Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Black Cat Box Set |
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Sven is your run-of-the-mill sweeper (a.k.a. bounty hunter) ? down on his luck, haunted by the perpetual grumbling of his stomach and looking to make enough cash just to get by. When a damsel in distress enlists his aid, S... more »
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I've come to deliver some bad luck
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 06/23/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"He's one of Chronos' Numbers, an elite assassin who's known for the XIII branded on his chest.
Kentaro Yabuki had a pretty cool idea when he used that for his manga "Black Cat," chronicling the ex-Number's adventures as a sweeper and his attempts to save the world from his former partner. But the anime is a mixed bag -- the overall story arc is scrambled up enthusiastically, but it's full of action and wild comedy (the white cat and his kisses!) and some thoroughly likable anti-heroes.
Sweeper Sven Vollfield is about to nab a notorious gangster when Train Heartnet, the notorious "Black Cat," bursts in and kills the man and escapes before anyone can react. Elsewhere, Train reluctantly befriends a perky young sweeper named Saya, who starts to make him change his views on killing and subservience. Just in time, since he's been ordered to kill a human bioweapon -- a little named named Eve, who Sven is determined to protect.
So Train breaks away from Chronos, declaring that he won't serve anyone. The Numbers attempt to kill him, and his ex-partner Creed attempts to lure him away -- saying that he plans to rule the world instead of Chronos. And to get Train, he'll kill the person Train holds dear.
Months later, Train is roaming with Sven and Eve as a sweeper, hunting down assorted bad guys for cash (but not killing them). Unfortunately Creed's "Apostles of the Star" is giving criminals Tao water that gives them superpowers, and organizing a deadly company that is nearly unstoppable. But the mad Creed is still determined to have Train at his side. The Numbers and Train are both determined to hunt down and take out Creed before he can hurt anyone else, but the Apostles of the Star may be too strong.
"Black Cat" deviates pretty drastically from its original manga -- the over-arcing storyline is scrambled up and parts are removed, the characters are given bucketloads of angst, Train's motivations are dumbed down, the moral greyness is wiped clean, and the entire start of the series is radically different. And due to some random filler episodes (Train and Eve help a bunch of homeless kids?), the last fourth of the series unravels as it tries to cram way too much into too few episodes. And it even adds on an extra anime-only arc at the end, which is hideously anticlimactic and out of place -- and changes the grand finale drastically.
Despite those flaws, "Black Cat" is a colorful action anime. There are brilliant acrobatic fight scenes, using weapon ranging from unbreakable guns to invisible swords, corrosive skin to a razor-sharp floating scarf. The battles can get so explosive that one episode has an entire castle crumbling out from under the characters, but there are long stretches of contemplation and flashbacks. And the entire series is graced with shadowy, elaborate animation full of glowing roses, dark rooms, moonlit rooftops, harsh sunsets and rainy duels. Even dark nights include a luminous soft light.
There's also a lot of angst in here, and a dark undertone runs through most of the series' characters -- even the perky ones have something unpleasant in their lives. Fortunately this is offset by a healthy dose of comic relief, usually from Sven or Train ("Everyone's in a panic over a stupid pet lizard, DAHLING!"), and some straight-faced humor from Eve due to her limited experience with... well, just about everything.
Train is a hero with a mildly split personality, since he seems to be either the angsty abused-killer-since-he-was-six gunman, or a delightfully goofy bounty hunter who can easily eat his own weight in food and milk. Sven serves as a good counterpoint -- an ex IBI agent with a magic eye and a perpetual ulcer over their bills. And the quiet, solemn Eve quickly grows from a "killing machine" to a naive little girl experiencing the world for the first time, along with enough books to overflow a library.
Creed serves as a pretty creepy villain -- he's megalomaniacal, arrogant, and has a massive gay crush on Train based on his prowess as a killer. The Apostles and the Numbers are patchily characterize, but some of them stand out -- the elegant and smart Charden, teenybopper Kyoko, the flirtatious Jenos Hazard, and the beautiful master of disguise Lin Shaolee.
"Black Cat" pads itself with filler (Train's background takes seven whole episodes?) and then rushes through its ending, but it's still an enjoyable action anime."
Curiosity Didn't Kill This Cat (It did,however, cause me to
Kimberly Huebner | A Lil' Itty Bitty Po-dunk Town in Kansas | 04/21/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What can I say? This is one hell of a anime series! As one of probably only a few handful of people left who doesn't actually download or watch anime online, I was browsing Amazon looking to add some more anime to my collection, I ran across this one. It seemed interesting enough, so I thought I'd give it a try. Let's just say, when I sat down to watch it, (please excuse the awful pun, 'cuz I just can't help myself) it sunk its claws in & damn if I didn't end up wasting an entire Saturday in front of my TV because of it. Very few anime series have had that effect on me.
Train Heartnet (aka Black Cat) is an eraser (assassin) for Chronos. He is number XIII. He does what he's told, when he's told & thinks nothing of it. That is until he meets Saiya & it causes him to rethink his beliefs & way of life. Sven has the misfortune to keep crossing paths with Black Cat. Eventually they team up as partners to end the evil that is Creed Diskenth, his group the Apostles of the Star & other various villians. I really don't want to get too detailed in my review, as I don't want to ruin it for those who of you haven't seen it. Let me just say this: The story line is GREAT, the action is AWESOME, the heroes are heroic, the villians are deliciously villianous (Creed is an especially sick & twisted evil piece of work)& you will laugh your ass off (or, if your sense of humor in no way resembles mine, chuckle heartily) in several places. This is an anime that both guys & girls will enjoy.
This collection consists of four DVDs with six episodes on each disc, housed in a clear plastic DVD case that is a bit thicker than a standard DVD case. The discs are arranged as two on each side with the discs overlapping a bit. It's NOT my favorite set up, but I suppose it could be worse. Textless beginning & ending songs & trailers are the only "extras".
In short, I loved this series so much that I went back on Amazon & ordered the first run individual DVDs with the starter box. I definitely recommend this series for those who are just getting aquainted with anime, are fans of action anime, or those who just really don't have a lot to do & just want to take it easy & spend the day watching an really good anime."