Cat Girl Kiki

A stray kitten is left in a box sitting on the side of the road. While Yoshiro does notice the kitten inside, he decides to ignore it and keep walking. That is until a van hits the box and keeps driving. Concerned for the poor kitten, Yoshiro peers back into the box and finds the kitten alive and well. However, the same cat he decides to take care of that evening gets a little bigger overnight. Yoshiro’s boring, introverted world is about to be shaken up by a feline that has decided to become human. Yes, Yoshiro’s new pet has turned into a catgirl. Asia Pulp Cinema brings the second installment in the Akihabara Trilogy with Cat Girl Kiki.

DVD: Cat Girl Kiki
Release Date: 5/8/2007
Release Studio: Central Park Media / Asia Pulp Cinema

MSRP: $19.99
Audio: Japanese 2.0 DD
Subtitles: English
Episodes: 1
Runtime: 68mins
Extras: Original Japanese Akihabara Trilogy Trailers, APC Trailers, 2007 APC Catalog (DVD-ROM)

Notes: Review is based on a Screener copy of the final product.

Yoshiro Takagi (Teruaki Uotani) leads a fairly mundane existence. However, on the way home from the AM/PM shop, he spots a box with a kitten inside. After the poor creature almost gets run over, Yoshiro decides to take it home and feed the abandoned pet. The next morning he awakes to find a cute girl with cat ears laying at his feet. Obviously puzzled, he stares until she happens to wake up and start crawling around the room on her hands and knees. She’s acting like a cat. The girl’s behavior fairly odd, but Yoshiro takes the news with stride and keeps the cute catgirl (seiyuu Yui Kano) around as a new pet. He tries to give her a French name, yet the kitty isn’t taking a liking to any of them. Stumbling upon the name of Kiki, Yoshiro begins his new life playing with this most unusual of pets to pass the time.

But not everything is golden in Yoshiro’s life. He is continually haunted at night by strange images in his dreams. His phone rings almost daily with an unknown voice that always leaves a message asking for him to return to college. And he has a feeling of sadness regarding the outside world. Yet none of this really matters as long as he has Kiki around. So Yoshiro decides to teach Kiki how to speak. (Question: If you suddenly had a kitty turn into a really cute catgirl, is this the first thing you decide to do with her, “Teach her to speak”? Yeah, me neither.) It’s a long process, but Yoshiro manages to teach Kiki how to speak, eat, and walk around like a human. Naturally, Yoshiro then decides to take advantage of his new female neko toy and gives her maid and school girl costumes. Kiki evens roleplays by referring to Yoshiro as “master” as she takes care of the house in her maid costime or “senpai” when she walks around as a school girl in her sailor uniform.

One evening Kiki is practicing her Japanese by watching a television program explaining what a recluse is. Yoshiro turns the TV off, but Kiki persists in asking him what a recluse is. Of course, this is going to turn bad because Yoshiro is a recluse. Kiki teases him, not really understanding the true meaning, only to hurt her master’s feelings. Kiki apologizes and Yoshiro decides that it is time that the two of them started going into the real world. Next, Kiki gets to explore the area with Yoshiro, including a park he likes to go to often. While his feelings and memories of a dark pain are growing stronger, he tries to answer Kiki’s questions about what people are doing. Sitting across from the pair is a couple in love. Kiki paws her master into explaining “love,” but as usual Yoshiro isn’t great at making the concept understandable for the kitten. So Kiki decides to do her own research by reading a novel from Yoshiro’s collection of erotica. You can see where this is going…

Cat Girl Kiki is two genres in one: catgirl anime and psychological mystery. The cinematography could use some work at times in this DV cam film and the script’s plot could always use some more polish for how it’s delivered, but I would still rate it as something worth checking out. The cast is fairly decent, with seiyuu Yui Kano as the shining star with her neko performance. Teruaki Uotani manages to keep up with his counterpart’s performance, yet I still feel he’ll need some guidance before being really ready for a lead role again. Two figures from Yoshiro’s past pop up about halfway through the film: Minami Aoyama (Japanese AV star) plays Yoshiro’s former girlfriend Yuka Sanada and Kobayashi Katsuya (Kamen Rider Kabuto: God Speed Love, Linda Linda Linda) plays Yuka’s friend Shingo Noda. Unfortunately, giving away any more information would just ruin the movie. The title is labeled “recommended for mature audiences” due to some steamy sex scenes featuring Minami Aoyama including some tub fun. While you may only see her breasts and someone going down on her, this isn’t as tame of a simulation as the previous Akihabara title.

Cat Girl Kiki is a cute film with a slow build-up regarding the real plot. Once explained, it seems more like a rollercoaster as they race towards the finish. And while I personally disagree with some of Yoshiro’s decisions on what to ultimately do, it still has a decent ending to stay around for. Central Park Media has done another great job with a solid subtitle track and a good transfer of the video for US fans. Again, the only notable extras here are the original Japanese trailers for each of the Akihabara trilogy films. While it is the second volume of a trilogy, the Akihabara films can be viewed in any order. Cat Girl Kiki’s Yui Kano is worth the price of admission to watch her pounce around as a neko for an hour on film and the story is great for a MST3K-style party with your friends. If you have a chance, go grab a copy and enjoy.