A Whisker Away

The cuteness of the cat element in Netflix’s anime film, “A Whisker Away” is great enough, but yet somehow the worrisome love story just seems to be a bit more than naïve infatuation. One might say that this is about young kids’ romantic illusions but no, “A Whisker Away” is all about cats.

In this film by Junichi Satoh and Tomotaka Shibayama, a girl called Miyo (Mirai Shida) with frequent fantasies over Hinode (Natsuki Hanae) becomes a cat when she wants to get closer to him; only that he does not feel the same way as her. Nonetheless, she can approach him closely to take part in pottery with his grandparent through wearing a cat mask which instantly transforms her into a white kitten having glacial blue eyes. As one of several reasons why she loves him secretly, Hinode takes Miyo for stray cat and gives it the name of his deceased pet Taro.

As a human being though, Muge has a big personality – she is popularly known as “Muge”, meaning Miss Ultra Gaga and Enigmatic by classmates who aren’t afraid to get up front with her feelings towards Hinode even though always tumbling over herself clumsily. She also has this thing called Hinode Sunrise where she runs at break-neck speed and ends up bumping into him butt-first later on. Additionally, later on, when being like and becoming an actual cat overlaps mentally too much that Miyo even jumps off school building down two stories below to save his dignity from bullies although gets scrapes unlike how cats land. The devotion in it was very genuine; nevertheless some concern arises if young audiences might get confused- never cling onto your crush so much as open feelings may seem daring.

A Whisker Away

The story’s villain is a cat named Mask Seller who gives Miyo the power to transform in their fast-paced opening scene. Mask Seller is an overweight, back flipping, attention-seeking tabby with a broad smile on his face, always ready to go viral on instagram rather than save souls of felines as well as humans. Nonetheless, Mask Seller does not discourage her after Miyo rashly decides she desires becoming a cat and wishes to be near Hinode in order to escape from the hidden agonies which include being abandoned by her mother during childhood.

In its similar whimsy and romance, ‘A Whisker Away’ has all manner of lessons—or possibly reminders depending on how you see it—that it wants to teach. Some of these include: never wanting to switch places with cats if you’re human even though your crush might like you better when you are in this form; likewise, through Miyo’s immaturity, the increasingly wittier dialogue recognizes that she acts differently as they become aware that her enthusiasm is just another distorted mask for misery. Yet this film can be very direct with words because somewhere amidst classes someone says “you can’t really understand what someone else feels inside” casually but just case we missed how act three bolds and underlines this point for us.

“A Whisker Away” might sound like an innocent fairy tale filled with beautiful settings and cute animals until it starts getting a bit silly which I’m grateful for because this story would have been incomplete without some random ideas thrown in. There are rules, secret pathways etc., enough to make one feel like the movie is inventing its own mythology with furry cosplays. This feature becomes particularly weird when a real cat comes into play but also uses humor at times showing how it would be if cats were human (e.g. no boundaries between them & humans or how they sleep). However, its towering presence contradicts real-life appearances later on a trip to Cat Island.

But what about the straightforward cat content of “A Whisker Away”? Pretty cool—that’s not all, I haven’t even talked about Kinako, a sassy household pet which finally comes to hate Miyo. Furthermore, I find it amusing to watch some of these fluffy faces in larger bodies; still at a bar talking about how they have done the same thing over and over again. In addition, there is something affectionately comic about the notion that cats and humans can really know each other like a human would with another person; conversely, what if our feline friends could understand us just as well?.

Watch A Whisker Away on Kisscartoon

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