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Neko no Ongaeshi

Alternative Titles

English: The Cat Returns
Synonyms: The Cat's Repayment
Japanese: 猫の恩返し


Type: Movie
Episodes: 1
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 20, 2002
Producers: None found, add some
Studios: Studio Ghibli
Source: Other
Duration: 1 hr. 15 min.
Rating: G - All Ages


Score: 7.911 (scored by 87,191 users)
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
Ranked: #6972
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #766
Members: 141,786
Favorites: 802


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Jan 6, 2008
kahlua_coco (All reviews)
This is my first review, but hopefully it is of some use to the community here.

Story: The Cat Returns is a side story to the Studio Ghibli film, "Whisper of the Heart'. In essence, it is a separate story within a story, which makes the concept quite clever. It brings back old characters from the original showing, into a plot that has a similar atmosphere to The Nutcracker or Alice in Wonderland. It is a fantasy, in a which a shy girl is carried off into another land, and in the process learns more about herself. The moral behind the story is a touching read more
Mar 15, 2008
JTurner (All reviews)
There are a group of fans who believe that Ghibli can do no wrong. Yet even the studio who gave us classics such as Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke, Castle in the Sky, and Spirited Away, are capable of turning out a second-class effort. The Cat Returns, a curious entry to the Ghibli library, is one such movie. Directed by newcomer Hiroyuki Morita, this film is a spin-off of Yoshifumi Kondo's magical Whisper of the Heart--almost unheard of for a studio that strives on original productions.

The story, which involves Haru, an unlucky high school student, whisked away to read more
Jul 16, 2008
RangFlash (All reviews)
A pretty good effort from Studio Ghibli, here.

The story here is very similar to many other Ghibli movies. A character is thrust into a magical land, or sees something out of the ordinary. However unoriginal it may be, it's well done. It's well written, and it's well paced.

The art style is a bit mediocre for a movie. The characters are drawn very simply, and lack shading to make them look more three-dimensional. The background paintings are very beautiful, though.

Soundwise, it is very well done. The music is high quality, and the stereo sound is mastered well. The English dub is done pretty well, no read more
Oct 24, 2014
Jarrbearr (All reviews)
Studio Ghibli has a long history of film making and is known for its great producers. They've made a name for themselves as one of the best studios in the past few decades with all the movies that have risen to fame quickly and cultivating fans throughout their entire run. Everyone has probably watched a Miyazaki film or heard his name. His movies are always top quality and tend to outshine the other films Ghibli makes.

Neko no Ongashi or The Cat Returns is one that has received both good and bad opinions over the years. I discovered this movie due to watching a marathon of read more
Jan 15, 2014
ktulu007 (All reviews)
The Cat Returns is a bit of an odd one. It's connected to another Studio Ghibli film, Whispers of the Heart, but they don't have any of the same characters nor are their plots connected. Basically, the protagonist in that film writes a story as part of a subplot and this is supposedly that story. The connection is very loose and pretty unimportant, which is why I'm reviewing this one before Whispers of the Heart.

The Cat Returns follows a young girl named Haru. One afternoon she's heading home from school when she sees a cat about to get run over by a truck. Acing read more
Jan 28, 2013
5camp (All reviews)
Cat Returns is a bit of an anomaly Ghibli movie. It isn’t directed by Miyazaki or Takahata, but instead by Hiroyuki Morita, dude who went onto direct Bokurano. It’s a spin-off story from Whisper of the Heart, and was originally only supposed to be a 20 minute piece, but for various reasons kept spiralling up and up in length until we got this full blown movie. Not that you need to know any of this going in. It’s about a girl who saves a cat from being hit by a truck. The cat hails from the Cat Kingdom, who promises to repay her by being read more
Sep 30, 2018
Krunchyman (All reviews)
“I f—king love pussy, I don’t know how I’d live without it. Reiko! Write a movie about pussy!” — Hayao Miyazaki

“Already done, sir.” — Reiko Yoshida

“Oh, well….ummm. You know, yeah, this is probably, uh, this probably better than what I had in mind.” — Hayao Miyazaki

The Cat Returns is a simple film, so simple that it flies over the head of a sizable segment of the viewing audience. At first glance, it appears to be an innocent, unsophisticated “kid’s” movie about bipedal cat’s who live in a feudal system of sorts, mimicking the behaviors of human culture. Their permanent residence read more
Jul 8, 2015
bennitori (All reviews)
Studio Ghibli has the reputation of making nothing but classics that will forever be remembered. Even as I've started marathoning through some of the lesser known titles in the Ghibli library, even the obscure ones were surprisingly good. This is the first Ghibli film to disappoint me. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. It was just a vanilla story.

Story (6/10) The concept was very good. But the way it was handled felt too easy. The fact that the cat happened to be a prince was a funny coincidence. But then the fact that Haru just happened to have a voice tell her where read more
Jul 29, 2011
Lucena (All reviews)
Studio Ghibli. Mention this studio to any anime fan and they'll instantly think of either Hayao Miyazaki or rattle off any of his movies. In that list of movies, there will be a slim chance that a fan will mention The Cat Returns, one of Ghibli's more light-hearted efforts. I have to admit that I've avoided this title for a long time due to Miyazaki's lack of involvement with this project. This, however, is a decision that should be regretting at the moment because, surprisingly enough, I liked this film. I liked it a lot.

This movie's story couldn't be more straight-forward. It's a simple fantasy read more
Apr 14, 2010
kajia (All reviews)
I watched this Ghibli film under the assumption that it's directed by Miyazaki, but something was not right. The art style is very different for starters. Miyazkaki's films tend to have stunning background scenery, with some very eccentric non-human character designs coupled with rather uninspiring human character designs. "The Cat Returns" is exactly the opposite. Here the background scenery aren't very notable, the non-human characters are kind of plain, but the human character designs are refreshingly different to the ones in other Miyazaki films. Even the colouring used in the artwork is different - the colours seem brighter and less soft in "The Cat Returns". read more
Sep 25, 2016
BowlingJD (All reviews)
Studio Ghibli was strong in the early 2000s. This particular film is a bit of a divergence from the studio’s norm. The Cat Returns is actually a spin-off from a previous Ghibli film, Whisper of the Heart. The other way this diverts from the norm is a different director was chosen, and he was Hiroyuki Morita (animator in Akira, Lupin III). Fun fact, Miyazaki actually tested others to come up with a story featuring three key elements from Whisper of the Heart: the cat Baron, big fat cat Muta, and a mysterious antique shop. Morita took the challenge and past thus creating his own story read more
Apr 7, 2010
Usagi-long-legs (All reviews)
Great anime film by studio ghibli and it's not too long so you won't get bored.
The film has some of the same characters from 'whisper of the heart' but that doesn't mean you have to go and watch that becasue the film will still make sense.
It's a very simple story to understand and it's very enjoyable.
The main charater has problems with being herself and making choices which puts her in abit of a situation in the film.
However there are people there to help her.
I won't give any spoilers because I'm sure you will want to find out for yourself.
I noticed that the art in this read more
Oct 21, 2010
KiiroiCho (All reviews)
This is only my second review, but I'm hoping it will be of some use to someone somewhere...

Okay, well the story is pretty basic. If you've seen other Miyazaki flicks, you know that usually the story is a little like this: There's a female protagonist in some strange situation because she saw or did or interacted with some type of otherwordly thing. Basically, Haru, who is completely normal, saves a cat and gets WAY more than she bargained for. It's really short, and there aren't too many plot twists, but it's a nice story. It's pretty relatable because Haru is so average. I liked it, read more
Oct 31, 2017
BaronWilhelm (All reviews)
So, as with most Studio Ghibli, this was very good, but i would recommend that you watch this and then the whispers of the heart. It's supposed to be the other way round but i find it more enjoyable that way.
The story isn't original, but it's done in an original way and that's one of the things that makes Studio Ghibli great in the genre of anime movies.
The art i like because of the cats, but it seems a bit too light for any meaningful sad scenes which is why i refrained from a higher mark.
The sound was alright, but could be better, to trial read more
Nov 12, 2019
LightScaryRobo (All reviews)
Story - This has to be my favourite Studio Ghibli film so far - it is so engaging in every aspect. Unlike most movies, you never properly feel like the characters are in danger, and this movie ends up being more of a relaxing film to watch due to how soothing and cute it is. I am a big fan of action, and although there was not a lot in this, I still found this to be an AMAZING movie.

Art - If you compare this movie to the rest of Ghibli's works (other than My Neighbours the Yamadas), it stands out as odd. It isn't read more
Nov 18, 2015
BeebopJazzAttack (All reviews)
Haru is your average, ordinary high school girl. Until she saves a black cat from getting hit by a truck, it all seems normal, until the cat stands on tow legs and speaks to her. Too make matters even crazier, that cat she saved is a prince from the cat kingdom, and his father the king wants Haru to marry his son, and become the princess of the cat kingdom. Of course, Haru doesn't want to and enlists the help of a suave, sophisticated Baron cat with his gargantuan cat sidekick Muto, as they must rescue Haru from the clutches of the cat king.

THE read more
Jun 11, 2009
graceleewon (All reviews)
This movie is like a Miyazaki movie. The story is a very well thought out and creative, i think it might be enjoyable to most ages. The animation is very good and that just adds to it's charm. Not much romance but thats what makes it even more better. These days it's hard to get ppl to read stories, mangas, or watch tv shows, anime without romance involved. This one just has several cute scenes that just makes you say 'aww' or squeal a little. Recommend to everyone, if you see and dont like it then forget about it but i'd highly doubt anyone read more
Jul 29, 2012
liniageline89 (All reviews)
First off, I saw both the English dubbed and the subbed version. Just to say, I ADORED the Baron's voice in the English dub. Just the voice made me fall in love with him, not to mention how awesome he is.

This was a cutesy, giggly, aww show for me. The story was simply an 'ok' for me, I didn't learn anything really profound in it, the art was also 'ok'. The main character was 'so-so'.
But somehow, despite how this seems to be a recipe for disaster, the way the story went, it's bizzareness and randomness and surprises and humor, it left an impression on me. read more
Apr 29, 2019
AnimeBW (All reviews)
Whatever else might be said about The Cat Returns, it’s worth appreciating just how unusual it is that this movie exists in the first place. A spin-off film from a studio that has up until this point solely focused on self-contained projects, focusing on a character who wasn’t even technically a living being in their parent movie, Whisper of the Heart, and trading that film’s sense of cozy, lived-in authenticity for a whimsical fantasy adventure that stands at a crossroads between Robin Hood and Alice in Wonderland. It’s a bizarre creation no matter how you look at it, the kind of “How did anyone think read more
Dec 29, 2018
ExistentialUFO (All reviews)
The original manga of The Cat Returns by Aoi Hiiragi has a much more subtle, evocative message than its movie adaptation. The manga's primary theme involves coming to terms with the loss of a loved one, and it has a more magical realist touch that blurs the line between inner and outer. However, the movie solely places emphasis on believing in oneself, which feels trite by itself. It, thereby, changed significant plot elements, which degraded Aoi Hiiragi's original numinous vision. Moreover, the manga has many oneiric scenes that the movie left out, some of which tread on metaphysical territory that is difficult to discuss without read more