Well, it goes to show that even a little personality goes a long way toward making a show more appealing, on the whole - - even when so many of its elements are otherwise befuddling.
That is to say - - BLACK CAT Episode #1 stumbles into the all-too-common anime pitfall of front-loading its first episode with far too much information and complication. It starts with a muddled scene, ends with a muddled scene, and manages to have a numbers of twists ‘n turns between those scenes which aren’t so much complex as just confusingly introduced. Honestly, it wasn’t until reading the episode synopsis that I fully understood how the charismatic lead in the panama hat wasn’t supposed to be the titular Black Cat, or even a double mistaken for him.
Why’d I still find this opener to be enjoyable-unto-recommendable? Well, because Sven, the aforementioned lead, happens to be a tremendously charismatic and appealing rogue of a hero. I don’t know how curious I am to find out what the story is behind “Chronos,” nor these numbered assassins, but I am interested in following Sven around for whatever he does. The “save the cat” scene where he rescues the restaurant from some jerky patrons might’ve been a little contrived, but I’ll tip my hat to him for the genuinely clever gag where he shoots red hots into the scumbags' throats and gets them to think they've swallowed poison.
Naming one of your bad guys “Lib Tyrant” might’ve been an awkward step, of course, but the show’s otherwise quite smooth, with some truly slick animation. It’s rendered in the sort of fashion that not only makes you forget about all the practical seams of tooning, but also makes you feel kind-of cooler for just being part of the experience.
In more fanciful terms, BLACK CAT’s a cool dude you’d want to cruise around with in his caddy, even while he’s going on some semi-incoherent rambles that you only partially understand.
Watch this episode, "The Solitary Cat" here and decide for yourself.