Friday, 13 May 2011

チーズスイートホーム/ Chii’s Sweet Home

Kittens are cute, right? Well, here’s something that’s definitely cute – the life of a little kitten adopted by a nice family of mother, father and little preschool-age son, revolving around the little creature’s hapless exploration of her world.

Chii one day gets separated from her mother and the rest of the litter, eventually collapsing from exhaustion in a public park. Luckily, little Yohei happened to trip and fall in the same place, and the two end up face-to-face. Yohei’s parents can’t bear to leave the little mewling kitten alone, so take her home. There are rules against cats in their apartment complex, however, so they are at first unwilling to get attached. On the other hand, they soon find it's very difficult to get anyone to take a cat in, and once they give her a name – because she seems to answer to the word which means ‘pee’ – it becomes increasingly apparent they don’t want to give her away. The rest of the short three-minute episodes are devoted to Chii’s little adventures: house-training, getting into the food bag, wanting to go outside but not being allowed because the landlady might spot her, getting taken to the vet, making friends with the big fat cat that’s being kept upstairs. Everything is adorable.

Chii has all the hallmarks of a cat character – somewhat clueless, playful, easily distracted and rather self-centred and stubborn, but very sweet and affectionate. There are touches of the bittersweet when she is remembering – and forgetting – her mother, which give a touch of depth to a very frivolous series, but mostly this series is meant to be superficial, sweet and bring a smile to the face. And it could hardly do this better. I look forward to more of the same in Chii’s New Address.

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