Hyoi and Ryoi, two brothers with the power to take the form of cats, must unravel the mystery of a creeping, tentacled, demon plague before it consumes them and their classmates. Ultimately, they must confront their old Dark Cat master Jukokubo, though whether they can put an end to the evil he has released remains a mystery.
It is time again my friends to dive into the depths of obscurity and uncover an ancient evil that has long since been buried. Dark Cats UNITE!
Anime has gone through many trends over time and although I often complain about cheap cash ins and cliches that plague modern anime, it is important to remember that the grass wasn't always greener back in the good old days! In fact, even the most incompetent anime in 2014-2015 generally don't compare in terms of technical ineptitude to some of the OVAs from the late 80s and early 90s. Dark Cat is one of those legendarily bad titles. It
was basically the Mars of Destruction of the early 1990s! After all, you don't simply get a 4.48 MAL rating on accident. This is a site so generous with its ratings that even Valvrave the fucking Liberator has over a 7.5! What did Dark Cat do to deserve such a low rating? I'll explain.
The story is that 2 brothers in high school have the awesome superpower to transform into cats. Do they transform into ferocious werecats or thundercat creatures? Nope, just regular house cats. Together the 2 brothers must fight against generic hentai tentacle demons...even though this isn't actually a hentai. These action scenes typically involve the brothers chasing the demon in their cat forms, then transforming back into humans and fighting with light saber ripoffs. The author was inspired to give the characters cat powers after reading the fact that house cats can run at up to 30 miles per hour, which is slightly faster than the fastest human. The problem is that house cats can only sustain short bursts of speed and are actually VASTLY inferior to humans at distance running. If you were going to chase a demon for miles through the woods like they do in Dark Cat, it would actually be a greater advantage to just stay in your human form. This makes the cat transformation, which is the ENTIRE selling point of this fucking series, absolutely worthless! If this wasn't bad enough, Dark Cat has one of the stupidest romances in the history of anime! The dialogue is absolutely terrible and no 2 characters have even an ounce of chemistry together.
The reason for the relative fame (infamy) of Dark Cat is actually not the horrendous plot and characters though, but rather the ludicrously bad voice acting. For some reason, I keep reviewing titles that have insanely bad voice acting, but Dark Cat might actually dethrone Cipher for the title of all time worst! Why is that an accomplishment? The "voice actors" in Cipher were people literally taken off the street and asked to read cheesy lines with zero context. Not a single voice in Cipher was a professional voice actor. The voice actors in Dark Cat actually ARE professionals...but they are all early 90s hentai actors that aren't use to voicing regular anime. They know how to make sexual moans, but they have no concept of how to deliver actual dialogue. Generally, bad voice acting makes an anime laughably cheesy and "so bad its good". However, the degree to which "badness" is enjoyable actually follows the mathematical graph for a concave function. It goes up to a certain point, then rapidly starts decreasing and keeps going down further and further. Dark Cat is WAY beyond the high point in the graph and deep in negative Y axis territory.
The art and animation as you probably suspected by this point, is completely atrocious. This was just a lazy effort all the way through!
MOST bad anime have at least one thing I can say positive about them. The art was decent, I laughed at one scene, at least it had tits and gore, etc. For example, MD Geist had a freaking kickass theme song! Kite made me laugh a couple times. Seikon no Qwasar had fairly decent jiggle animation for the bouncing tits. I find the opening to Steel Angel Kurumi to be amusing. If you look hard enough, there is almost always a small silver lining. There is NOTHING positive to say about Dark Cat. This is one of those rare anime that just FAILS in every single category across the board. The art is bad, the music is bad, the writing is bad, the premise is bad, everything about it is fucking terrible! If you ever manage to see a physical copy of this on VHS or DVD, fucking burn it!
Dark Cat is the lowest point on the trash scale as you can possibly get sitting rather comfortably on the same scale in which Mars of Destruction, Helter + Skeleton and Black Bullet reside in. It's THAT fucking bad! While I shall try and do justice the horror and terribleness of this OVA in this review, the only true way to believe this vile crap exists is to watch it for yourself...something that I would never recommend unless you're one of those sick twats who enjoy getting a kick out of terrible anime.
The plot for this short OVA, if you could even call it that,
focuses on two brothers who have the ability to turn into cats. Now they don't turn into awesome Black Panthers or bad-ass Lions or anything, no, don't be silly. They turn into common household cats. Very intimidating, right? Anyway, these pathetic excuses of fighters are on a quest for to find out what is happening at their school all the while battling a tentacle monster who wants to molest all of their classmates. Why? Because Japan loves tentacles, I guess...? While this is going on, we have another side story involving a few of the other characters who attend the school in which has a main focus on a love traingle of the sorts. The only problem is that this is so god damn boring and it feels that if these characters were removed entirely it wouldn't have made a single difference at all. Watching paint dry is more exciting than the plot for this piece of trash!" The plot is as basic and strange as they come and doesn't make coherent sense on a shot-to-shot basis. One moment the two cat brothers will be fighting in the jungle, the next will cut to the romance plot and then again to the brothers in a strange seizure-like scene in which they search for answers for whatever predicament they're in through their sub-conscious. It's a mess and as a result the narrative is hard to follow nor care about in the slightest. All of the characters are stock and have no emotional attachment to the plot or the events that take place within it since everyone feels like they're so bored and uninterested in everything that is happening around them.
The characters are the most cliche and forgettable thing you could ever watch. The character designs are complete ASS and nothing about them is engaging. Why should I care about the fate of a group of teenagers in which my feelings for them are as strong as my feelings to a Mars Bar. The ending for this show tries so hard to pull at your heartstrings and it's so evident that the creators are going for an emotionally heavy scene but it just comes across as jarring and confusing. The scene makes no sense visually nor logically either coming across as a disaster. It's not even something you can laugh at since it is so god damn dull!
When I first watched this I thought the player was messing up since there are so many breaks in the audio but no matter where I viewed this I had the exact same result. Everything in this OVA feels disjointed and everything cuts away too quickly making it harder to follow with your eyes. The problems are so frequent in this show with random audio jumps, strange shot transitions and terrible animation that feels way more technically inept than Genocyber and MD Geist and that's saying a lot. Speaking of animation, by God is this production a mess. There isn't a single shot in this show that looks good and everything is ugly as hell visually. The fights are sloppy, the art is poor and everything about it makes me want to drive a pitch-fork into my face.
The English Dub is perhaps the worst dub I have ever heard for any anime ever. The Japanese dub was bad, but the English dub is the frosting on the garbage cake. Even the worst jobs in Hentai dubs that I've seen have more emotion and believable than this inept piece of regurgitated crap. Every actor's delivery is so unnatural and so bad that it feels awkward to watch. The worst character out of the bunch is Hiroki who, when being beat-up only makes small grunting noises. Fun fact; the guy who did the voice acting for this character is also the same guy who uploaded this anime on YouTube. In the description of the said video, he claims that we brought on during the last second to record the line for this character back in 2003 which explains why it's so bad but I still think that even my crack-addled neighbour could still pull off a more convincing role.
The entire anime is pathetic. That's the only word I can use for this show. The script is so god damn inconsistent and makes no sense, the animation is terrible and everything is so disgusting and gross. Normally in these really bad anime, there is at least something I can enjoy. Genocyber had the gore and catchy music, MD Geist was unintentionally hilarious and even stuff like Mars of Destruction has such a cheesy, terrible charm to it. Dark Cat has nothing. It's an empty husk with no ideas, no passion and no purpose. The anime is not trying to promote any original source material so it makes no sense into why the creators would believe that making this show would somehow be profitable in the slightest. The random images they throw at you with the tentacles are disgusting, the villain is a joke and everything in this OVA is so boring, so tedious that it's not even worth your time. Stay away from it. Not even the terrible dub can invoke a chuckle or laugh...
Story: This was an interesting anime, to say the least. This story had about three different plots going on at the same time, making it hard to follow which story is being told when, and for what purpose. The "main" story that is trying to be told is of two brothers, Hyoi and Ryoi, who infiltrate a school in order to find a source of evil behind the disappearances of random people. Very quickly these brothers find the mastermind behind the disappearances, a man named Jukokubo. Hyoi and Ryoi also encounter some monsters that look like blobs with tentacles, but later find out it is
the evil emotions within a human that bring about the form, so the story also contains a bit of gore. What is funny about these three is they can all switch between a cat and human form. Hyoi and Jukokubo are from a group called Dark Cats, though Hyoi left because Jukokubo is evil and is the one who taught him everything he knows (as I understand it).
One of the other plots trying to force itself to the front is centered on a girl, Takako, who is in love with her childhood friend Hiroki, who does not share her feelings. This plot line is presented with about as much time as the previous plot, which makes it difficult to tell a complete story on either end, with the 60 minute time limit.
In the end, I decided the story deserved a five rating. The base idea was pretty good, but was not capitalized on. The story had a bad habit of jumping from one story and back to the next, but making no connections in the process. Other parts of the story made no sense, such as Hyoi needing healing by a tree in a forest. By the end, the story had more holes than Swiss cheese.
Animation: The animation fluctuated a little too much. In many parts, the animation was pretty poor, but in other spots, it was well done. The best animations were typically done with the few gory parts. Due to the large jump between poor and great animations, this was given a rating of 6, though the good animation scenes saved this from a lower score.
Sound: The voice acting was not bad, but it was not great by any stretch of the imagination. The voices for Hyoi, Ryoi, and Jukokubo were the better of the lot. The music was just a crazy dash of horrible 80's teen music, with the occasional piano piece set in the most emotional parts. Other than the piano parts, the rest of the music was placed in bad spots and ruined some of the moments. The sound effects were not too bad either. They were used appropriately and moderately, not bogging the story with unnecessary sounds. The piano parts and the sound effects were really the saving graces of this anime's sound, warranting a six rating.
Characters: There were too many characters with too much air time to develop any well enough. Between Hyoi, Ryoi, Takako, Hiroki, and Jukokubo, it is difficult to focus on anyone character enough. This is one of the weakest points of the story. The situation between Hiroki and Takako is explained a little bit in the end, with just enough to have a basic idea of what happened between them, but a background story on them and the others would have really helped develop a better idea of who these characters were and why the viewer should care about them. I felt a five was necessary, due to the lack of development of any of the characters to a better extent.
Overall: This anime had some really neat ideas abounding, but decided to lose itself among all the random happenings. If this OVA had been given a little more attention and made a little longer or given a second episode, the story could have been really interesting and worth the watch, but as it stands now, it is hardly worth a mention.
I am still in shock. I understood that this was bad but... the real gravity of suck is still taking full effect. I can not, in good conscience, recommend this to anyone without the assistance of alcohol.
The story is horrendous. It begins in medias res and explains nothing. I even had to double check that this was not a sequel. Two story-lines are told simultaneously, and the overlap makes no sense. In all honesty, not much can be said because there isn't anything to talk about.
The art is what's expected of early 90's, but lazy. The designs were
generic, and there were multiple times it seemed the art was trying to be sexual without any of the enjoyment of hentai or ecchi. The show almost encouraged the random yelling of "That's a penis" or "I've seen enough hentai to know where this is going".
The dub is humorously bad. Every character lacks emotion in delivery, no matter the circumstance. It's a guide on how not to act. In addition, some distortion is done on a few voices, making them almost unintelligible. If I need subs to watch a dub, there is a problem. The music is forgettable at best, and usually badly balanced. Overall, the sound is sometimes enjoyably bad, but that's it.
The character with the most emotional representation is an umbrella. I'm not even joking, the best characterization moment is about 5 seconds with an umbrella in the rain. Besides that umbrella, which is an inanimate object, every character is rushed and flat. There was not a moment where I cared for any character at all.
This show can be enjoyed, but it takes effort. Alcohol and a good crowd can make it enjoyable. The baddie's unintentionally adowable final form, the always-flat acting, and the numerous idiocies throughout make this the perfect example of a piece of shit. Numerous moments, including some with phallic monsters, make me think this began as a hentai. Honestly, it would have been better and made more sense as a hentai. Unfortunately, it is just a boring almost-hentai.
Don't watch this except with lots of alcohol. I suggest a drinking game. Take a shot for every bad line or moment where it should have been a hentai. You'll be shit-faced. Then, and only then, can you get through unhurt.
There are plenty of bad anime out there. But only a few shows are downright unwatchable. Ugly animation, nonsensical plots, and boring characters sink many anime, but only some fail in every possible way. Here are ten of the worst anime you'll wish you'd never wasted your time on.