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Tiger: My Life as a Cat (2019)

Tora-san (original title)
Su-chan, a struggling manga writer with a gambling addiction, is knocked down and comes back as a cat. As Tora-San, he has one month to turn his family's fortunes around and show his daughter the love he couldn't in life.


Masaya Kakehi


Mina Itaba (manga)




Credited cast:
Bakarhythm Bakarhythm
Kokoro Hirasawa Kokoro Hirasawa ... Miyu Takahata
Marie Iitoyo
Jun Kaname ... Eigo Urakami
Hiromitsu Kitayama Hiromitsu Kitayama ... Suzuo Takahata
Mikako Tabe ... Natsuko Takahata
Eriko Tomiyama Eriko Tomiyama ... Ako Sakuragi


Struggling manga artist and gambling addict, Suzuo, lives with long-suffering wife, Natsuko, and daughter, Miyu. After stealing his wife's money to visit the race track, he gets knocked down by a truck when he tries to retrieve the winnings he carelessly lost to the wind. Upon arriving in the afterlife, he meets a judge who decides to send him back as a cat. Now, as Tora-San, he has one month to turn his family's fortunes around and show his daughter the love he couldn't in life. Written by juaninjapan

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clunky, dumb, oddly touching
8 September 2020 | by A_Llama_DramaSee all my reviews

Manga artist Suzuo is killed by a truck, chasing after the money he just won at the races (with money stolen from his wife). His daughter, Miyu, cursed him to die just before he left and, now that he's gone, is feeling guilty, angry and miserable. In the Afterlife, a gate keeping judge lists his life on Earth and sentences him to return to make amends in the form of a cat. He now has one month to help his family recover from his death and find the happiness he denied them in life.

This movie is cute, like a sweet tea at a cafe visited by happy-go-lucky girls. From the brightly lit scenes, to the costume Suzuo wears to signify his new cat appearance. Some of it actually works - the cartoonish blood on Suzuo's head after his accident, and scenes of people manhandling Suzuo out of various shops, for example. Still, the effect is kind of cheap even if it is adorable.

The plot is rough. It's hard to imagine the family are poor Japanese when Suzuo looks like he has a Shiseido skin care routine he rigidly sticks to. The addition of other cats into Suzuo's life are fun diversions, but most are left unexplored (and even the meatiest role given to pretty cat, Whitest, feels throwaway). It's also difficult not to laugh at the thought of the family having long, thoughtful conversations with a cat (he is just a cat, after all).

Still, the final moments are oddly sweet and feel earned (except for that Japanese habit of "get the cast to laugh, audiences love that" which pops up at a moment that could have involved a little more levity).

Overall, it looks cute, it's got a cute cast, and has some emotional heft at the end. But maybe not an interesting view for Western audiences.

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Release Date:

15 February 2019 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Tiger: My Life as a Cat See more »

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