Since this is a sequel/spin-off to the Manga from the 80s a few minor spoilers from the prequel may be included to be able to correctly review this title.
As a big fan of the original title I had pretty high expectations for this but Cat’s Ai couldn’t live up to them…
It’s hard to believe but the drawings from the 80’s original are looking much better than this title from 2010. Sure it’s a different artist but he could have tried to imitate a bit the original art style or at least try to put the same amount of details in it. Of course due to this the main characters look very different than their originals which can be quite bothersome. Some key aspects like the mole of Rui are conserved but Nagaishi is pretty much a completely different person. The only good thing about these changes is the updated design of the costumes. The new burglar outfits simply look much better!
While talking about the updates to the original it’s worth mentioning that the updates are much more than simple cosmetic updates. Even if the story takes place a short time after the original somehow everything takes place in the present including smartphones and similar. This kind of completely destroys the 80s feeling of the series I loved…
Okay I adapted pretty fast to this but what I really regret was that they completely ignored the ending of the original Manga and created some alternate universe where they ended their original career a bit differently. Ok you can live with it when you take this as a sequel to the Anime which never had an ending but worse: Toshio Utsumi is completely removed from this universe... Hard to imagine they removed this pillar of the original. Sure there would have been the risk that his relation with Hitomi would steal the spotlight and popularity of Ai who is now the main star of this series but it would have been better to include him at least as a side character. As a replacement we get an idealistic reporter as love interest for Ai who is obsessed with Cat’s Eye…
After achieving their objectives Cat’s Eye retires and tries to live normal lives but they constantly get pulled back for some new operations, mostly due to Ai who absolutely want’s to help everyone in her environment, especially the reporter to whom she has a really annoying tsundere attitude. I have to admit even if the stories are often a bit cliché they are quite heartwarming sometimes but they don’t satisfy the expectations I had. The overall plot with a counterfeiting ring of Heinz’s masterpieces is pretty much the only thing really deserving the Cat’s Eye title.
Yes you read it right… Aside from a small police chase in the beginning you barely see the police. Pretty much no one seems to have a real interest in catching the trio. Hard to believe since the game of cat and mouse with the police was pretty much the main focus of the original. Aside from Asatani no one of the police force even exists any more. Only a few of these games with the immediate environment will go in this direction. I really missed this main part of the story…
But maybe it’s better to leave the police out of the loop in this story since Ai is using the Cat’s Eye name for pretty much anything where it isn’t even needed and quite often in her direct environment putting everyone at risk. This attitude of AI really bothered me a lot.
Well for me it was pretty much a must-read since I loved the original but it can’t live up to the original but I still enjoyed reading it. I wouldn’t even qualify this as sequel since it pretty much completely ignores the ending (or pretty much half the original story). Even spin-off is hard to apply to it. Sure the focus falls on Ai as main character now but the author simply ignored too much from the original story to make his story work…