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Cat Planet Cuties Complete Series Limited Edition Blu-ray Anime Review

11 min read

Opening relations with a race of cat aliens is going to creatThe one devoted group of admirers to say the least.

What They Say:
She’s as frisky as she is curvy – and kitty wants to play! The flirty fun begins when nice guy Kio has a close encounter with a sexy, alien cat-girl named Eris. She’s every nerd’s fantasy come true, and she and her fellow intergalactic felines are setting up base in Kio’s house. Unfortunately, Kio doesn’t have a lot of time for heavy petting. Secret agencies and enemy dog-aliens are sniffing around, hoping to get their paws on his pussycat pal’s tail! The guy’s definitely got his hands full – but with Eris jumping in his lap to purr in his ear, it’s likely Kio will land on his feet!

The Review:
Audio:
The audio presentation for this series is rather straightforward as we get the original Japanese in stereo while the English is in 5.1, both of which use the Dolby TrueHD lossless codec. It’s not a huge or really outgoing mix, it could even be a bit weak when you get down to it as a lot of it doesn’t have a lot of presence to it in either language, but it’s serviceable and conveys the characters well. The majority of it is center channel based outside of the music with dialogue not getting much in the way of placement outside of a few areas. There are a few scenes with some depth but it’s not a show that really commands much for it since it is largely a slice of life kind of comedy. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing in 2010, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. It’s spread across two discs in an 9/12 format where the second disc has the OVA as well. The series has a very clean look to it where it uses bold and vibrant colors for the characters and the alien side of things while going for a decent if not overly detailed real world kind of background. Colors are what stand out the most here since it has a bright and bouncy feel that mirrors the fanservice and it changes things up often, especially with the diversity of the cast that does show up throughout it. The transfer captures the detail that’s here, which isn’t huge in some ways, but the look of the show definitely looks good and it’s pretty easy on the eyes. Line noise is minimal to only a couple of mild panning sequences while cross coloration is pretty much non-existent.

Packaging:
The first pressing of this release has a limited edition box set in which we get a heavy chipboard box that holds two Blu-ray cases inside, each of which has the DVD and Blu-ray discs. The box looks really good where it practically feels like a seaside show from the colors that frames it on all sides. The front cover features Eris in her usual uniform where she’s laughing, bright and cute, making for an inviting design. The back cover brings in a couple of the other girls where we get some fanservice both for cute girls and weapons that will catch an eye and cause you to look at it twice. The overall look marks it as a bright, fun and outgoing title with what’s presented here. Inside the case, the show is one that really benefits from the blue cases as it adds to the whole sun and surf angle. The first volume has a big busty image of Eris in a swimsuit while the second goes for the lead trio in their various swimsuits. The back covers share a similar layout to the box itself but each features more of the supporting cast from Catia in their uniforms. Each volume has artwork on the reverse side for one panel that features more of the cast in sexy situations while the other breaks down the episode by format. No show related inserts are included with the release.

Menu:
The menu design for this release is fairly simple and straightforward but it works well for it as it uses the bright, oversized and cute logo dead center with lots of swirling colors in the background along with some slow moving clouds while a bit of upbeat instrumental music plays along. It doesn’t leap out at you, but they don’t throw the characters fanservice in your face either which I consider to be an important point. The layout is easy to use with the navigation along the bottom, though the font is a touch hard to read sometimes with its stylized design, but it also doubles as the pop-up menu and works effectively and fits in them decently. Submenus load quickly and we had no problems moving around or with language selection.

Extras:
The extras for this release are pretty nicely done where there’s the clean opening and all the closing songs as well. Also included are the mult-part bonus features which are the short form gags that are done as the sort of next episode previews that were done at the end of each week. They’re very brief and really made me wish for a play all feature on it rather than going one by one. The last one is an extended collection version with a bit of a different commentary called the “Ichika Special!!!” which is pretty cute.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the light novel series by Okina Kamino, Cat Planet Cuties, aka Asobi ni Ikuyo: Bombshells from the Sky is a twelve episode series that deals with a whole lot of alien catgirls. The show ran during the summer of 2010 with a lot of source material to work with as the light novel series is up to fourteen volumes and running and seven volumes worth of manga at this point. The series is one that has a good deal of fun to it but it has its problems as well, largely in that it wants to give us lots of alien catgirl women with large breasts that, as one character claims, are the size of small planets.

The story focuses on Kio, a young man living in Okinawa who has something very unexpected fall into his lap when a young woman named Eris arrives. It turns out that Eris is actually an alien from the planet Catia and they’ve come to Earth in the hopes of establishing relations. The opening piece is kind of amusing in that a group of people want to abduct and eliminate her because they can’t imagine humanity’s first contact would be with catgirls. What throws the whole thing kind of wonky with Eris and Kio together is the arrival of Manami, a young woman in training to join the CIA, and Aoi, a mercenary of similar age to Kio as well who find themselves drawn to him, but initially it’s all about the alien thing.

The start of the series has something of an uneven flow, but what events come down to is that Eris is there to find out if they can establish relations and she soon sends off her report. That causes the main ship up in orbit to get quite excited about the whole thing and appears over the sky in Japan. The forcing of the opening of relations happens rather quickly and in comical fashion as the girls on the ship, all girls of course, follow Eris’ advice and dress according to the magazines they find under Kio’s bed. Which means school style swimsuits. That actually helps them since it throws off the politicians and the agree that Kio’s house can now become the Catia embassy for the moment. This also helps Manami and Aoi since they can use it for diplomatic immunity because of their actions in rescuing Aoi. Not that she really needed to be rescued.

What the show becomes from this point is a straightforward comedy but one with certain things missing to really make it work very well. For Kio, he ends up with a trio of girls living in his place which is now an embassy, and he has to help Eris acclimate. She has some help in that there are Assitaroids, little droids that do all sorts of chores and the like, but they’re voiceless and tend to actually be helpful while holding up signs with their dialogue. They avoid being a huge distraction and end up being cute simply because they try to localize themselves over the course of it with costumes. Thankfully, Eris avoids the trap of enrolling in school and spending all her time there dealing with rival schoolgirls and so forth. Instead, she goes through the fun of learning about Earth with Kio.

There’s a lot to like with how it plays out because it does avoid some of the usual bigger problems we get here. There’s the obvious romantic triangle issue with Eris, Manami and Aoi as they all have feelings for him in different ways. What I liked was that it took time for it to reveal itself and the girls don’t truly compete for Kio’s attentions with silly games. Aoi has strong feelings for him that she develops but can’t figure out how to follow through on because of what her life has been like. For Manami, she takes even longer to realize she has feelings for him and she does her best in a way to sabotage herself with it by encouraging Aoi in her feelings. Even more interesting is that for Eris, she’s not exactly going out of her way to seduce and cling onto Kio, but she does find herself in her first mating season and decides that she wants to share that with Kio. Which her captain finds to be a good thing since most Catians experience their first mating through machine help apparently.

They do have a subplot that snakes in throughout it that becomes the main focus at the end of the series where a rival race, the Dogisians, manipulates things and creates a situation that threatens all of the Catians on Earth as well as a sizable chunk of the Earth as well. Normally I dislike it when straight comedy shows introduce a series storyline towards the end, but it works well here because it’s not a straight out comedy so it manages to work. There’s a serious air to a lot of it that lets this segment work right. What’s really amusing about it is that while there’s a humanoid helping to move things along with this storyline for the Dogisians, there’s also an actual dog-like creature named Muttley who is a spot on perfect homage to the character of the same name from the 60’s Wacky Races series. It was disconcerting at first to see and hear him, but once you get into it, it works perfectly.

What makes the series kind of hard to get into at times is the fact that they have made the women so enormously breasted when it comes to the Catians. Eris is the primary offender simply because she’s there all the time and her chest is just too hard to not stare at, especially with her skin tight outfit. Other Catians are the same way, though there are some exceptions, and with similarly tight uniforms it can be rather distracting from the scene. I did appreciate that the human characters didn’t go this route and that they actually find it to be a problem themselves as they realize their feelings for Kio and understand that it may be a problem in their attempts to sway his views towards them.

The series also includes an OVA in this release, something that we didn’t get during the simulcast run for obvious reasons, and it’s a good bit of fun here at the end that involves everyone simply playing a variety of games. Some of it is really cute such as strip mahjong that some of the Catians play in order to learn Earthling behavior while others are more traditional. As an epilogue, it does fall into the realm of one that plays it more for fanservice than story, but it’s not a constant throwing it in your face kind of fanservice for the most part. It does have its otugoing moments though since it can do a bit more nudity being a direct to video release, but not so much that it feels like a whole other show. It is a fun way to quietly close things out with a smile and a grin.

In Summary:
When I first watched the series, I had fairly low expectations just based on the name. The FUNimation naming is one that a lot of people rail against but I have to say that it works and I have no issue with it. After seeing it awhile ago and now for the first time on video, I definitely had fun with the show, especially since I watched it with a group that had never seen it before and got caught up in their fun with it. What I found the first time with this series and still with the second viewing here is that it has an awkward start but turns into a fairly fun show along the way if you overlook a lot of things. Seeing the Catian’s going about town and not being accosted by people interested in them, worldwide reaction to aliens among us and so forth are gaping plot holes that really needed to be addressed in at least some token way.

Outside of that, it turned out to be good harmless fun that knows what it wants to do and does it with a grin and a sense of enjoyment. I love the Assistaroids and the Catian’s in general as well as the fun of how Kio’s house becomes an embassy. What’s best to do with this show is to really check the details at the door since so many things don’t click well if you really think about it. If you can do that, you can enjoy something simple and disposable that may make you smile, laugh and wonder what will happen next. It’s almost worth it just for the Muttley material alone.

Features:
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, Special Episode Previews 1-12, “The End,” “Ichika Special!!!!,” Episode 1 Commentary, Episode 9 Commentary, Textkess Opening Song, Textless Closing Songs

Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: A-
Menu Grade: B-
Extras Grade: B

Released By: FUNimation
Release Date: May 15th, 2012
MSRP: $69.98
Running Time: 325 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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