OP Sequence

Summary:
Train Hartnett is the legendary assassin called Black Cat who works for the Chronos organization. His partner is Creed Diskence, a man with a taste for blood and death. In the same city, there is a bounty hunter by the name of Sven Volfied. He’s tracking a corrupt politician, Lib Tyrant, with a high sum on his head. Sven is currently pretty broke, but luckily gets some free food after he helps a waitress with some unruly customers. Still following his target, he infiltrates a celebration party. After getting into an accident with a drunkard, Sven is cleaning up in the restroom when he sees Lib walk by with his bodyguards. Sven’s right eye can briefly see the future (when Sven doesn’t have on the eye patch), and Sven gets a vision of Lib’s death. This vision comes true when Sven returns to the main party after a run-in with one of Lib’s bodyguards. He sees a man move lightning fast through the crowd toward Lib and then shoot Lib in the back. Sven follows Train outside, and tries to stop him, but their conversation is interrupted by a giant boomerang. One of Lib’s bodyguards also chased the Train outside and he targets and hits Train’s cheek. Train catches his boomerang, and then uses it to pin him against a tree. Sparing him, Train simply walks away from the scene, with Sven following soon after. We see Creed appear from the darkness and smash the boomerang into the bodyguard, killing him. Sven later learns from a store owner that the assassin he met is one of the Chronos Numbers, specifically number 13: Black Cat. Meanwhile Train, who has returned home, remembers seeing his dead parents when he was a child and all of the death that his own hands have brought. He is awakened from his memories by a girl singing from a nearby rooftop.

ED Sequence

OP: 「ダイアの花」 by より子
ED: 「ナミダボシ」 by パピーペット
The OP is decent fast song and the OP sequence shows a montage of the entire cast in action. The song and ED sequence are very cute, with the ED sequence showing various characters in cat form. I’m not very familiar with either Yorico or Puppypet, but I don’t find either of these songs very memorable.

What the heck is this…?
I was looking forward to seeing the Black Cat anime, having read a large part of the manga. But I really was not prepared for all of the changes that they made for this animated adaptation. For starters, they moved the beginning of the series to before Sven and Train had met when Train was still part of the Chronos Numbers. They also already show a lot of the big players of the story in the first episode, including Creed, Eve, Sephiria, and Saya. They do hint that Creed and Train fight over something in the 30 seconds before the OP starts, so I guess it’s possible that this is all flashback.
This episode is basically original material with the main characters and their stories basically the same. In the manga, the first chapter starts with Train and Sven already a sweeper (bounty hunter) team. Train’s past arrives in flashbacks that occur a lot later. What they’re doing in the animated version is rewriting the timeline so that everything happens relatively close to each other. I’m not very happy with this way because the manga’s plot is already fairly strong, so there is no need to change the order that the events occurred.
Fujiwara Keiji voices Sven very similarly to how he voiced Hanamoto-sensei in Honey and Clover. Whether that fits the character remains to be seen. Train only gets a smattering of lines, so it’s hard to judge how well Kondo Takashi is doing. The only other person who got a significant number of lines is Miki Shinichiro as Creed, and he does a pretty good job sounding evil and lunatic.
I’m pretty split on this series. I want to continue to watch it in the hopes that it’ll get better and merge with the manga storyline, especially once Eve permanently joins the cast. But the combination of a not so impressive first episode and an incredibly busy Thursday schedule makes me want to not blog this. It all depends on if this gets better in the coming weeks or not.

30 Comments

  1. I was discussing this with Omni and we’re pretty much in agreement it’s an anime original episode. They’ve really messed around with the timeline so it’ll be interesting to see how “bad” it’ll get.

    Unforunately I’m already having bad feelings about this 🙁

    moyism
  2. The first 30 seconds are – as far as I can tell – the battle at the end of volume 2 (with first Train and Creed fighting and then Train falling down the Lunafort tower(?)=last scene before the OP). I also think it’s odd that they are starting with his past. oO
    I liked the manga-beginning better (with Train and Sven being a team and the flashbacks later on). The preview for the next episode looks weird. I WANT TRAIN AND SVEN AND EVE!!!!!! Okay, well, guess I’ll have to wait and see.

    estella
  3. And btw: I REALLY like the opening 😉
    Especially the part at 1:12, it’s just AMAZING!!!!! 😀 “Ha-ji-me-te …….”
    whatever 😛

    I haven’t heard anything of a subbed version yet. (Give the subbers some time, it just aired yesterday…)

    estella
  4. Have you seen the terrible character design? I watched the trailer some time ago and made my mind: I won’t watch this anime. They killed the awesome manga even in the character design…imagine in the story!

  5. Can anyone PLEASE tell me where i can download this anime? I came upon this site by chance
    and was so surprised that Black Cat was made into an anime…i can’t wait to watch it….^_^

    Dawn
  6. haha! My thoughts exactly. I’m not sure how they’re going to continue it or rather, get it back on track with the manga. Rins/Eve is introduced even before Train/Sven are partners; so that means that the whole fight at the mansion is going to be sort of screwed up…yeah.

    I prefer the timeline of the manga a lot more than whatever the heck they’re coming up with now.

    – darK

  7. I was soooooooooooooooooooooo disappointed. I told myself not to be, because for almost all mangas that become animes, the manga is better. (I was really disappointed with Bleach, Mahou Sensei Negima, Mai-Hime etc.) The only animes that I’ve seen that are better than their mangas are School Rumble and Elfen Lied. (Elfen Lied is only because the art is sooo much better.) Black Cat anime is going to be a mess. WHY DO THEY ALWAYS RUIN EVERYTHING???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Spookia
  8. Well I never acutally read Black Cat but do u have a general idea where I can get it?. Sometime mangas are BETTER than anime other time its the other way around. Bleach isnt that bad you know. Now Naruto they kinda killed it but I still love it no matter what. Black Cat seems very interesting maybe bc I’ dont pay much attention to the plot/storyline/details and among other things. It does look like a good series to watch. Hopefully I’ll be able to read more on the next episodes. keep up the good work. love ur site.

  9. I’ve already half-dropped this series. There are a couple of major things working against it: it airs on Thursday (as do several other shows I watch that have much higher priority) and it doesn’t follow the manga (this was one of THE series I expected to do so). If I continue blogging this series, I may only do the subbed episodes (allowing me greater flexibility in my own schedule), but no guarantees.

  10. I love Black Cat! I haven’t gotten to read all of the manga, but I love it!! and I really need to see the anime, even if it got kinda destroyed.. my problem is that my Bit Torrent is weird and doesn’t really let me watch what I try to download, and all the other places with the anime available in another program say that I gotta pay! is there any place that I can downloading it using a program other than Bit Torrent? (realone player for example)

    kiera
  11. O_o Well, I am very surprised with the majority of the comments. I read all 20 volumes of Black Cat, and I thought the story was mediocre… Only the drawings make up for it and perhaps some character designs are appealing, but the story is nothing original, nor it’s something that makes me want the next volume badly. The story is quite dragging, and a lot of earlier characters are just never shown again throughout the whole series. What happened to the assassin guy who appear around volume 5?

    I actually like the anime better. It has better organization. I thought they deal Sven a lot better than in the manga. In the manga he is sooo side character =_= I couldn’t like him because of his lack of story. And then Saya is so much better in the anime. She is like non existent in the manga, but they make her so cool in episode two. The actions in episode 4 is great too. Sure, I do miss some jokes that exist in the manga, like fake Train sleeping in the vas, but they make up a lot of other new jokes that fit very well to the show.

    The opening music is great, and the ending is pure genious. I just can’t see why people hate it O_o

    The only thing I didn’t quite like in anime is probably Rins. She looks better in manga ^^”’ But the rest, I must say it’s an improvement, not deprovement.

    left-hand
  12. I agree with Left-hand-san, and believe that the anime is better.

    The anime starts with a more dramatic way and a darker theme. I really prefer the way the anime starts, and I sincerely hope they’ll change the manga ending as well. Train is by far more interesting and profound on the anime and Saya, as Left-hand-san pointed out, is much more characterized on the anime.

    The Op and Ed are awesome although the soundtrack isn’t as good. The character design was screwed, yes, but it was enjoyable nontheless. The animation is fluent and I find it quite interesting.

    Rin IS way worse on the anime, but not bad enough to make you hate it or to transform the anime into something non-watchable.

    I actually started enjoying Black Cat more because of the anime. I never actually payed a lot attention to it(although I did buy all the volumes) until I got my paws on ep.1. I think it’s it that brought me to the Black Cat-mania.

    This is all my opinion though… >>

    and I still love Train~… *jump-tackles*

    Boo-chan
  13. Does anyone know where I can get the OP? I changed my mind. I do like the anime. But it won’t kill me if I never see it again. Rinslet is boring in the anime. It seems like they completely changed her personality. Eve is awesome is usual. Sven’s an idiot. Saya is super annoying, and the song she sings keeps getting stuck in my head and bothering me. Train is cooler in the anime. Creed is…gay. Sephiria is more…something. I don’t remember anyone else. I’ve only seen 6 eps and I’ve only read 12 volumes of the manga. Me wants more BC.

    spookia
  14. I don’t know why people always get upset when the anime is different from the manga. I’ve never found a point in watching the anime and reading the manga if it is exactly the same (like Bleach, Naruto, DBZ, ect). That being said, I’m someone who watched the anime before reading the manga. My friends and I rather enjoy the series including my one friend who has read the manga before watching the series. I do plan on reading the manga when its released by Viz in march (i think) and I have read the first chapter preview in the latest shounen jump, and I have to admit… I like the way the anime started more. The way the anime does it lets you learn about the characters as the events that made them how they are, happen. Instead of some stupid guy telling you all about train in two or so panels.

    Anyways, who knows. Maybe I’ll feel differently after reading the manga but for now I rather enjoy the anime.

    trickylove
  15. I’m definitely a fan of the anime version. 😀 While Train is /similar/ to Kenshin, they have fundamental differences, such as Saya having direct influence in Train’s development in his no-kill policy, and Train still actually shoots people (just without killing them). The only gripes I have are that Sven’s feelings of freindship with Train are kind of sudden, and the 6 month jump between episodes 7 and 8 (not as big a gripe as the sudden Sven friendship though). Other than that, this series rocks. 😀

    Shinji103
  16. a really good anime so far..i think maybe you should take it up again. The humor(nvr seen manga) is a bit above average and the animation gets better in the next episodes. i dono how screwed up the storyline is from the manga, but i believe even the manga readers are getting into it 😀

    DAC
  17. My two cents: the anime is not worth watching. Certainly the manga was not the most original thing ever, and I personally think the plotting deteriorated especially towards the end, but it still managed to keep a free, light-hearted feel to it, allowing it to be enjoyable even with the cliches (most of which are turned on their head anyway). The anime is trying too hard to make something dark and serious out of stuff that is really not meant to be moody/thought-provoking while still keeping the humor, and therefore feels seriously schizophrenic. (Shall we be gritty noir? Or shall we be crack?) It’s just plain jarring, considering the mostly smooth, whimsical feel of the manga.

    But my main complaint with the anime is really with the characterization. It is SO exaggerated. I don’t really understand the people complaining about Saya and Sven — they’ve totally transformed Sven into a quirky, comic relief/laughingstock character. In the manga he’s more steady and mature (except when annoyed at Train), and actually gets to kick ass on equal terms with Train instead of being pwned all the time. And anime Saya… is just SO PERKY. In the manga, she conveyed that sense of freeness and brightness without being ridiculously genki.

    I won’t even go into how the dynamics of the Train/Sven/Eve trio have shifted, as I think those are quite obvious, and inevitable due to the compressing/switching around of the timeline. I definitely prefer the manga dynamics better, though.

    Creed, as most people have already stated, is a whole lot gayer and unhinged, whereas in the manga, at least in the beginning he still keeps up some pretense of sanity. (How else did he manage to round up so many followers?) And Rins is not only sexier looks-wise, but also personality-wise in the manga. In the anime she seems to have been relegated to comic relief along with Sven, and they show less of her confident, manipulative, I-do-everything-for-ME-so-:P side.

    My main peeve though, has got to be Sephiria. I mean, wtf? In the manga she gives the impression of being a cool, calm, not easily shaken woman who is ruthless when she needs to be for the sake of duty, but otherwise is very kind and caring. She is gentle and feminine, and yet has a commanding aura that just seems so natural and effortless. In the anime, however, she turns into an uptight fanatic, and this really, really bothers me, because her subtle characterization in the manga made me SO HAPPY to have finally found a female character who didn’t fall into *any* of the usual categories (sultry vixen, innocent girly girl, cold bitch, cute genki girl, etc.) and who I could actually like and respect.

    Sephiria in the manga was understanding of Train when he defected from Chronos, even silently supportive. Sephiria in the anime is just a super-uptight, fanatically loyal, self-deluded shadow of a formerly wonderful character who doesn’t have her priorities straight (which she most definitely does in the manga) and whose extremist actions are determined by not very logical or well-defined reasons. (And on a lesser note, what’s with having No. XII suddenly appearing and becoming the super-wise advisor who needs to rein her in? Manga Sephiria made all her decisions on her own, relying only on Belze for occasional support, and played a very subtle game… Bah. The anime just sends out so many subtle but persistent signals that are alerting my feminist sentimentalities in a BAD way.)

    I have to apologize for this ridiculously long comment on a relatively old entry, but it’s something I feel very strongly about. Black Cat manga is cliched but enjoyable, and challenged a lot of those typical characterizations/plot points with some very twisty and amusing concepts. Black Cat anime is just cliched and annoying and too hard-handed with its tactics, one of those anime series that I wouldn’t enjoy even if I had not read the manga. (In fact, the only reason I watched as much as I did was *because* I’d read the manga and still had hopes for it. I’ve stopped now — though if I had never read the manga, I wouldn’t have even gotten past episode 1.) It’s trying too hard to be a cross between classic fan-favorites like Rurouni Kenshin, Trigun, and Cowboy Bebop, instead of just letting the whimsically fresh take of the mangaka on these classic themes shine on its own.

    Hitomi
  18. Jeez, and even after that long rant I still left something out: Train’s characterization.

    Well, to make things quick: the transition from Dark and Brooding to absolute Crazy is way too abrupt in the anime.

    It’s very, very subtle in the manga — I only noticed it after a reread. For one thing, he’s not quite so DARK AND BROODING in the flashback chapters as he is in the anime — he’s just more serious. And even after spending two years with Sven, he still has no compulsions about killing (see the first few chapters or so). It’s only after they pick up Eve that he begins to slowly start changing.

    Saya in the manga was NOT the one who changed him from heartless assassin to Kenshin-clone. All she did was inspire him with her sense of freedom, opening his eyes to a life where he would be under no one’s control but his own, and thus actually responsible for his own actions. Manga Train had already started having doubts about the whole killing issue *on his own*. Saya merely showed him a life in which he could make that choice. Biiiiig difference.

    Anime Saya = icky Tomoe slash every other sacrificial-woman-from-the-past type who changes the DARK AND BROODING protagonist’s views on killing 4EVAH. Gag.

    Hitomi
  19. Hitomi:

    Umm, excuse me? ^^b Dark and brooding? Many of the episodesare very light-hearted and comical, there hasn’t been any over-efforting to make anything dark and brooding…

    What’s wrong with Sven being humorous? And how do you figure he gets pawned all the time? he got captured /once/, period.

    Saya being so genki is /perfect/ to display her free-willed spirit. Her attitude is “I act how I like, no matter what others say or how people view me.” This added to Train realizing that he doesn’t have to be Chronos’ lapdog and should just go and do what he wants. And two other things you’re mistaken on here: 1. Saya being the person to have changed Train is /not/ a bad thing. 2. Saya /didn’t/ do it all by herself. Trian in episode 7, after Saya’s death, was just as gloomy as Train /before/ Saya’s death. But then Sven told Train that it was the person who Train labeled as a “killer” (Eve) that cared for him the whole time he was unconscious, despite the fact that he tried to kill her. His willingly wearing the bell that Eve tried to put on him is a symbol of his becoming more trusting and friendly toward Sven and Eve. And from there, he kept changing to his happy-go-lucky self. And on hind-sight, it wasn’t so bad after all that Train changed so abruptly (from our point of view). After all, it was 8 months in the anime, and we all knew he was going to change eventually anyway, so why go through the cliched conversion from gloomy ex-killer to whacky Sweeper when we all know it’s going to happen, if the cliche can just be bypassed so we can get on with the series?

    I like both the manga /and/ anime dynamics of the Train/Sven/Eve relation. /Neither/ of them have any real faults.

    Creed is indeed more obsessed with Train, but not for the reasons that the shallow Black Cat-bashers are thinking. Creed is obsessed with Train because he thinks Train is an elegant killing machine, not because Train is a guy. That’s just such a shallow way of seeing Creed, it disgusts me. Since you have read the manga, you should know that Creed is an extremely resentful person, which is why he is so obsessed with killing people. Which, in turn, makes him obsessed with Train, because Train was such an incredible killing machine while he worked for Chronos. It has nothing to do with being homosexual. >.> That kind of shallow not-even-given-one-second-of-thought thinking makes me want to slap people.

    Errr, sure, Rinslet is sexier in the manga. Uh-huh. /NOT/. Of course, I’m really not quite so concerned with sexiness as much as more deep stuff. Rinslet /is/ showing her confident I-do-it-all-for-myself side. She’s been showing it the whole anime. The whole reason she’s with Train and co. /at all/ is because a) she wants to cash in on the money Jenos offered her for obtaining a shinkitou and b) Jenos hurt her pride when he tried to get her to drop the job.

    Ummm, we really aren’t watching the same Black Cat, are we? How is Sephiria /not/ silently commanding in personality while being cool? Shouting out in battle is hardly saying wshe’s not cool-headed. And what’s this about being a fanatic in the anime and not the manga? She has /always/ fought for Chronos and Chronos alone, she’s no more of a Chronos fanatic in the anime than in the manga. Especially with her comment in the last volume as she was picking herself up off the floor: “My body has been strengthened in healing ability and strength in order to be an Eraser. This body, which was born for the sake of Chronos, will not die so easily.” Sephiria’s refusal to accept Train leaving from Chornos /reinforces/ her loyalty to Chronos, it doesn’t make her a fanatic. If she simply let Train go, it would mean she didn’t think of Chronos as being righteous. Thus, why would she be fighting so hard for them?

    What you’re doing is the thing that all too many shallow anime viewers do: saying “Oh the anime isn’t like the manga, so it sucks.” You don’t look at the strong points of the anime, and only judge it as bad simply because it’s different. “Different” and “bad” are two different words. 😛

    Shinji103
  20. Bah, edit correction in the Creed section of my post above: I meant to say “Since you have read the manga, you should know why Train is obsessed with killing people. Of course, the reason in the anime could be something different, which, does /not/ automatically mean it’s a stupid reason.”

    Shinji103

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