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DVD Review

Black Cat
Volume 4 - The Cat's Tale


Starring (voice): Keiji Fujiwara, Misato Fukuen, Takashi Kondo and Yukana
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 12
Available 07 April 2008

Train Heartnet, known as the Black Cat, is an efficient, conscienceless assassin. He’s very good at what he does and what he does is kill people. When he meets Saya Minatsuki he starts to question his destiny, enough to give up the life of a killer to become a bounty hunter, but his old life is not so easy to avoid as he becomes a target for both the Chronos Numbers and the Taoist’s...

Directed by Shin Itaggaki, for the Japanese Gonzo Studio, Black Cat: Volume 4 - The Cat's Tale contains episodes thirteen to sixteen of this twenty-four episode show, a show which seems to be going from strength to strength without compromising either the story telling or the quality of the animation. The show finely balances its eccentric comedy with action sequences, almost to perfection.

Episode thirteen, The Love Cat, and Creed’s cruel streak only increases when he kills Durham, for little more than questioning the value of Train. This does not go down well with Kyoko and Charden who start to question their loyalties and finally defect from The Apostles of the Star. Kyoko resumes her life as a normal school girl, but unbeknownst to her Dr Kanzaki, whose research in nanotechnology has perfected a weapon which will turn people into a monster, decides to try it out on Kyoko. Can Train save her in time?

Episode fourteen, The Kitty Cat: Having been shot by Kanzaki’s diabolical weapon, Train is transformed into a small child and any parent will tell you what little monsters children can be. Train decides to lay low until he does a Bobby Ewing and changes everything with a shower. Finally with this episode we get to see how Train became the nimble assassin whom we met in the first episode.

Episode fifteen, The Distant Cat, and the show opens with Train apparently being killed. That’s a flash forward, so anything could change this outcome. The situation between Chronos and the Apostles is hotting up with more violent confrontation, though as they continue to wipe each other out this can only be a good thing for Train and his friends. The truth is also out as the media shows a tape sent in by Creed condemning Chronos.

Episode sixteen, The Cat and the Lizard: With Creed having a price on his head, Sven takes the unusual step of trying to get Train out of the way, knowing full well that if he finds out about this he will go after Creed. His anger has nearly got him killed in the past so Sven makes Train take on a bounty job to find a lost lizard.

Audio setup is either English 5.1 or Japanese stereo, with subtitles. For extras you get the inevitable textless opening and closing sequences (yawn) and a couple of trailers; watch once stuff at best. The 16:9 transfer is crystal clear.

The show remains a very entertaining watch which swings between crazy comedy to real darkness and at four episodes a disc it’s a steal, shame about the lacklustre extras though.


Charles Packer

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