Anime: Lily C.A.T.
Lily C.A.T. is is a science fiction/horror anime film distributed by Studio Pierrot in Japan and Streamline Pictures in North America. Released in 1987, the film follows the spaceship Saldes on a 40-year mission. Under the instructions of an unknown force, the ship's A.I. computer system accidentally introduces an alien bacterium into the ship while its human crew is in cryostasis. Naturally, both the ship and the unknown force want to eradicate the bacterium from the ship but also to cover up for this blunder. And quite unfortunately, the crew of Saldes find themselves battling against the bacteria, the ship, and even amongst themselves for survival.Lily C.A.T. drew heavily from eighties science film elements, most obviously from Alien and The Thing (1982). The crew’s struggles against the A.I. is also reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Character designs and even monster designs were provided by none other than Yoshitaka Amano.
This work contains examples of:
- Black Dude Dies First: Only very narrowly averted, Guy, the one black man in the crew, is roughly the third person to die.
- Coming In Hot: When Hiro and Nacy escape aboard the shuttle, the physical body of the bacterium chases after them and attaches to the ship. Before it can penetrate the hull however, it’s vaporized in the Conveniently Close Planet atmosphere.
- Conveniently Close Planet: The climax of the movie takes place just above an inhabitable planet.
- Cosmic Horror Story
- The Determinator: Barry. Being a cop, he’s hell-bent on bringing Hiro to justice and followed him into space to catch him. Made even more obvious that he sticks with the others and keeps Hiro handcuffed to his side already knowing himself to be infected.
- Empty Piles of Clothing: The only thing left after the alien organism devours its victims.
- Escape Pod: Captain Hamilton has a conveniently stowed away space shuttle that Hiro and Nacy escape on.
- Explosions in Space: When Saldes detaches contaminated sections of the ship, they float away and explode. And when the Saldes itself explodes.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: Hamilton has a pretty epic one as he makes his last stand against bacteria and Lily-CAT:Hamilton: Registration number—23703 Lily-CAT. You're not going to bring this plague ship back except over my dead body."
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: The journey from Earth to their destination still takes twenty years both ways, thus necessitating a Sleeper Starship.
- The Gunslinger: Morgan W. Scott tries to be this but he’s the first victim of the bacteria.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Hamilton does this to blow up the ship and prevent the bacteria from going back to Earth.
- Jump Scare
- Justice Will Prevail: Inverted. Hamilton points out to Barry that by the time they get back to Earth to bring Hiro to justice, anyone who actually cared would be dead.
- Killer Robot: Lily C.A.T.
- Mega Corp.: Sincam, the company that set the Saldes out appears to be this. Especially since they placed Lily C.A.T. on board and through Lily C.A.T. order Saldes to return to Earth, sans its passengers.
- No Animals Were Harmed: Averted. The real Lily cat has one of the most violent deaths in the whole movie.
- No New Fashions in the Future: The characters are wearing casual 80s clothes in the 23rd century.
- Reality Ensues: The movie explores the fact that people who go into cold sleep will leave their loved ones behind as they remain the same and the people left behind age.
- Sleeper Starship: All starships are equipped with cryostasis units, allowing travel between planets.
- Spot the Imposter: Barry reveals that two people in the crew snuck onboard the ship with false identities. A subplot in the film has each of the crew being interviewed to check if theirs stories match their background data. It’s revealed that Hiro is one of the imposters—having borrowed a friend’s ID to escape into space, and Barry himself—who’s been trying to bring Hiro to justice for murder.
- Sympathetic Murderer: Hiro murdered the three men who’d forced his sister into drugs and prostitution, which led to her unfortunate death. Barry states that he did feel sorry for Hiro, but Hiro murdering the men torpedoed Barry’s entire investigation into their prostitution ring and two and a half years of work amounted to nothing.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: The titular Lily C.A.T. Just to mess with the viewer, there is an android duplicate of the cat that is really working with the computer to bring back the alien for study. Yes, this anime merged two of the tropes from Alien.
- The Stoic: Hiro, with good reason.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: The unfortunate fates of Dular and Walt.
- When You Coming Home, Dad??: Hamilton explains that after being on a cold sleep trip through space that by the time he returned to earth His infant son had grown up into a man older than him without him.