Cat Soup (a.k.a. Nekojiru-Sou) is a multiple award-winning short film directed by Tatsuo Sato and inspired by the work of manga artist Nekojiru.It centers around a family of anthropomorphic cats, specifically two kittens: the terminally ill Nyatta and her younger brother Nyako. After Nyatta dies, Nyako manages to take back half of her soul from Jizou. This brings her back to life, but leaves her braindead. Determined to bring his sister back to normal, he goes on a surreal journey through the land of the deadto retrieve the other half. Or something.Not to be confused with Neko Ramen.
Downer Ending: After the quest is over, Nyako's family disappears one by one, and then...
Ear Cleaning: Nyako's father does this to him early on in the movie. Seeing how Nyaako just ran all night to try and get back his sister, this scene could be considered a Heartwarming Moment.
Actually, he's cleaning his ears because he found Nyako half-drowned in the tub. While Nyako was half-dead, he spirit-walked outside his body and noticed Jizou taking his sister's soul, took it back, and when his father revived him by pulling him out of the bath, he still had the soul. To add insult to injury, Nyako's dad is so drunk he doesn't actually even notice Nyako is still unconscious while he does so; Nyako only wakes up just before the mother runs in to announce the death of Nyatta.
Empty Shell: Nyatta before Nyako finds the other part of her soul.
Everything's Better with Samurai: There's a scene where Nyako imagines samurai cutting up a fish until there's nothing left of it but its head, bones, and tailfin (that it somehow is able to walk on). Then it swims in the water and ends up on the beach... it's supposed to be symbolic.
Fantastic Racism: The Cats are racist toward the Pigs. In the movie they beat the pig who saved them from the flood by taking them unto his boat. In the show, Nekojiru Gekijou, the Cat children are taught to be racists by their parents.
Free-Range Children: Nyako, a kitten, is able to travel (with his brain-dead older sister for company) to some utterly bizarre and very dangerous places — and his parents don't seem to even notice.
God Is Evil: Subverted, since he seems to be more apathetic than outright cruel. Considering how his main concern was eating a part of a planet, even messing with time and space to do so, this may not be far from the truth.
Grotesque Cute: A story featuring two little kittens traveling through hell can't get much cuter or more grotesque than this.
Actually, there's another reason behind the odd title. The movie is based on the works of a comic artist with the pen name "Nekojiru" ("boiled cat stew"). Her works often had "nekojiru" in them - this movie's original title, in fact, is "Nekojiru-sou" ("boiled cat stew grass"). "Cat Soup" is an English pun on "catsup," a spelling of "ketchup," and thus the closest the translator could get to a morbid English food-related cat pun similar to the original.