Now showing in Hong Kong

Film review: Neko Samurai – A Tropical Adventure is strictly for cat lovers

Wafer-thin plot of sequel to 2014’s Neko Samurai revolves around a white cat mistaken for a god, a black cat, and their owners’ budding romance. If you don’t love cats, prepare to be bored

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 April, 2016, 7:01am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 April, 2016, 7:01am

1.5/5 stars

Committed fans of felines and flatulence may find a modicum of entertainment in this threadbare sequel to the hit 2014 movie Neko Samurai (Samurai Cat in English), but for the rest of us the further adventures of a ronin and his four-legged friend are a tedious ordeal.

After rescuing the snowy white cat Tamanojo from a gang of evil samurai in the first film, masterless swordsman Kyutaro (Kazuki Kitamura) heads off to Shikoku, only to be shipwrecked on a desert island. Tamanojo meets a black kitty owned by young islander, Kawaya (Grace Nuwaeme), and starts a burgeoning romance. But when the other natives mistake Tamanojo for a god, Kyutaro must enlist the help of a female pirate (LiLiCo) to mount a daring rescue and escape.

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The wafer-thin plot immediately betrays Neko Samurai’s TV show origins, and director Takeshi Watanabe struggles to fill even such a mercifully short film with worthwhile material – alhough, credit where it’s due, he does glean an impressive amount of comedy material from a bunch of hard-to-digest bananas.

Japan has a long history of animal-focused films like this, servicing similarly inclined audiences with lingering close-ups of their fuzzball stars, which render everything else in the film superfluous. Neko Samurai: A Tropical Adventure fulfils its obligation in which regard, with not one but two cats displayed proudly throughout. For everyone else, Kyutaro’s perpetual scowl can only begin to convey our sentiments.

Neko Samurai - A Tropical Adventure opens on April 21

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