this is more alive than Destino which was directly based on his work).

    If your up for a very off beat film that will challenge your perceptions of things then see this movie. Just be ready for some very strange images that will be burned into your memory forever.
  • I recently discovered this short, and knew it was a must see. Cat Soup is something that can't be described in words. It focuses on 2 cat siblings who end up in a bizarre journey in the surreal earth they live on. This includes freezing time, dried up oceans, and many other unexplainable events that occur.

    There's no dialog used in this film. Only Japanese text which is translated. The whole story wasn't meant to make any sense. It was made intended to make the viewer image the whole universe to this story.

    For a short this bizarre, it made me wish it was longer. Cause an idea like this can be unlimited to create. Cat Soup would most likely fit in the category of random animation.

    Cat Soup is more than a short random anime film. It's a work of art and imagination.
  • Cat Soup at first seems to be a very random animated film. The best way I've been able to explain it is that it's quite acidic. Though it's not totally random. The story is about Nyatta, a young cat boy and his sister Nyaako. Nyaako is very ill and dies, however, Nyatta sees her soul being taken away by death and is able to retrieve half of it. The story is about their quest to bring Nyaako fully back to life.

    Though a lot of the content in this movie seems completely random, it is not. Most of it is symbolism for life, death and rebirth. You can also see references from other tales, such as Hansel and Gretal. This strangely cute short film has an interesting story, packed with a deeper meaning than what you see on the surface of the screen.
  • tedg5 June 2007
    One thing film can do is trigger the imagination in ways impossible elsewhere.

    What we apparently have here is a film based on a comic. There's what I call an "excuse story" about a half-lost soul. Such stories allow the filmmaker to simply noodle about as he or she wishes. It worked for me in "Mirrormask." But not here. I think its because I'm especially sensitive to coherence of image. If the images let me enter a world, I do deeply. But if they come from different minds and sketch different worlds, it just seems as if I am seeing unrelated billboards.

    That's what happens here. Oh, there are many things to appreciate; the unexpected turns of reality which at first seem novel but soon become repetitive, mere chapter headings. Some of these are clever.

    The one thing that absolutely hypnotized me wasn't in the film proper but was a small inset on the left as the credits rolled by on the right. An animated scene of perhaps two or three seconds is repeated over and over again, sometimes starting a bit earlier or later. Sometimes its backwards. Its of the two kitty children posing with their mother on the beach. The father is the photographer and we sometimes see his arm as he pushes one of the children into the shot where it stays for only a moment before grabbing the mother.

    The music tinkles underneath as if automated. We watch this thing cycle and cycle, modulating in the cycles. Its so much more engaging; you develop a backstory that relates to the movie and is so much richer in depth and engagement than anything in the film.

    A rather amazing experience, and it was worth watching the movie as setup for that.

    Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
  • "Cat Soup" was a strange, but at the same time, incredibly fascinating short.

    Despite the childish (But beautifully done) artwork, this short isn't aimed to kids, instead of that, this is a surreal, dark tale of fantasy that involves lots of strange scenes and situations.

    Some of the weirdness form this movie could seem gratuitous and completely devoid of sense, but that's the main reason why I liked it:In many ways this anime short reminded me a lot the Luis Buñuel's short "Un Chien Andalou", which, like "Cat Soup" was filled with nonsensical, dream-like situations.

    "Cat Soup" is an unpredictable, twisted and beautiful animation. And despite the cute appearance of the main characters, it is a very complex and mature example of animated surrealism.
  • What the literal hell did I just watch..? Before I read comments with interpretations, I had no idea what is going on. It was rather hard to sit through it all, and it being really gross at times didn't help that either. Not for sensitive viewers. Interesting ideas, but too complicated and confusing for my taste.
  • this is a visual adaptation of manga with very little dialogue. what dialogue there is appears in word baloons as it would in the manga. the plot of this is existent but only vaguely accounted for. there is an issue of the manga on which this is based available in english in the blast books collection, 'comics underground japan', and it has actual captioned dialogue that explains the plot a bit more than here. i recommend checking that volume out if you liked this, as it explains some of the "plot" of the movie, which is otherwise inexplicable. animation wise this is pretty decent, good unintrusive use of computers and the images are for the most part realized well. it jumps in and out of episodes, as the characters, a cat and his brain-dead older sister cat wander in and out of a series of odd images: a boat, a circus, a desert. for a mere half hour they go through a number of semi-plots and settings, which leads me to believe that the director chose a number of issues of the long-running manga to adapt at random, but primarilly selected visually. knowing what's going on might somewhat increase appreciation. this reminds me mostly of the kind of stuff they used to play on the mtv show, cartoon sushi, in particular a short that features a cat chasing a man's severed butt-cheek around the house. only in this case the cats resemble hello kitty more and their adventure is expanded to include death and reincarnation and a number of other themes [though not all that easy to tell what's going on]. the dvd of this has director's commentary and a "making of" features, but i cant comment on those because i didnt get around to them. i'm giving this a 8/10 for now, here isnt much to compare it to in anime, and i hope for more like this.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Short, but long enough, Cat Soup is a very wild trip to watch. One day, I was just searching though my On-demand list through the anime section and came across it, and decided to watch it. I spent the whole time basically sitting with my jaw agape. The whole time I was either vacant of thought, or had a fleeting one which screamed "TURN IT OFF!!!". But I didn't. And actually, I'm glad I did.

    The animation is stunning. Very artistic, odd and dark. I personally loved it for the amazing animation, but the seemingly vacant story behind it is equally compelling for myself.

    A young boy--well, cat--goes in search of his sister's soul. In the first part she's lying sick in bed, and is soon paid by a visit from a sort of grim reaper. Her soul is split in half. One is regained by the cat boy while the other half is lost.

    Then the rest of the film is slightly lost to me, honestly. I expect they go back, and their world is... perhaps slowly falling apart? Maybe her absence of soul is the answer behind this, for the rest of the film contains various stages of which the world's in. First there's a giant flood, and next it dries up into a bleak desert, and then everything freezes (thanks to either what is God or fate, as you will see). Then I believe they find the sister's soul in the form of an orange flower. After that, the whole world disappears. Haha, totally didn't get that, but it sends shivers down my spine each time.

    Despite it's seemingly random scenes, I'm sure there's a deeper message behind it if you watch it enough and do some research. Personally, I LOVE trippy stuff like this, and would love to spend time doing that just to understand it. But to some people it's probably not their cup of tea. It comes off as highly disturbing, so if you like your straight forward anime, this is not a film for you. If you have an open mind however, I highly recommend this movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I haven't fully understood the implication of the film until I read an illuminating article on DOUBAN. From my perspective,the trip of the cat seems existentialism,as he tried hard to rebel the absurd reality controlled by god at random,but it turned out that his hard work vanished in vain. And the animation also reflects the destiny that we all face--the cat would eat meat and be cruel and violent to others to survive ,since he ate the eyeball of the dead fish which had struggled through others' knives ,and he as well couldn't escape from the fate that he was doomed to lose everything. In addition,while the cat was traveling backwards,through the time tunnel where every tragedy hasn't happened ,car accident hadn't taken someone's life,war hadn't killed billions of people ...I saw the hope of human beings ,but it is just like a flash,fleeting away too soon. Well my feelings are too fragmental and lack of logic :(
  • It is so satisfying to see the animation as it is so very well made-and it has a really beautiful soundtrack too! And the storyline is quite intriguing
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Nekojiru-so" or "Cat Soup" is an animated 32-minute short film from Japan. It was written and directed by Tatsuo Satô and takes us on a journey with an apparently cute little kitten. However, things are certainly not the way they seem in here and we see a lot disturbing and downright strange stuff as the film goes on. Puking is just the smallest of all evils in here. So do not be fooled by the animation, which looks like it's for really small children, this is a film only suitable for teenagers (if at all) and adults. Unfortunately, the movie is not as good as it's weird, so that occasionally I felt it did drag a little. I cannot say I am too surprised that this is still Satô's most known work to this day and he could not back it up with really good or famous feature films in the many years since this was made. Thumbs down for "Cat Soup". The best thing about it is probably that there is no dialog, so you also will not need subtitles if you cannot speak Japanese.
  • Cat Soup sees an anime cat (big eyes, big head) drowning in a bath-tub only to enter a place where he sees his ill big sister being led away to another place. He tries to save her but he only half rescues her. He himself is rescued by his father and resuscitated and then tries to restore his sister – only managing to partially bring her back to life. The two then set off on a hellish journey to recover a flower which will restore her fully.

    If that plot summary sounds linear or like it might make sense then I have done it a disservice because this short film is loaded with weird images and sequences of symbolism associated with death, the power of the sea and many other things that I must confess went over my head. I have seen the tsunami be important as an idea within other Japanese films and there are some other characters and ideas that seem to stem from Japanese culture in here but for me little of it landed. This is of course because my cultural roots are different and I cannot be expected to get things that the target audience have grown up within – although having said that it is also a factor that the short film is off the wall nuts for the majority.

    The animation is what makes it worth trying; it is anime cutesy but yet incredibly randomly creative and disturbing. It is like a trip but to say that is to take away from the work that went into crafting each frame and making them flow across 30 minutes. It may watch like an acid trip but it is still very creative and I found it engaging on that level, even though I'm pretty sure it has almost no actual meaning. Worth a look if you appreciate creative and unusual animation styles but in terms of the content and the symbolism I didn't really take anything away from it.
  • moon_face209025 June 2006
    I really loved it although while reading the reviews it was quite disturbing to me..But as an anime art fan i can totally understand this perfect art work even though some of it was against my cultures and believes..But hey,it's the world of art..!! the beginning of the film is very strong,strange and confusing.it's hard to understand the contents which make me respect the one who made it.only someone who is extremely opened can do such daring film..it's absolutely not for kids..even though the characters are cute and adorable but they go through some disturbing adventures that cannot be erased(sorry if the spelling is wrong)from ones memory..
  • I have a high tolerance for the weird, but frankly some movies go way, way beyond weird--so far that they make your brain hurt. This is such a film. Trying to understand it or even explain it is impossible and I think the film is best understood while taking drugs--it's that incomprehensible.

    The film begins with some very cute Japanese animation involving a cat. However, out of the blue, tons of twisted and occasionally disturbing things occur--making me wonder if I am losing something in the translation. However, even if this is so, why did we need to be treated to images of a magic trick involving dismembering a lady with a clever, defecation, puking, lighting animals on fire, etc.. All this really seemed random and pretty awful. Oddly, and I don't know why, some see this as a work of genius. I just don't get that.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Cat Soup (Nekojiru - Sou) is probably one of the trippiest anime I have ever watch, and it is also one of my favorite short films. A half - hour short film with cute cats, what could possibly happen right? No, trust me - this isn't for kids at all. From the first look, I thought the art was pretty like Hello Kitty. The art first looks like a hand - rush drawing from a young child. For some reason, I really like the artwork in here: It could be cute, odd and creepy at the same time. Even at the most disturbing scenes, I still can not move my eyes away. The plot is extremely strange though. It is about a young cat (Nyatta) traveling with his brain - dead sister (Nyako) to the dead land to get the half of her soul back (after Jizou took that half of her soul away from her). They go to a world that is as weird as hell, a world that everything could happen. The entire show gave me the feel like it is a dark, hallucinogenic and uncontrollable dream (reminds me of fever dreams). In the ending, I see that the cats return to their home together, and then the whole family disappeared together. This film maybe can be interpreted in different ways and you would not be wrong either way - It could be a happy film, or a sad film, depending on the way you think about it. In the end, I think Cat Soup is a deep, dark and unique anime. If you like weird stuffs and got interested in this, you could give it a try. It will not be like any anime you have watch before.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    CAT SOUP has two "Hello Kitty"-type kittens embarking on a bizarre trip through the afterlife, where anything can happen, and does. This mind-tripping Asian short uses no dialog, substituting word balloons instead. There is no way of describing this demented cartoon except to tell you to see it for yourself. And make sure no one under 10 is in the room. Dismemberment and cannibalism and cruelty and savagery and sudden death and callous disregard for others are common themes. Honest. Perhaps the most memorable image is that of an elephant composed of water that the kitties swim through and in, and also ride. But like practically everything else in this film, that silly, picaresque interlude soon comes to a horrible end.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I wanted to give this movie a go since it was mentioned on a web article on some site called "Animated films that are not for kids". Yeah I agree with that especially the scene where a circus performer girl on this was chopped in half. Even though it was disgusting, I was literally laughing my head off! Even as well, she was back to normal but seriously, it really does make you laugh at that kind of stuff!

    It's too bad that this movie isn't in English. It would've been easier to understand as the viewer of what's happening. I was also disappointed that it lacked voice actors to be involved in this. I just felt that the story was confusing and really dull. The only bits in this short I enjoyed were the water elephant in the desert and the impressive art around this movie. I mean, a better story line, involving voice actors and having the movie with English subs/dubs would've been more of a bonus in my opinion :/
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Japanese animators have a unique freedom with animation, which is why they tend to be able to come out with movies like these, movies that ultimately end up on anime-fans hard-drives and college student's floors, but get completely ignored by pretty much anybody outside of its country of origin. Cat Soup is one of those films that, from Western eyes, is supposed to be experienced on drugs or deeply analyzed. Really, it's just a beautifully detailed surrealist journey.

    There's no real dialog, which makes it easy to pass on to other interested parties uninterested in things like subtitles. A cat and his half-dead (brain-dead?) sister travel through various landscapes of imagination and association. There's a general theme of water, or lack thereof (possibly because of the cat drowning at the beginning? Possibly because of the title?). There's an interesting sort of Genesis take. There's a pig that gets to eat itself. An elephant made of water. And it's gorgeous, compelling, exciting, and fun--provided you don't watch it around druggies who cannot experience anything visually unique without comparing it to an acid trip. Eventually the movie turns itself off, adding another compelling self-reflexive level to the proceedings.

    --PolarisDiB
  • This short film, while well-made, looks like it ought to be the music video for a Pink Floyd song. All the events that take place are completely random and strange. It made no sense to me whatsoever but managed to keep my interest. The other review on here mentions Hello Kitty on acid. I'd imagine one would have to be doing acid for this to really work...otherwise, it's just lost on you. A very constant feeling of "what the f--- did I just see??"
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