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(3.5 stars) "Cat Planet Cuties" is a fun and enjoyable series worth watching!
on November 8, 2012
In 2003, Okina Kamino and illustrator Hoden Eizo and Nishieda would work on the Japanese light novel "Asobi ni Iku yo!" (Let's Go Play). In 2006, a manga adaptation by 888 was created and serialized in the manga magazine "Monthly Comic Alive".
With the popularity of the manga series and light novels, a 12-episode anime adaptation was created in 2010 titled "Asobi ni Ikuyo: Bombshells in the Sky" and now, the series will be released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment under the name, "Cat Planet Cuties".
"Cat Planet Cuties" is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1). AIC Plus+ did a magnificent job when it came to the visual look of the anime series. Backgrounds are well-painted and detailed, the characters designs and even mechanical designs look very good and plenty of shadows and details. Overall, the series looks great on Blu-ray.
As for the lossless audio, "Cat Planet Cuties" is presented with an English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack and the Japanese version is presented in Japanese 2.0 Dolby TrueHD. Because the series features a good balance of dialogue and action, I was hoping to hear a more immersive soundtrack for the action scenes. A little more use of the surround channels, but for the most part, the lossless soundtrack is good. I did notice differences with the Japanese and English version, as Kio sounds much more younger (ie. junior high or early teens), whereas the English version, Kio sounds like an older teen. Nevertheless, voice acting is well-done on both soundtracks and the English version of course, has a been more dynamic range thanks to its 5.1 lossless track.
Subtitles are in English.
"Cat Planet Cuties: Complete Collection" comes with the following special features:
Episode 1 Commentary - Featuring audio commentary by Scott Sager (ADR Director), Monica Rial (voice of Aoi) and Tia Ballard (voice of Eris).
Episode 9 Commentary - Featuring audio commentary by Christopher Bevins (line producer and voice director), Aaron Dismuke (voice of Kio) and Brittney Karbowski (voice of Manami).
Extra Bonus Features - (7:58) 14 previews for the next episode.
Textless Opening Song - (1:32) Textless theme song "Now Loading... Sky!!".
Textless Closing Songs - Featuring six textless closing songs.
Cat Planet Cuties U.S. Trailer - (1:34) FUNimation Entertainmen trailer for "Cat Planet Cuties".
TRAILERS - FUNimation Entertainment trailers
"Cat Planet Cuties: Complete Collection" comes with both the Blu-ray and DVD edition of the OVA's.
For those wanting a mild harem anime series, you really can't go wrong with "Cat Planet Cuties". As one would expect, there are a lot of female characters, one teenage boy and some of these characters are more well-endowed than others, it's a banal storyline.
In Japan, there are far too many anime series where female characters are all after the one male character and in some way, there can be comparisons with "Cat Planet Cuties" to other alien harem anime series such as "To Love RU" and even "Heaven's Lost Property".
The good news is that the series is beautifully animated and it was able to integrate a good amount of action and not so much focus on the fan service. Also, it's a series that tends to cater to those who enjoy Furry type of anime series. Cats and dogs with human characteristics, these type of anime series tend to have a strong fanbase.
With that being said, the caveat is that it focuses too much on the political conspiracy and while the Catian's are exciting to watch, the Dogisians were an uninspired antagonist. Also, I found the character of Kio to be normal and average, whereas "Heaven's Lost Property", its main character is a pervert and in "To Love RU", the main character is a person who is confused of his feelings of who he likes. With "Cat Planet Cuties", it tries to fit everything in the light novel series in 12-episodes and thus everything feels short and almost rushed. The ending, especially of what happens to Kio was like an easy way out for the writers to solve the harem issue.
Still, I did enjoy "Cat Planet Cuties" and its multiple characters and how the Catians try to get accustomed to the Planet Earth but also the "heat" problems that female cats go through to find a mate. These issues were fascinating and fun to watch but once again, as the group have their few episodes of having fun together, with only 12-episodes, it just felt too short and made me wonder how much of Okina Kamino's storyline was missing from the animated series.
As for the Blu-ray release, I will say that the animation especially the painted backgrounds look magnificent on Blu-ray. The characters are well-designed and while you tend to expect anime TV series to be soft in colors, the overall anime production by AIC Plus+ was well done! Lossless audio was good but I was hoping for a bit more immersive audio during the action sequence. And there are two audio commentary tracks as well as bumpers and textless opening and closing themes included.
Overall, "Cat Plant Cuties" well no doubt entice the anime fans who love anime harem series, well-endowed, furry characters and also sci-fi action. But for those who want a deeper storyline or even more fan service may find "Cat Planet Cuties" a bit too mild for their tastes and that there are other better sci-fi anime harem series out there.