If You’re a Cat, You’ll See It
- Movie : 104 Mins
- Genre : Drama, Magic, Romance
- Airing Date : June 18, 2020
- Producers : Studio Colorido, Toho Animation, Twin Engine
Nakitai Watashi wa Neko wo Kaburu (A Whisker Away) Introduction and Story
Nakitai Watashi wa Neko wo Kaburu (aka A Whisker Away) has a promising start, a well-developed conflict, and a rather underwhelming conclusion. It all starts with Miyo, known as “Muge” by her classmates because of her eccentric personality, an energetic student who’s always smiling and jumping around doing silly things. Miyo has a huge crush on Kento, a boy who doesn’t even acknowledge her, and she spends her days trying to make him notice her. When she’s presented with the chance to live her life as a cat, she eagerly accepts, taking the opportunity to get closer to her loved one. The only problem is Kento will never know that the stray white cat that he found is Miyo! Of course, Miyo doesn’t mind that as she’s happy just to spend her afternoons with Kento, being called “Tarou”, and being fed delicious homemade food.
Not everything that shines is gold, right? Miyo has to make a choice: she either gives up on her human self and stays as a cat forever, or goes back to being “Muge”, a girl Kento would probably never date. Needless to say, this isn’t the only problem that Miyo is struggling with. After her mom left her, Miyo started living with her dad and Kaoru, her dad’s new wife. Miyo feels like she doesn’t fit in that household, and has mixed feelings about her stepmom.
Upon learning about Kento’s problems, Miyo decides to write him a letter, but one of her classmates reads it out loud for everyone to hear. Embarrassed, Kento tells Miyo that he hates her, making her cry and run away. After an awful day at school, Miyo comes back home only for Kaoru to tell her that she doesn’t need to smile if she’s not feeling okay. Overwhelmed, Miyo grabs her cat mask and runs away, deciding that she’ll be better off living her life as a cat… or at least that is until she finds out that everyone is looking for her, even Kento!
The last part of A Whisker Away is a race against time, with Miyo and Kento trying to find her human face and return to the human world. With everything back to the way it was, Kento finally finds the courage to voice his feelings and tell Miyo that he loves her. And all it took was a visit to the cat world!
1. Smooth Animation
We’re all spoiled when it comes to animation, and we tend to skip movies that look off. That’s not the case with A Whisker Away, though. The animation is nice and smooth, paying attention to every single detail in every scene. This movie does something particularly nice when it comes to Miyo’s eyes in her cat form; they look sparkly, and the coloring is really vivid!
2. A Heartwarming Message
The message is simple yet effective, and it will be stuck in your head long after the credits. On the one hand, you never know what the people around you are going through, and you should never judge them based on the way they behave. On the other hand, and probably the most obvious message, we confirm that love is the key to solving almost any problem.
3. Lots of Cats!
A Whisker Away is the perfect anime movie for those who love cats! There’s a whole world full of humanoid cats walking around the place, having drinks together, and gossiping. Not only that, but they also come in all shapes and sizes: chubby cats, slim cats, hairy, not-so-hairy, old cats, young cats… They are everywhere!
1. It Takes Some Time to Grow Fond of the Characters
One of A Whisker Away's main issues is how troublesome it is to actually like its characters. Miyo’s personality is a little hard to get used to, especially since she’s full of energy. Once we learn where she’s coming from, however, it’s only natural to empathize with her. As for Kento, he's really aloof and doesn’t say much; he just seems to go about his day without caring about what happens around him. Turns out, he has a lot going on back at his house, he just finds it hard to speak his mind.
2. It Glosses Over a Delicate Matter
Yes, the story is heartwarming, and we can get over this "love solves everything" premise, but one thing A Whisker Away fails at is explaining why Miyo’s mum suddenly left her. It’s only mentioned briefly and never brought up again, yet it's a delicate matter that should’ve been better explained. And not only that, but the fact that all of a sudden, Miyo’s mum wants to be part of her life again without offering any kind of explanation doesn't feel okay either.
3. Unanswered Questions
One of the many questions that A Whisker Away leaves us with is what’s that tabby cat’s role in the film. The cat is seen a lot throughout the movie, and Miyo even threatens him while in her human form, but we don’t know why that happens. Another question is why did the people at the human-cat cafe decide to become cats? What happened to their human faces? Why does the mask seller want their life spans? We need answers, and we need them now!
Nakitai Watashi wa Neko wo Kaburu (A Whisker Away) is a film that will keep you entertained for its runtime. We probably will forget about it in a couple of years, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth giving it a try. If Spirited Away and The Return of the Cat had a baby, it’d probably look a lot like A Whisker Away. Just saying...