TV has been holding out on us. While here in the West, we’ve got all the mob stories, period dramas, and fantasy worlds you can shake a stick at, something in the process of our foreign media imports has obviously gone horribly awry. Nothing makes this clearer than the recent discovery of a Japanese program, recently put into the spotlight by Twitter user @rabbitlayla, about a samurai and his adorable white cat.
The show in question is Neko Zamurai (Samurai Cat). In it, a warrior nicknamed “Madara The Devil” refuses to carry out the assassination of a rival’s cat, instead keeping the lil’ furball wrapped up in his kimono as he fights off the enemies made by his incredibly smart decision.
While the show, judging from clips and this wonderful the trailer for its movie version, looks like a self-aware comedy, the fact that we’ve been missing out for years on what looks like a Japanese period drama version of Antonie Fuqua’s The Replacement Killers is no laughing matter.
As evidence by the popularity of @rabbitlayla’s original post, there seems to be some agreement out there. Promo photos of the stoic samurai Madara and his fluffy BFF Tamanojou have rightly captured the imagination of a whole new audience.
Clips from Neko Zamurai, like this one in which the stern samurai must bathe the exceedingly good-natured actor that plays Tamanojou to the tune of a cheerful murder song, are also finding a warm reception.
And then there are the press appearances we’ve been so rudely denied.
The case of Neko Zamurai speaks to a troubling oversight on the part of corporations responsible for identifying and importing other nations’ media. We’ve gone years without the simple pleasures of a tough sword fighter and his cat. The idea that, without the internet, many of us could have lived our entire lives in such ignorance is almost too much to bear.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid’s a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.
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