Posted by psgels on 8 February 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews


Nagagutsu Sanjuushi is the second movie that Saiei released recently. It too dates from the time when there was no Studio Ghibli yet, and anime still tried to be like Disney. So, what does that mean? Talking animals, of course! Nagagutsu Sanjuushi is a western with a cat as main character. Unfortunately, it’s a lot less fun than Andersen Monogatari.

While it originally has the potential to become a good family movie, but it’s bad writing that got in the way here. This movie hardly takes any time to explain what the heck is going on. Often, characters do completely random things that make no sense at all, just to keep the story going. There’s hardly any time spent on explaining the how and why of things. In fact, this goes on so badly that NONE of the characters received any important background whatsoever. We never get to know who these people are, or why they’re doing the things they do. Especially in the case of the main character this is jarring: he’s just… there, without any possible explanation what he’s doing here or why he involves himself with the plot.

So overall, we’ve got a movie that’s a lot of bark and no bite. It’s badly written and the creators don’t care at all about continuity, and the endless stupidity of the characters doesn’t help either. Sure, I know that it’s a children’s movie, but even then you shouldn’t have characters with the intelligence of a baboon’s backside running across the screen. The only merit this movie has is one fun, but completely non-sensical chase scenes.

Storytelling: 4/10
Characters: 3/10
Production-Values: 7/10
Setting: 4/10

9 Responses

  1. Avatar Martin says:

    I immediately recognized he chracters in the screens. I thik there is, if not a sequel, but at least another movie about the cat and the girl. In that movie she’s a princess and gets taken captive by an evil king. I’m not sure but maybe it’s an adaption of the “cat with boots”-children story. Sorry, can’t remember what it’s called in english :S
    Anyway, sorry for the rant, but as i recall that movie had some nice momets, and couple of really well-drawn scenes. Something to look up maybe?

  2. psgels psgels says:

    I indeed looked it up, and I think you’re talking about the first Puss in Boots (apparently that’s what Nagagustu means) movie. As it turns out, Hayao Miyazaki worked on that one, so I have all the reason to believe that it was better than this one. ^^;

  3. Avatar smurfy says:

    Dude!!! Get the hell outta here, Where did you find this? Oh yeahh!! you mentioned. I have a copy of this ( rephrase MY dad, has a copy of this Movie in VHS format back at home, since her bought it) If I remember well our copy was in English Dub, The name of the Cat was Ringo and the Title Name was – Ringo Goes West.

    45/100 C’mon this was Released way way back in the 80s, give the movie some slack Geez.
    As I would simply just say it was Fun to watch.

    Damn!!! Memories
    Some needs to invent a Time Machine.

  4. Avatar smurfy says:

    Oops.. Excuse My Spelling and Grammatical Errors in the former post. I was just so Astonished whilst reminiscing as well, I didn’t even bother to check it before submission.

  5. psgels psgels says:

    Smurfy: http://saiei.nagi-fanboi.net/

    Oh, and this one might have been released in the seventies, but I’m not going to cut it slack for that. Andersen Monogatari was even older, and that one was much, much better than this one. If that movie could tell a great and coherent story, then why shouldn’t this one?

  6. Avatar smurfy says:

    Though I have not watched Andersen Monogatari, I’d might have to concur with you assessment, but yet again I guess it would be a whole lot different, watching this Movie again now than when I did as a kid, hence most likely reach about the same ballpark of your critique as well.

  7. Avatar Martin says:

    Ah! So very nice to find that out! Seems i ran across Hayao Miyazaki a hole lot earlier than i thought. Thx for finding the info i was to lazy to dig up myself :P

    PS. Thx for all the good work and writing you put in this site. You keep delivering things that are worth the while to read and that are written in a very good manner!

  8. Thanks a million for this blog! Because of you, I’m now able to track down this second Puss in Boots movie. I’ve been on a tear to track down the classic Toei Doga films lately, so this is greatly appreciated.

    I don’t expect this movie to be extraordinary, since most of the studio’s major talent – Isao Takahata, Hayao Miyazaki, Yasuo Otsuka, Yoichi Kotabe – had already left to work on Lupin III, Panda Kopanda, and then Heidi. Yasuji Mori, one of the old Toei animation masters, serves as animation director here, and the late, great Reiko Okuyama serves as key animator. They would both leave to join the old gang shortly after this, so this movie really is the end for the era.

    The 1969 Puss in Boots movie is spectacular, just about the finest anime comedy ever. For me, it’s a tossup between that and Animal Treasure Island and maybe Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves.

    Thanks for telling me about Saiei, too. That’s a great discovery for me and the Ghibl Blog. Hopefully, we’ll have a well of anime for future fansubs. Thanks a lot!

  9. Avatar Minnie says:

    If you saw Ringo Goes West you could only wish the movie had more running time than instead of just 52 mins it would have been nicely well written to introduce the characters and would have follow great comedy and adventure better than ever with Pero or Ringo been the real hero and it could have been the 2nd best Puss In Boots movie ever, Oh and one thing he looks so cute in that outfit he’s wearing gotta love to cuddly him xxx

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