A short movie from 1929 about four children who dream of having a pet cat. Their wishes are answered when they encounter a black cat who proceeds to sing them a song about how he and his tabby brother are descended from tigers.
When I started Kuro Nyago I initially didn't know what to expect. I initially believed this to be another part of that "moe" craze that's been infesting youngsters these days, what with the dancing loli catgirls and all. With that in mind, one can only imagine my cap flying off my head when I sat down with a bucket of popcorn and pressed the play button.
It only took 5 out of the 181 seconds this animation presented until I realized I stumbled upon the equivalent of the gold of Fort Knox participating at an Elvis concert celebrating the latest pyramid the aliens had built.
my mood was calm when "The Black Cat" flashed on the title screen. The background appeared, and my eyes widened. The first pair of cats appeared and started dancing, and my eyes just about blew out of my head as my jaw hit the floor. The cats danced, "Meow meow" and I sank into my chair, lower and lower as the spectacle of the white cats, the black cats, and the black cats with the red collars hit me with the force of an atomic bomb.
All I knew was that I couldn't dare take my eyes of the kitties. I wanted to dance and sing with them. I wanted to play hide-and-seek around the trees with them! I could not be the tabby. I could not be the tiger. But I knew it was my calling in life.
At the end of the film I was bawling more than I ever could have managed when I was a wee lad in diapers. With my basement flooded in tears, I knew there was only one thing to do. I had to join these cats in eternal dancing and singing harmony. That night, I hung myself from the ceiling. As my eyes rolled back into my head, I sang, "Meow meow."
Well first off I've always liked old animated shorts. I remember back when I was a kid I would borrow and watch my Aunt's VHS tapes that would have animated shorts on them like Christmas specials, Disney Cartoon Classics, etc.... When I seen that Crunchyroll uploaded an handful of old Japanese classic animations I was excited to see them. The first one that caught my eye was Kuro Nyago or "The Black Cat" Since I'm probably like the hugest cat freak I know I gave it a shot.
Its basically about these kids who want a black cat that dances. Thats pretty much about it, but
it was interesting and somewhat entertaining none the less.
Well since this is from 1929 the art isn't going to be as good as it would be if it were later on or in present day. The backgrounds like trees, bushes, etc.. are still images while the characters are the only thing that move. I thought the art was decent for its time, but I've seen better.
The entire three minutes is basically music. For sound it was very good for it being one of the first ever being accompanied by music. The song is called "The Black Cat Dance" sung by Eiko Hirai. A couple moves accompanied by this song reminded me of something I've seen from somewhere and I just picked up on it when I was rewatching it just now when one of the kids said "Nyan Nyan" and did a certain move and I was like Oh I seen this before just animated better *cough*macrossfrontier*cough*. Well anyways back to the song I thought it was very catchy and it is something that could be enjoying to listen to more than once.
Well not much to say here since its hard to tell anything much in just three minutes except that they all danced like they have been possessed by evil demons especially The Black Cat's younger brother the tabby cat. Better watch out for him he is after blood I seen that twisted look in his face he is not to be trusted.
If you are one of those people who enjoy watching things from the dawn of animation or a cat lover then it wouldn't hurt to give this a shot who knows you might end up enjoying it this little short.
Note: Sorry if this review sucked its my first one on here...
Entertainment comes in all shapes and forms, and even more so, vary throughout the ages. Since the first ever animated movies were a thing, the medium has known massive changes, and if we would compare what we have nowadays with what came first, the differences would be shockingly massive. What primarily cause these differences are is culture influence, and that's a variable that changes every now and then.
- Story (1.0/10):
Kuro Nyago tells a short tale of four brothers to get told by two cats that they are descendants of some tabby tiger, that sounds like something any underdeveloped toddler can come up with. But seeing
how many Japanese folklore fables got to get animated first in that fashion makes a perfect excuse for the odd nature of this short.
- Art (1.0/10):
I going to be hard on this one, I do understand the rough aging this animation came through, but in term of its quality, it doesn't hold a single bit for today's standards. The movements felt very static, as simple as moving a still image in 5 FPS at best.
- Sound (3.0/10):
For being a musical, I gotta give it a solid score for being catchy as old as it is, but the quality was still horrible, I can already feel the pain the translators went through to make out what they were saying as all I could hear was distorted cat noises ironically enough. Unless it was in fact translated by a secret regiment of cats ruling us from the shadows.
- Character (0.0/10):
Well, other than four human figures that are all identical in form, and in complete sync in movements, they were all quibbling about getting a cat, so that also makes it clear they have the same likes. It all sounds like an easy copypasta in more than appearance.
- Enjoyment (2.0/10):
“Why are we here? Just to suffer?” that was me all the time watching the short begging for it to end as soon as possible. There was zero catch for me at the end other than getting the tone stuck to my head for how catchy it was.
- Overall (1.4/10):
There's no way I would recommend this outdated piece of work unless somebody was super interested in some old Japanese animations, I don't know how successful this was in its time, but if it was that big, then the tastes of people have come to know a massive development. Many would call it creepy in the modern day, but I kind of understand what was behind it back in the day.
It should be noted that this is one of Japan's earliest sound cartoons, if not the very earliest.
It should also be noted that this isn't just normal hand-drawn animation, but made from cut-out pieces of paper.
When considering you are watching animated paper, you can imagine the work & skill that went into creating these delicate pieces. Though a cheaper way of creating animation, you can definitely tell that it was lovingly made.
Plus, it's just really darn cute. Who doesn't love singing and dancing cats?
A must-see for cat lovers, animation and history nerds. No understanding of the Japanese necessary, though
it helps a bit. :)