“A Star Above Me” – The Star of Cottonland (Anime) – 9/10 Sunflowers

Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.  ~Albert Einstein

Genre: Slice-of-Life/Fantasy

Review Status: Complete (1 Movie/1 Movie)

Licensed: No, this anime is unlicensed in the US.

Art/Animation: This does look it’s age a bit, with character designs that are more 90’s than anything, but the animation is just fine

Dub Vs. Sub: There is no dub.

Summary: A kitten is picked up by a young man, and she lives daily life in wonder and love of her new family.

Review: Chi’s Sweet Home, move over! This takes a different, more fantastical look at a cat trying to find a home and family than Chi’s does, but is no less heartwarming or sweet. We see the world through Chibi-neko’s eyes, and to her cats look like smaller versions of people, which makes her think that when she gets older she’ll turn into a human and gives her slightly romantic feelings to the man who takes her in and brings up some interesting conflict in the family she’s adopted into – the son, who’s looking for something to really live for, and his mother, who’s both allergic to and afraid of cats.

This really knows how to tug at your heartstrings from the very beginning, where Chibi-neko is starving, but no one can take her in or even realizes how hungry she is. She’s saved by a boy that has been through troubles that have taken all the fight and spirit out of him. Chibi-neko gives him that, which makes his mother willing to tolerate the cat – wanting to tolerate the cat, even going so far as to beg her husband to let it stay – but unable to love the cat herself.

Chibi-neko’s life becomes full of everyday adventures, from going to the park, to meeting other cats, to shennanigans in trying to become human. It’s charming, low-key, and sometimes outright laugh-out-loud worthy! But things can’t stay the same forever. She still remembers her old owners, and the attention and affection of her owner is taken by a lovely young lady. To boot, a mysterious Persian cat is being pursued by a local cat collector, and that Persian wants her to go away with him and travel Japan. A mix of conflicted feelings over her owner’s new girlfriend and a desire to know who she is leads her on an adventure to find Persia, and in turn, herself. She finally comes to peace with the fact that she’ll never be human, and becomes content over her life. And in turn, the turmoil in the home comes to a head – and one of the most touching scenes happens between Chibi-neko and the mother.

The dark part to this stoy is that mortality is dealt with in order to show her how misguided her feelings toward her owner. The mysterious Persian shows her the dessicated corpse of another cat to show her what happens to cats when they get old enough. She is brought into a confrontation over her own desires to be with her family – how she can be with her family – and later, the Persian disappears (dies. It’s pretty firmly given that he’s dead though it’s never stated). But even though it’s direct and blunt about this, it isn’t done in a gruesome or obnoxious way. It’s very sensitive to how shocking and terrifying facing mortality can be, and there is comfort found later in the series.

Overall, this is an adorable but rather deep story of a cat finding herself.

Recommended: 10+. There is a minor scene where Chibi-neko is taken to see the dessicated corpse of another cat, but it’s not a graphic, gorey scene though it could make younger viewers anxious. There’s another scene where she’s gotten out of the house and doesn’t know where to go to the bathroom, and she’s directed to a nearby bush. This is not poop-joke fodder, nor do you see her going or anything like that – it’s simply taken as a fact of life. Some parents might also be put off by how an older cat takes an interest in Chibi-neko when she looks like a child, but it does bear in mind that animals age differently than humans, and you see the difference between her (at 2 months) and another cat who’s 5 months old, and he clearly is a teen verging on adulthood. She’d age similarly quickly, and it’s made clear the older cat is interested in her as an adult.

Other titles you might enjoy:

Chi’s Sweet Home (anime and manga)


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