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Cat Soup (a.k.a. Nekojiru-Sou) is a multiple award-winning short film directed by Tatsuo Sato and inspired by the work of manga artist Nekojiru.
It centers around a family of anthropomorphic cats, specifically two kittens: the terminally ill Nyaako and her younger brother Nyaata. After Nyaako dies, Nyaata manages to take back half of her soul from Jizou. This brings her back to life, but leaves her braindead. Determined to bring his sister back to normal, he goes on a surreal journey through the land of the dead to retrieve the other half. Or something.
Not to be confused with Neko Ramen.
Contains examples of:
- All There in the Manual - Nyaata and Nyaako are only given names on the movie's websites.
- Anthropomorphic Personification - The Father Time equivalent towards the end.
- Black Comedy
- Bloody Hilarious
- Carnivore Confusion - Nyaata befriends a pig, butchers him alive, and shares his meat with him.
- Cats Are Mean - Nyaata is pretty vicious to anyone who isn't a family member.
- Subverted when time stops; he breaks off and stomps on a person's teardrop...whatever that's supposed to mean.
- Circus of Fear - Nyaata and Nyaako go to one just before they start off on their adventures.
- Dissonant Serenity - "Big sis, big sis, my arm came off."
- Downer Ending - After the quest is over, Nyaata's family disappears one by one, and then...
- Becomes worse when you find out it was made a a tribute to the director's wife who struggled with depression, that he tried his best to help her out of, before killing herself. The entire thing is about the inevitability of death. In the end, the director could not prevent his wife's suicide, and Nyaata could not prevent his own family's end.
- Ear Cleaning
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs - Technically they're pterosaurs, but close enough.
- Everything's Better with Samurai
- Everythings Cuter With Kittens
- Eye Scream
- Feather Fingers - One scene has a fish walking on its tailfin.
- Free-Range Children - Nyaata, a kitten, is able to travel (with his brain-dead older sister for company) to some utterly bizarre and very dangerous places -- and his parents don't seem to even notice.
- Fridge Horror - In a very visceral, general sense. The all-around creepiness takes some time after watching to really sink in. It's about dying.
- Funny Animal: In a very dark and disturbing way.
- Gainax Ending
- God Is Evil - Subverted, since he seems to be more apathetic than outright cruel. Considering how his main concern was eating a part of a planet, even messing with time and space to do so, this may not be far from the truth.
- Grotesque Cute - A story featuring two little kittens can't get much cuter or more grotesque than this.
- Ill Girl - Nyaako
- ~I'm A Humanitarian~
- ~Let's Meet The Meat~
- Mechanical Lifeforms
- Mind Screw
- Nobody Poops - Averted twice, possibly symbolically. The first time leads to a visual digression on the circle of life and death, while the second...
- A woman can be seen taking a dump in the middle of the street earlier in the film.
- Ominous Music Box Tune - The ending theme, to add to the High Octane Nightmare Fuel that is the ending.
- Rebus Bubble
- Saw a Woman In Half - A pretty horrifying version, to say the least.
- Silence Is Golden - The only audible speech is squeaky-sounding gibberish, although there's a few lines that appear as Speech Bubbles.
- Surreal Horror
- Time Stands Still
- To Hell and Back
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot
- What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs?
- Widget Series
- Word Salad Title - The English title sounds like this -- but it's Exactly What It Says on the Tin, at least for one scene.
- Actually, there's another reason behind the odd title. The movie is based on the works of a comic artist with the pen name "Nekojiru" ("boiled cat stew"). Her works often had "nekojiru" in them - this movie's original title, in fact, is "Nekojiru-sou" ("boiled cat stew grass"). "Cat Soup" is an English pun on "catsup," a spelling of "ketchup," and thus the closest the translator could get to a morbid English food-related cat pun similar to the original.
- You Can't Fight Fate - Everyone dies. Even you.