Friday, May 5, 2017

Neko Neko Fantasia

Here's a piece of whimsy for the cat lovers out there: the 1991 OVA Neko Neko Fantasia (Cat Cat Fantasia). Yes, I know the English title sounds awkward, so it's often rendered as Kitty Cat Fantasia, but the awkward English appears right on the Japanese manga covers:

Neko Neko Fantasia is set during the Christmas holiday season. The main character is a black kitten named Shiro (which means white in Japanese), who belongs to Satoko, a high-school girl. Satoko is preoccupied with knitting a hand-made scarf for her crush, Kagawa. Her parents are preoccupied with other aspects of Christmas, such as choosing appropriate presents and figuring out how to pay for them. Shiro is feeling both ignored and left out. She wishes to the moon that she could participate too. As a result, she is transformed into a small human girl. Mayhem ensues.

Neko Neko Fantasia is based on a manga by Takada Emi. Depending on how you feel about whimsical fantasy, the show may strike you as quite sweet or incredibly saccharine. I tend more towards the latter, but perhaps I've forgotten how kittens behave, as opposed to grown-up cats. You have an adorable kitten for three or four months; you live with a mature cat, self-centered and aloof, for years.

One translation note: when Shiro disappears, Satoko's father jokes that perhaps someone made a shamisen (a three-stringed Japanese instrument) out of the kitten. Traditionally, shamisen's were covered in dog- or cat-skin, but modern attitudes have made it almost impossible to harvest dogs or cats for their skins (see this article, for example).

The OVA is encoded from a Japanese laserdisc, another of the treasure trove that yielded A Penguin's Memory. Iri translated, Yogicat timed, I edited and typeset, Nemesis and konnakude QCed, and Erik of Piyo Piyo Productions encoded. More shows from this laserdisc haul are in the works. The release uses ordered chapters in order to isolate an unrelated bonus at the end - a preview for the OVA Yuukan Club (Leisure Club), which is not translated. If your player supports ordered chapters, it will play only Neko Neko Fantasia; you can access the Yuukan Club preview as the second "edition" in the file. If your player does not support ordered chapters, it will play the main OVA followed by the preview, without a break.

Enjoy this purr-fect release from Orphan. You can get it via IRC XDCC from Orphan|Arutha in #news or #nibl on irc.rizon.set or the usual torrent sites.


  1. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. I would never guess I will have chance to see this, although I know about this OVA about 13 years (yes, it's just because there is "neko" in title, being cat lover can be tricky with anime ~_^).