Nakitai Watashi wa Neko wo Kaburu, or A Whisker Away, is about a girl from a broken family falling for a boy and, after repeated rejections, turning into a cat to get close to him. The studio behind this movie, Studio Colorido, is also the studio behind Penguin Highway and Hinata no Aoshigure. The director of this movie, Junichi Sato, was also the director for Sailor Moon. A Whisker Away premiered on June 18th of this year, on Netflix.
Studio: Studio Colorido
Genres: Drama, Magic, Romance
Started airing: June 18th 2020
Total Length: 104 minutes
A story about a high school girl, Miyo Sasaki, turning into a cat to be near the boy she likes. This boy, Kento Hinade, has repeatedly rejected her in her human form. She builds a bond with him in her cat-form, but it isn’t long before she realizes she can’t help him with his various problems as a cat. What will Miyo do? Reveal her true form and risk what they have or stay with him as his feline companion?
A Whisker Away is a movie worth watching. Do make sure that the genres are to your liking, in particular the ‘drama’ genre. This one is very prominent in this movie, which was a bit unexpected given the whimsical scenes shown in the trailer. The emotions in this movie are portrayed quite well, which can make it a bit heavy to watch at times. On the other hand, there are also a lot of funny scenes in which a character is a little clumsy and funny interactions. There are definitely a few moments, both sad and adorable, that will tug at your heartstrings. Of course, magic also plays a big part in this movie, given the fact that the main character transforms into a cat on a regular basis.
Miyo really is an endearing character and given her history, it is clear that she’s had a lot to deal with. Regardless she seems energetic and happy most of the time, but during the film, another side of her is shown as well. Same goes for Kento, the reasons for his reactions and general behaviour are easier to understand because of the background. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of information on the side characters, which would’ve added a bit more depth.
This movie does have some predictability, since there is a general theme of girl chasing boy going on. It’s clear very soon that she’ll do anything to get his love and affection, which is sweet but also predictable as a storyline for a romance movie.
Want to know more about how this movie earned this rating? Keep reading!
The story starts off with a scene that makes no sense when you first watch the movie, but by the end, you’ll get it. In this scene, magic and cats are both clearly present. After this, the movie does have a clearer storyline and makes it very clear when something is a flashback or just continuing the storyline.
During the film, it quickly becomes clear that Miyo’s feelings towards Kento are the main focus of the movie and Miyo’s main motivation in the choices she makes. Given the circumstances and both of their backgrounds, their actions and reactions make sense. A Whisker Away does have a lot of heavier moments, which have to do with the characters’ background, but also with current situations and interactions. At times it was hard to see everything working out alright, but there are also a lot of funny and light-hearted moments in this movie as well.
The storyline is pretty predictable, when it comes to Miyo pursuing Kento. The circumstances in this movie are certainly more unique, given the magic involved and the background of the characters, but the ‘chase him until he loves you’ stories have been done before. The other elements of this movie added some unpredictability and made it stand out a bit more from other movies with such a theme.
Overall the storyline was easy to follow and made sense. A lot of emotions were portrayed quite well, which made it easier to understand how characters felt and what their motivations were.
It’s clear that the main focus of this story is Miyo. She is energetic, clumsy, cheerful and endearing. Miyo tries her hardest, but has some odd ways of expressing herself. For instance in her way of trying to her crush’s attention, with her Hinode Sunshine Jump. Miyo has a lively imagination and her feelings towards Kento are very clear. There are moments where the people surrounding her turn to literal stick figures, as she focuses on Kento or how she feels. Even in her cat form, she stays true to who she is.
Kento Hinode seems like a bit of mystery at first. Once Miyo’s kitten form is introduced you see a whole different side to him, or at least a reason for his behaviour. Both main characters have a detailed background. Their motivations and feelings become clear very quickly.
Although there were some facts about the side characters brought up from time to time, it would’ve been nice to get to know them a bit more. Besides the cat side characters, there were a few human ones, but somehow those got a lot less attention. Finding out a little more about Miyo’s friend, Yoriko Fukase, would’ve been a nice addition to the story. Or some more detailed information about their classmates. What kind of home do they come from?
The animation in this movie was fluent and fit the energy of the characters well. The drawing style also fits well with the moods in this movie and gave it a cute look and feel. Especially the cat animations were very fun to look at, but Miyo’s energetic and clumsy moments as a human were fun to see as well. Whenever there was heavy emotion it was portrayed really well, both in colours and in animation. The colours were less bright than they were in the happier scenes and often the screen would zoom in on a character’s face, showing detailed facial expressions.
The several melodies and songs used in this movie fit well with the emotions portrayed on the screen. All of the music used is pretty calm, but does have some build-up and each song has its own way of keying into the right mood. Some are more cheerful, some are more sombre. One example of a song used in this movie is Ghost in a Flower by Yorushika, shown in the music video below. The music video also gives a good impression of the movie itself.
Have you seen A Whisker Away? What’d you think of it?
Give us your take on this movie in the comments below!