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BLACK CAT #1 - - Special Review

This guy's so cool, he makes a bad pilot cool by association.

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.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Donwunon March 7, 2013 at 5:16 p.m.

There was a foundation for a good plot here with secret organizations, killers, and supernatural beings. There was also some promise of interesting characters, but things just get worst after the initial first couple of episodes.

Things soon just become excuses for dumb fight scenes, which should appeal to younger audiences in that they blend some cool supernatural techniques and fast action together but ultimately there is some big rivalry between two characters which feels like some sort of poor port of cowboy bebop or sumthin

It’s been a while but I remember not enjoying this overall and finding a lot of it surprisingly mediocre and predictable – particularly after a good start with the first few eps.

Good Luck Tom :oP

thekokapellion March 7, 2013 at 10:36 p.m.

You pretty much summed up the essentials of this show in just one episode, both its charms and its flaws. I don't know if that's a compliment towards you, or a major issue with the show's writing.

It's pretty much basic shounen stuff in terms of plot and characters. (Everything from fighting to brushing your teeth to getting a haircut is set to rockin' techno music, time is measured in the number of friendship speeches one can give instead of hours and minutes, and if you're older than 15, you're probably evil). The writing's not bad, but it's not good either. In terms of shounen plotting, this is pretty much what average looks like.

However, it does manage to stay engaging for at least a while, because as you said, it has energy and personality. You can tell the creators were really trying, and that's nice. Also, speaking as someone who is sinking herself into debt attending a big pretentious film school, if you're interested in things like cinematography, masking, lighting, camera angles and editing this will give you some fun stuff to sink your teeth into.

The best part is Chris Patton as Creed, though. He improves the show 500%.

Marshal Victoryon March 7, 2013 at 11:36 p.m.

This one would be a good example of pointing out just where the wheels come off the tracks.Its a decent ride overall but its end was so poor.

Dig Deeper into Black Cat

Train Heartnet is a former elite assassin, now a "stray cat" who adventures alone- until he makes a couple of friends.

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