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She and Her Cat: Their Standing Points

a.k.a. Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko

shehercat-2
Genre: Drama
Company: Shinkai Makoto
Format: 1 OVA
Dates: 1999

One rainy spring day, She picked up Chobi, and he became Her cat. He quickly grew to love Her because She was like a mother and a lover, kind and beautiful, all at once. As the seasons pass, both Chobi and She become closer to one another as they distance themselves from everything else.

summary by Eek

 

Reviewed: 08/11/2003 by
Grade: 86% av-Eek

Highs: Simple yet beautiful

Lows: Style may not appeal to some

Clocking in at about four minutes and forty-five seconds, She and Her Cat is an independent anime made by only Shinkai Makoto (Voices of a Distant Star), and despite its short length, Shinkai-san shows that you do not always need full-length movies or even a professional to create a provocative anime.

Perhaps the first thing that is apparent about She and Her Cat is its simplicity. The monologues are mostly the thoughts of Her cat, Chobi, who is aware of his surroundings, but like a cat, lets things just happen and casually observes what goes on around him. She, who is only known as She, is a single woman who lives alone in an apartment with Chobi. Peppered with a solo piano piece, this short anime has no real plot and very limited character development, but that is besides the point. Driven strongly by long monologue, it manages to capture a certain feeling of life in the city: lonely warmth. Both She and Chobi have others in their lives, but they choose to forsake them in one way or another, thus closing themselves off from the rest of their respective worlds. Chobi, in particular, idolizes Her to some extent, and through his observations, paints the world that he lives in. I cannot help but be drawn to the subdued beauty that it is played out.

A fatal flaw to some may be the style in which She and Her Cat is presented in; keep in mind that, with exception of two lines of monologue, one man did all this. Fuzzy, black-and-white art may be the first things to catch people’s attention, as well as the relative lack of animation. This may be an OVA, but most of the on-screen animation time is spent panning across frames, showing certain parts of life in the city from power stations to a messy household to a tea pot on a stove. Chobi himself is drawn in a radically different style than everything else, making him a “black sheep” of sorts. Some may even find the monologues themselves to drone on without end and the entire anime to be just as much fun as watching grass grow.

As much as I find She and Her Cat to be fascinating, it seems to be more of a storybook or a work of poetry rather than an actual anime. However, that still does not stop it from being an interesting glimpse into the life of a young woman and her cat.

 

Reviewed: 04/18/2004 by
Grade: 77% av-Kain

Highs: As warm and intimate as your favorite blanket

Lows: Muted, niche entertainment with limited appeal; too quick and too short

She and Her Cat: Their Standing Points is an extremely short vignettes-within-a-vignette piece that accomplishes an amazing amount in less than five minutes. And, boy, after diving into its black-and-white world for those five minutes, I sure do wish there was a bit more to make the whole experience feel complete.

I fell in love with the narrative and story-telling method from the first minute. Being able to feel the relationship not through the eyes of the woman but instead through her cat offers a unique perspective that relishes in its simplicity… as did I. This welcome simplicity is amplified by a lack of intruding colors and the majority of the story being told in a dark, lonely apartment. The piano pieces are light and unobtrusive, never getting in the way of the monologue.

And speaking of the monologue, those looking for riveting conversation or enough action to sink their teeth into (or any action, for that matter) will not find it here. There is the woman and the cat; they go about their seemingly droll and mundane lives with hardly any friction to spice up their relationship. Some may find this boring, but others will see the forest through the trees and be enraptured by their affectionate symbiosis. Count me among the latter.

Whether you’ll like this anime or not, it’s hard to say “no” to a five-minute show. She and Her Cat is good enough that I can recommend it to any anime fan without fearing I will waste anyone’s time should they not like it. Myself, I wish this anime took its sweet time so we the viewers can breathe in the atmosphere.

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