It is the year 22 H. C. (Holy Century), Shinjuku is populated by monsters and goblins. Humans are endangered and the town is rife with crime. Natsuki Sasahara is a rookie at the Police Company and a newbie bounty hunter. Scouted by her superior, Batanen Fujioka the werewolf, she is half-human, half-catbeast with magical powers that is slowly getting the hang of the business... Written by
This anime is one of the least known works from MEE. Actually, MEE is the original creator, author of the manga version that the anime was taken from. The anime character design was done by Keiji Gotoh (Gatekeepers, Kiddy Grade, Samurai Girl. It is unfortunate that Image did not do a better job marketing this title, but I believe this series was aired in the early morning time slot in Japan, so it did not receive a huge following when released.
The story is a bit unusual in the realm of stories that contain cat-girls, and other mythological creatures. This is one of the very few that contain a cat-girl as a major character that is actually a neko-human hybrid. Usually we see aliens that look like cat-girls, cats that have some humanoid characteristics, robotic creatures, or humans surgically altered to look like cats. Natsuki is the daughter of a human father, and a nekomata mother. (Nekomata is a mythical cat-monster from Japanese lore.) The story takes place in the year 22nd year of the Holy Century. This is some point in the future, after human-kind made some foolish mistake with disastrous results. There are now three realms that intersect, the human realm, the spirit realm, and the monster realm. It is speculated that about 300 or 400 years of history have been lost between the mistake and present time. At this time, humans are such a minority that they are a protected species, and while humans and other creatures live and work together, there is definitely some mistrust.
The main character is Natsuki Sasahara, the neko-human hybrid. She is not quite an adult (age of majority in Japan is 21), but works as a bounty hunter for the private police agency, "Police Company." She was recruited by the main male character and love interest, but only occasionally partners with him. Natsuki, being a cat-girl, has many cat-like traits besides the only physical traits of a tail and ears. She is easily distracted, likes to groom herself when she gets yelled at, has selective hearing, likes afternoon naps, etc. She also is a deadly hunter, with incredibly quick reflexes with her preferred weapon, a sword/dagger. She also has the ability, with the help of two symbiotic parasites, to store and use electrical energy to shock her targets. This is a very unusual ability, and it is unheard of to be able to use more than one parasite to do such.
The second main character is Sakura Bokuseiinmonzeninari. She is a Kyubi fox, or nine-tail fox, of Japanese legend. Sakura has a small problem, in that try as hard as she has over her 180 year life (she looks 18), she has not been able to fully grow out her 9th tail. This limits some of her magical abilities. She targets Natsuki, wishing to eat her, and gain the magical power that she contains, in order to complete her 9th tail. Ironically enough, even though Sakura becomes Natsuki's partner in order to accomplish her goal, she ends up forming an uneasy friendship with her prey.
Overall, the story is about the daily life of our main characters. Some days everything is going good, and they are happy, other days, nothing could possibly make them worse. It's about how the characters deal with their lives and each other.
The Japanese seiyuu talent includes a reunion of Yûko Miyamura and Kotono Mitsuishi (last together in Evangelion), as well as Ryûzô Ishino and Akio Ôtsuka, both of Gundam fame and introducing Yumi Hikita. Chiyako Shibahara portrays Sakura's sultry Osakan growling superbly.
The English cast is less exceptional, but the translation is very well done, and the subtitles are well timed on the Image release.
The quality of the animation is top-notch. The use of certain colors to set the mood, as well as the overall detail to convey the state of the world, was well thought out, and expertly executed.
Music is under the direction of Kenji Kawai, famous for works including Vampire Princess Miyu, Ghost in the Shell, You're Under Arrest, Ranma 1/2 and too many more. As always, the music is used to properly convey the mood and tempo of the story.
Overall, this is one of my favorite anime series, and one that I highly recommend to anime fans that have not seen it.
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