Samurai Pizza Cats
Samurai Pizza Cats
Time for another review! This time around it will be one of the first animes I ever saw when I was a child, before I even HEARD of 'Anime' and one of the earliest animes to be shown on western television - Samurai Pizza Cats, also known as Kyatto Ninden Teyandee (Cat Ninja Legend Teyandee) in Japan. It originally aired in Japan in 1990 and was released in USA and other countries 1-2 years later. What made this show so unusual is that it was in the VERY early days of dubbing from Japanese to English and if rumors around the time were correct, translations of the script and other background information were either extremely poor quality or non-existent (this is even referenced in the theme song for the dubbed version with the line "As soon as someone finds the script, we might begin the show!", breaking the fourth wall in the process.) It is also claimed that the singer of the theme song for the show was drunk when he recorded, resulting in The translated version also caused the series to have a far more slapstick style than the original Japanese version of the series, complete with character names that were based entirely on puns and/or stereotypes, such as controversy over the spelling of the main protagonist's surname Speedy, whether it was spelt Service/Cerviche (It was pronounced as the latter, but if it was spelled as the former, it would have been a double pun), with the deuteragonists being named Polly Esther (Polyester) and Guido Anchovie, with other characters having names like Al Dente, Seymour "Big" Cheese, Jerry Atric (Geriatric), General Catton (General Patton) and more. Even their giant mecha was called The Great Catatonic (A play on the Catatonic behavioural state.) The series itself had a VERY basic overarching storyline (and I DO mean VERY) but was primarily about the antics of the trio Speedy, Guido and Polly maintaining a cover as running a Pizza parlour while also acting as superheroes protecting their home town of Little Tokyo. Aside from that, unless there was a major plot theme that spanned more than one episode, the series itself was somewhat disjointed, which is not helped by dispute over the order in which episodes were meant to be screened. Similar to the Super Sentai style television shows that are popular over in Japan, this series in a way followed themic veins by having a 'Monster of the Episode' which would invariably cause trouble and have to be defeated, though sometimes this was subverted/lampshaded by having the heros losing and having to find a way to overcome said foe, whether it be by new technology, skills or otherwise. The final episodes, similar to many shows in existence, featured a threat of apocalyptic scale to bring a fitting end to the series. Not going to go into specifics, as I don't want to give away too many spoilers - please head on over to the discord if you want to discuss it in more detail! All of these issues aside, the series is surprisingly fun to watch even to this day. Comparing it to shows like Dragonball/DBZ, Evangelion, Sailor Moon, etc is pointless, because this was effectively the 'frontier period' of Anime and it was more than clear that there was MASSIVE issues, but once all is said and done, they still put out a show that was fun for children to watch and something that parents would feel comfortable letting their kids watch. If I had to give this series a rating, I would give it a 5 or 6 out of 10. It has some glaringly obvious flaws, but there is no denying it is downright FUN to watch. If you find a boxset of it or it becomes available on a streaming service, definitely watch it.