DVD Box Cover. From top to bottom: Guido Anchovy, Polly Esther, and Speedy Cerviche
"A fully functioning, cybernetic, technologically advanced team of superheroes... andnobody'sgot a flashlight?"
— Polly Esther
Would somebody PLEASE cue that description?Samurai Pizza Cats is the English dub of Kyattou Ninden Teyandee (キャッ党 忍伝 てやんでえ, "Cat Ninja Legend Teyandee" note The word "Teyandee" is an Edo period slang term that does not have an actual translation for English. It is used by Yattarou/Speedy to show frustration or determination.), licensed by Saban Entertainment. (Which lasted until 2002 before Discotek Media acquired the rights to the English series in 2012.)As the story goes, Saban either didn't manage to get transcripts of the original anime dialog at all, or just horribly translated scripts. As such, the writers had to make up stories and dialog from scratch. The plan was Crazy Enough to Work, and the show got turned into a tremendously well-written Gag Dub — which got so popular that series is better known around the world as "Samurai Pizza Cats" than the original source.As for the plot: the eponymous Samurai Pizza Cats [Nyankii] are the owners/employees of a pizza parlor. They defend their city and the royal family (pushy, spoiled Princess Violet [Usa-Hime], and her demented father, Emperor Fred [Shogun Tokugawa Iei-Iei]) from the machinations of the villainous Big Cheese [Kon-no-Kami]. Between the giant robots, the ninja crows and the, um, peculiarities of their emperor, this is both harder than it sounds and easier than it ought to be.While the plots can be a bit formulaic, most of the show's appeal comes from the humor and the lame puns (some main characters being Speedy Cerviche [Yattarou], Guido Anchovy [Sukashii], Polly Esther [Pururun] and "Big" Al Dente [Wanko-no-Kami]), and an astounding number of running gags.The show is notable for being perhaps the only heavily edited, rewritten and hacked-up anime dub which international fans actually prefer to the original. (Perhaps with the exception of Lat Am dubbed Koni Chan.) While the original show also took a light-hearted and goofy approach to its action show format, the English Pizza Cats is chock full of sly references, shameless puns, rapid-fire sardonic humor, and a total refusal to so much as acknowledge such an outdated concept as the fourth wall.Despite what you may have heard, it is not a lame Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtlesrip off, but a decent cartoon that can stand on its own merits. (It was, however, licensed as part of a TMNTFollow the Leader movement.) To quote the theme song, "These 'Cats have more fur than any Turtle ever had!"On April 30th 2013, Discotek Media released the DVD boxset of the original, uncut, English subtitled version of Kyattou Ninden Teyandee in its entirety. The company also released the boxset of the Samurai Pizza Cats version on July 30, 2013.There's a character sheet if anyone is interested.
All for Nothing: Happens in Episode 53 of the Japanese series. After Yattarou and Karamaru (AKA: "Bad Bird" in the Samurai Pizza Cats version) return safely after destroying the comet that would have wiped out Edoropolis (AKA: "Little Tokyo"), Omitsu is so happy to see Yattarou alive that she lets out a mega huge missile, which heads toward Edoropolis, blowing it up in the process (ironically, the missile is labelled "Omitsu is so happy ~ !!") The townspeople are seen rebuilding the city in the end of the episode, however, but still.
Alternative Calendar: One episode of the Japanese version states the setting as year 1991 of the Mecha era.note At least at the time the episode aired. It was likely 1990 before that.
The Bad Guy Wins: Several, most notably "The Pizza Cats Are Only Human" and "Bad Bird Uncaged".
Bait-and-Switch Credits: The Japanese opening credits sequence features a scene in which Yattarou (Speedy) engages Karamaru (Bad Bird) in midair combat, the red backpack on his armor functioning as a jet pack. However, this ability is never used in the show itself, and in actuality the fact that the cats cannot fly under their own power becomes a plot point in one episode, necessitating the introduction of their Mecha Expansion Packs.
Additionally, Usa-hime's (Violet's) short appearance in the same sequence gives the impression of a much sweeter, gentler character than what is seen in the show itself.
The City: Little Tokyo (Edoropolis in the original Japanese version, which is supposed to combine the old term for Tokyo, "Edo", with the suffix "-polis", which is usually a modern term to show that something is big. The Theme Song references this: "A time of the past!/A time of the future!").
Clark Kenting: To the extent that none of the bad guys can see that their main enemies work at a pizza place even though they wear the same helmets.
Color-Coded Secret Identity: The Cats civilian outfits were so similar to their mission gear (and they always wore the same helmets!) that it was often hard for the viewer to tell which they were in, yet the villains of the show couldn't even identify the heroes when in their civvies. Lampshaded at least once.
The Dragon: Bad Bird could easily be considered as Big Cheese's dragon, as his fighting skills rival, and sometimes surpass those of Speedy (and occasionally the whole team). In fact, in the final episode, Bad Bird shows himself to truly be Speedy's superior in combat. He is also the final obstacle before Speedy can destroy the machine pulling the comet towards Little Tokyo.
Dub Induced Plothole: To make up for runtime lost by cutting some scenes from the original, "Youth is For Exploding" pastes in the stock Transformation Sequence, which features Polly. However Polly was not actually present at that time, having been sent on an elixir-fueled run around the globe earlier in the episode.
Dub Name Change: All of the characters get Anglicized names. Which seems out of place in a very Japanese setting, but the show is pretty out there anyway.
Elemental Powers: The Samurai Pizza Cats Rescue Team each represented one of these. Meowzma (Gotton) was earth, General Catton (Rikinoshin) was fire, Bat Cat (Mietoru) was wind, and Spritz T. Cat (Nekkii) was water.
Everyone Loves Blondes: Dee Dee (Madonnanote Not that one, but she was named after her.) from the American Pizza Cats proves this. Also Francine.
Follow the Leader: Accidental one at that. The approach they used for the new scripts worked so well it went to influence later shows (released for the US market) like Shin Chan, Lupin III, and even MXC!
Four-Fingered Hands: Applies to virtually everyone in the show. This was one of the many rumored reasons for the show's long lack of DVD release that spread among Japanese fans, as Japan has a history of controversy over four-fingered characters.
Fur Bikini: Polly and Lucille wore white fuzzy bikinis in an episode. Yet they are already furries.
Furry Reminder: Several examples, such as the heroes succumbing to balls of yarn and canned cat food, Bad Bird being attracted to a shiny hairpin, the Rude Noise being scared of eyeball balloons, and Big Al marking telephone poles.
Gag Dub: One of the best uses of this trope, by the actual licensee. This would lead to gag dubs of other anime like Mon Colle Knights, Shin Chan, Lupin III Red Jacket, and even a live-action series like MXCnote However, most of the others had came at the expense of the original versions' integrity.
Gatling Good: Lucinda (Honey), Lucille's New York counterpart, has a pop-up minigun in her hairdo.
Gender Bender: The appropriately-titled episode "Gender Bender Butterfiles" involves a swarm of mechanical butterflies that cause those afflicted to become stereotypes of the opposite gender. Ventures into Ho Yay territory in the Japanese version when feminized Speedy kisses Guido.
Good Times Montage: Parodied in the episode "Pizza Bird Delivers". Upon Bad Bird giving his farewell to Speedy before leaving his job at the Pizza Cat, a short montage of some of the good times he supposedly spent with the cats plays. To which Speedy responds:
Just Between You and Me: Lampshaded in the following exchange that takes place in one episode of the Japanese version. After it has been revealed that two giant robots rampaging through the city are being powered by hypnotized townspeople:
Karamaru (Bad Bird): *Evil Laugh* You'd like to know how we gathered up those people who are running the mecha, wouldn't you?
Yattarou (Speedy): Shut up! Now's not the time for that!
Pururun (Polly): We're trying to figure out what to do, so quit jabbering!
Karma Houdini: The show's main villains, The Big Cheese and Jerry Atric are still afloat (and not in a parade, like Big Cheese thinks) at the end of the English-dubbed series, although their destination is unknown.
Subverted since the reason why they are afloat is because they are probably exiled from Edoropolis/Little Tokyo.note It was originally implied that they left on their own.
Merchandise-Driven: Character designer Noritaka Suzuki explained on his blog that the protagonists' flight armor forms actually originated from a toy company involved in the show's production.
In the recent official fanbook character designer Hiroshi Ogawa also recounts being told to make characters' feet bigger so their toys could stand properly.
Eventually averted due to the fact that the sponsors pulled out partway through the series' run and the staff was essentially given full reign of the series. This resulted in the humor becoming more outlandish (and the ratings climbing) as the series progressed.
Missing Mom: The reason for Princess Vi's mother not being in the show much is that she's traveling the world to see new cultures. Mainly cultures with good shopping.
Monster of the Week: Barring Bad Bird's temporarily power up and the final two, every episode follows this, often using a giant robot.
Mr. Exposition: The narrator and the "Professor", a bespectacled, fan-brandishing dog who often uses diagrams, maps, and other such visual aids.
She's a Man in Japan: Amazingly subverted. Despite his frequent cross-dressing and flirting with his male henchmen, the Big Cheese retains his gender. In fact, the only thing about him that changes is his species - in the original he's a fox, but the dub makes him a rat.
Evil Costume Switch: Bad Bird's Armor of Worc in the two-part episode, "Bad Bird Uncaged", complete with a flute that transforms into a bazooka or a machine gun (the latter which is only seen in the Japanese version).
Super Robot: The Supreme Catatonic (a.k.a. Nyago King or Nyago Ou in the original Japanese version.)
Tohoku Regional Accent: Okara, who comes from the rural Karakara village, speaks with this. Karamaru slips into the accent upon meeting her, being reminded of his own days back in the village. It also rubs off on the cats and even the narrator.
To the Batpole!: The top of the pizza parlor is actually a giant revolver, and the ovens are used to load the cats into it.
Who Would Want to Watch Us?: When the Cats go to Guru Lou to see about getting a giant robot of their own, Guido off-handedly remarks, "If he's such a wise guy, what's he doing working on our stupid show?"
You Are Number Six: In Kyattou Ninden Teyandee, when the Pizza Cats are in their battle gear, Yattarou (Speedy) is known as "Nyanki #1", Sukashii (Guido) is known as "Nyanki #2", and Pururun (Polly) is known as "Nyanki #3".
The Karakara mecha all follow a "Name #<number>" convention, often forming a pun of some sort.