Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What's Michael? OVA 1

More cats. (Yay!)

This time, it's the first What's Michael? OVA, from 1985. Michael is a male orange tiger cat who lives in Japan. The show consists of short humorous vignettes depicting Michael, his mate Popo-chan, and various humans who think they are Michael's owners. (They apparently never heard the aphorism, "Dogs have owners; cats have staff.") There's no continuity between skits. Michael's owner is sometimes single, sometimes married; sometimes a professional, sometimes a Yakuza. Michael is sometimes an outdoor cat, sometimes an apartment cat. Regardless, the series is well-observed and very funny, particularly if the viewer has lived with a cat. I particularly like the "Day in the Park" sketch, contrasting what it's like to play outside with a dog versus a cat.

Michael's look says it all.

Michael was played by Ootake Hiroshi, a veteran voice actor with numerous featured roles to his credit. (In the TV series, Michael was played by the legendary Tomiyama Kei, who voiced the wicked witch in Grim Douwa: Kin no Tori.) Popo was played by Masako Nozawa, who also provided the title character's meow in Midori no Neko. However, she's far better known as Son Goku in the Dragonball franchise. Recent roles include Madame Curie in Marie & Gali and Obaba in Ping Pong the Animation. The director was Nagao Shuku; he also directed Dream Hunter Rem.

Iri translated the show; Yogicat timed; I edited and typeset; and Calyrica and Nemesis did QC. Erik of Piyo Piyo Productions encoded from his own Japanese laserdisc. It's not a great raw; there's a lot of film burn at scene boundaries. We'll do the second OVA One of These Days™, but we won't be doing the TV series; it's too long.

So enjoy this romp with Michael, Popo-chan, and various other humans and creatures, including the terrifying Nyaajira (aka Catzilla). You can get it from the usual torrent sites or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.

Update: there's a minor styling error. The fonts are set up for an anamorphic encode and are thus 12% too wide. If this bothers you, you can download a patch from here. We won't be releasing a formal v2.


  1. I'm trying to figure out the cast. It's annoying how the credits don't say who they played. Ichiro Nagai is the Narrator. Shozo Iizuka is K the Yakuza. Banjo Ginga is that fly character. Most of these characters aren't named in the show, so I don't know how to credit them.

  2. Well that was something. Thanks.

    1. You're welcome. It was very funny and entertaining.

  3. This was a really fun watch, thanks for making it available!

  4. For the record, this is the most poorly-mastered laserdisc in my entire collection (that I know of). I'm not gonna count my Penn and Teller Get Killed laserdisc that has been completely destroyed by laser rot, because at least it looked good at SOME point.