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Cat Planet Cuties (Asobi ni iku yo!) Complete Series Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit), English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Discs: 4 (2 x Blu-ray + 2 x DVD)
  • Run Time: 325 Mins.
  • Studio: Funimation Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 15, 2012
  • List Price: $69.98

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)


The Series

[Rating:4/5]

Cat Planet Cuties (Asobi ni Iku yo! あそびにいくヨ! Let’s go play!) is the anime adaptation of the Japanese light novel series by Okina Kamino. An action/sci-fi/teen comedy with a fair amount of fan service, its story line is one that is pretty basic to anime and manga. It centers around a teenage boy, Kakazu Kio, who has a strange, sexy, happy-go-lucky girl fall into life. Kio also happens to be surrounded by a bevy of young beauties that are all in love with him and vying for his attention, despite his outwardly wishy-washy demeanor. Nothing new at all, really, but it is how the story is executed that makes Cate Planet Cuties so deliciously entertaining.

The story in this case involve Eris, a sexy 16-year-old alien that happens into Kio’s life during the memorial service for one of his ancestors. Eris is no normal alien, she’s catlike, with cute cat ears, a long furry tail, and big, bodacious, err, well, you get the idea. Kio goes to sleep thinking he dreamt it all up, but when he wakes with the beauty in his bed, the reality hits home. When his longtime friend from across the street, the equally beautiful, well-endowed, but tomboyish (a slight tsundere character) Manami storms in to find out what’s going on, there’s trouble.

But the real trouble starts when people begin to find out that Eris has arrived and she and her fellow Catians are soon being pursued by radical cat-worshiping cults, the CIA, Japanese immigration, and other aliens that are evolved from dogs. Kio, Manami, and Kio’s other cute friend, (and former killer for hire) Futaba Aoi find themselves protecting Eris from numerous threats as the Catians set up their Earth embassy in Kio’s home. Meanwhile, the temperature rises as Kio’s home becomes filled with sexy, scantily clad women of the human and alien persuasion, half of them ready to jump his bones at a moment’s notice. Of course, Kio’s too clueless to know what to do.

Cat Planet Cuties is a little light on plot, truthfully speaking, but the likability of the characters is what keeps it afloat as does the outrageous setup of cat-like aliens and dog-like aliens that want to kill them. The character designs are pretty much what you’d expect from a series like this with lots of emphasis on the female anatomy, but surprisingly (or, perhaps, creepily?) much of the fan service shots are devoted to the characters who are lesser endowed and a little more immature looking. One cool thing of note in this series is the fact that each episode begins with a spoof of a classic series such as Charlie’s Angels, I Dream Of Jeannie, etc.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

This AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement from Funimation has all the earmarks of a native high definition transfer. The colors are vibrant, definition around the line art is crisp and well-defined and there are no issues with motion artifacts or aliasing of any sort. There is only the very slightest hint of video noise that can sometimes be viewed in the fills and backgrounds, but I doubt anyone with smaller screens or sitting at a farther distance will notice this.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Two fine lossless audio tracks are offered in the native Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 stereo (48Khz/24-bit) and English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48KHz/24-bit) options. The Japanese track was my reference, but I checked in with the English 5.1 from time to time as well. Obviously, the English track offered up a much wider soundfield and somewhat roomier dynamics, with ambience in the surround channels and a bit of an assist to the low frequencies from the LFE. Surprisingly, however, the Japanese track seemed to have more ambience added to the dialogue and was still quite hefty in the bass department. The 5.1 mix was mildly aggressive, picking up steam during some of the fight scenes, particularly toward the end of the series. In all, however, the Japanese track held its own with good stereo imaging and clear dialogue, even with only the phantom center.

I would also comments that the English dub here seems to be laden with a lot of cheesy cat puns that do not appear in the literal Japanese translation. This is easy to figure out if you run the English subtitles while listening to the English track. This is probably one good reason, at least, to stick with the Japanese track for an authentic experience of this series.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3.5/5]

For fans of the series, the “Episode 13” OVA will probably be the best thing to dive into here. The two English cast & crew commentaries also offer some lively entertainment. The “Extra Bonus Features” are basically the next episode previews run together.

The supplements:

  • OVA – Episode 13 “We’ve Come to Play” – This OVA is included as well. A fun and naughty episode with heavy fan service that fans of that sort of thing should certainly appreciate, the Catians decide to study the game playing activities of Earth on a lazy summer day and it somehow turns into strip rock-paper-scissors, etc.
  • Commentaries:
  • Episode 01
  • Episode 09
  • Extra Bonus Features – Brief “next episode” animations for all 12 episodes.
    • The End Ichika Special!!!!!
  • Textless Opening Song – “Now Loading…SKY!!”
  • Textless Closing Songs:
    • “Kokoro no Madobe nite”
    • “Now Loading…SKY!!”
    • “Omoide ga Jama wo Suru”
    • “Oira wa Sabishii Spaceman”
    • “Happy Sunshine”
    • “Smile * Peace”
  • Cat Planet Cuties U.S. Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:1:34)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

This is a funny and naughty series. It’s not raunchy in the slightest, I wouldn’t even call it sexy, per se, but it does have a sort of awkwardness and sexuality to it that makes it quite relatable. The characters are all enjoyable and the transfer from Funimation is top notch. This is recommended for anyone who enjoys this sort of material.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Cat Planet Cuties on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

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