Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Cat Returns

Neko no ongaeshi (original title)

Starring the voice talents of Anne Hatheway and Cary Elwes

Directed by: Hiroyuki Morita

Release Date: Jul 19, 2002

More a spinoff than a sequel, The Cat Returns brings back two characters from 1996's Whisper of the Heart, Muta (or if you prefer "Moon") and the Baron from Shizuku's story. Here, the story involves a 15 year old girl named Haru who through an act of kindness, is introduced to a world run by cats and through a series of unforseen circumstances has been betrothed to Prince Loon. So, our young protagonist is told to seek out the Cat Bureau run by the mysterious, proper and heroic Baron Humbert von Gikkingen (but i prefer to just rememeber him as Baron Humbert). Compared to Whisper of the Heart, The Cat Returns is a shorter story with a change in animation, but that necessarily isn't bad. TCR has a more exaggerted style of animaton where the characters have more "cartoonish" physicality which is a tribute to the fluid style of the animation and adds to the nature of the story's fantasy-like nature. Finally, i'd like to compliment two of the voice actors for the English language adaption: Anne Hatheway and Cary Elwes. Hatheway brings a nervous, teenage like vocal range in order to make her portrayal of an insecure 15 year old girl more authentic. Elwes is just perfect, returning from Whisper of the Heart to bring The Baron (so to speak) to life once again.

Rating: * * * * of 5

Click Here to buy The Cat Returns