After the success of the first season in 2008, 2009 saw another season of Chi’s Sweet Home under the name Chi’s New Address. Over four seasons, the show added to the world of Chi as every night we got three more minute of fun with one of the most adorable animated cats ever. What I liked about this series was that since the first series did a solid job of introducing us to Chi, the family that she ended up with and her adventures in discovering what they’re like, this one just got to build on things – but not without change. Since Chi had to be hidden in the apartment since it wasn’t pet friendly, this one gets to eventually change things up in finding a new home for the family. And that, more than anything else, made it clear that Chi was very much a part of the family.
With this season, things kick off in a bad place for Chi as Yohei’s aunt has offered to take in Chi since there are the aforementioned problems with the apartment. The problem is that the aunt lives all the way in Hokkaido, and while it may be good for Chi, it’s not good for the family. The struggle of the parents plays out nicely as we see the way Chi and Yohei are like young siblings in a way with how they play, and the parents don’t know how to tell him what’s going to happen. But when Yohei finds out after the schedule is moved up, it sets into motion the chain of events that gets the series really moving. With Chi and Yohei on the run, the family ends up stumbling into a nearby apartment block that actually allows pets and that gives the parents the idea of moving. Which is never an easy decision overall, but Chi is such a part of the family that they can justify it well enough.
And hence Chi’s New Address. The show spends a few episodes going through the difficulties of packing and moving with a very, very curious kitten like Chi, including her getting stuck in a box that’s taped up and dealing with being locked in the bathroom while the movers arrive and haul everything out. Cardboard is a huge temptation and then finding her scent gone on most things, and most things gone as well, is something that freaks her out easily enough. But that’s nothing compared to what happens when she gets to explore her new place. With a cat door that she struggles to figure out, a second level with some stairs that definitely panic her and the lack of scent everywhere, she’s off like a rocket to explore, mark and get into trouble with as she goes around the new place. Her excitement is great to watch, but there are a few scary moments for her as well which is adorable.
What’s also welcome in this season as it gets rolling along is that the family goes through the usual range of introductions with the neighbors. Being connected as they are and having small back yards that are walled off with bushes, the family brings Chi along to meet the other pets that may exist there. Which is pretty varied compared to the dogs and cats we saw before. We get a very proper cat named Alice who shows some kitten-like aspects at times, a well trained but goof dog named David, an adorable rabbit named Mi-chan that Chi can’t figure out what it is and even a parakeet named Lucky that Chi views as nothing but food. So with those neighbors to meet and plenty of time spent exploring the immediate area, Chi’s life is busy, fun and definitely smile-inducing.
One of the larger storylines that plays through quite a few episodes in this season is the introduction of a young woman that comes across Chi in the park and thinks she’s lost. So she names her Minya and wants to take her home, but she can’t because of problems there. But she’s just so in love with cats even though she can’t have one. Of course, Chi knows her own way home, but the two paths collide again when Dad ends up going to the pet store to get stuff, bringing Chi and Yohei with him, only to discover that she works there. And is beyond ecstatic that she’s come across Chi again. She’s a very outgoing person and it’s kind of nice that the family invites her back to play with Chi, but she’s just so oblivious to social niceties in some ways that she can be a little off-putting.
Another arc that I like has the family deciding that it’s time to go on a vacation of some sort, but they also realize that it’s something where they have to be able to bring Chi along since she’s such a member of the family. While there’s an idea to go visit the ocean, they have to figure out a way to try and get Chi to travel. She’s so used to going places that only lead to “bad” things like the vets, so there’s a cute trip on the bus with dad and Yohei with Chi in a basket. Chi’s panic is comical at first and it goes in a really bad way as it goes on, but there’s a lot of cuteness to it all. The real fun though comes when Dad decides that it’s time to get a family car so they can travel easily without any problems. Well, except for the problem that Dad hasn’t driven in years and is really uncertain about it. And Chi is just interested in playing in the car and messing with the plastic covers or shedding in general. Mom is also a lot of fun during this as she teases him about his driving and the way he’s so utterly nervous about the whole thing.
Chi also expands her knowledge of the area in general during this season as she meets another cat named Tama that introduces her to different cats in the area. There’s one lot that they go to where there are probably a dozen cats that are just lounging around and being mellow, but they all perk up when they find out that the legendary cat Mr. Fuji is wandering into the area. This shaggy cat is comical all on his own as there’s an air of senility about him in a way, but more so because of the way everything he says gets interpreted into really big and grand ideas about how they all should live their lives and deal with the problems they have. Chi’s not one to “fall” for this in a way, but that’s mostly because there are other shiny things to play with. And Mr. Fuji himself since Chi knows little in the way of dealing with one’s elders.
Revisiting some of this material at this point is definitely interesting. In the ten years since this season aired, we ended up with a new Chi series that went with the CG design for the world. A lot of fans were hesitant to get involved with it or just avoided it altogether, but I’m just about to wrap up my reviews of the two seasons which ran for about seventy-five episodes in total. Coming in longer, it made me reflect a bit on the New Address season and just how Chi managed to transition pretty easily into something within the CG form. But at the same time, there’s a charm to this more classic traditional animation style, especially with the way she acts, moves, and expresses herself. And that’s what will always get me to go back to the original anime series more than the sequel series. There’s simply a greater warmth that comes from how Chi looks and acts, no matter how much I enjoy the CG edition of the last few years.
For my money, Chi’s Sweet Home and this series with New Address are the best of Chi.