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Literature: The Adventures of Samurai Cat
What a stud.
Sixteenth-Century Japan — a land suffering through the long night of
Sengoku Jidai, the Age of Battles, a period of constant civil war, of anarchy and terror, of savagery and bloodshed and lots of other good stuff. The social order was shaken to its core; class distinctions blurred as military prowess became all-important. With luck, even a peasant could slash a place for himself among the mighty.
Even a cat...The Adventures of Samurai Cat
is the first of a series of six books by Mark E. Rogers, describing the adventures of one Miaowara Tomokato, a samurai in the service of Lord Oda Nobunaga
, a key player in Japanese history in the late 1500s. Tomokato is an anthropomorphic cat, skilled in the ways of the samurai, who following the death of his lord, which occurs in the first 11 pages of the first book, embarks upon an epic journey of revenge and reprisal upon those who banded together to slay his lord.
Apparently, Lord Nobunaga traveled a lot in his youth. And torqued a lot of people off. People from oddly familiar settings. For this is parody. His first mission leads him to the Bridge of Catzad-Dum
. Then he travels to fabled Outsmouth, where dwells Great K'Chu
. Afterward to Pictland
, and thence to Asgard
. And that's just the first book.
Joining Tomokato is his nephew, Miaowara Shiro, spunky bloodthirsty sidekick lacking in the samurai spirit but filled with bloodlust and a love for More Dakka
Other books in the series are More Adventures of Samurai Cat
, Samurai Cat in the Real World
, Sword of Samurai Cat
, Samurai Cat Goes to the Movies
, and series finale Samurai Cat Goes to Hell
. Very, very few of these additional story collections take place in feudal Japan.
Mostly out of print.
Not to be confused with Samurai Pizza Cats
- Aerith and Bob: Tomokato's nephews Huki, Duki, Luki, and Agamemnon.
- Air-Vent Passageway: In The Sword of Samurai Cat, a cruise ship's air vents "... appear to have been designed for covert transportation." "That would explain the moving walkways and vending machines."
- All Just a Dream: Even the characters aren't sure whether any of the events of The Sword of Samurai Cat actually happened, or if it was all just the dream of a little Martian child.
- Anachronism Stew: revels in this. One example: discussing how bad the Chicago Cubs are. Problem? This is in Prohibition-era Chicago (the Cubs were serious contenders during this time, winning penants every 3 years), and Miaowara is from 16th-century Japan. Later in the story he ends up meeting thugs armed with GAU-8 Avenger cannon, too.
- It seems that all you need to travel in time or to other fictional realms is to know the right bus schedules.
- The Terminationer uses a Temporal Plot Device.
- Badass Back: parodied, of course.
Hanako: "Wave good-bye to your Uncle Tomokato, children."
Huki, Duki, Luki, and Agammemnon: "But his back is turned!"
Hanako: "Nonsense. If he can deflect bullets with his sword without looking at them, he can certainly tell you're waving good-bye."
- Badass Family: The Miaowara clan. Tomokato and Shiro are a given, but Shimura, Shiro's brothers, and even Shimura's wife Hanako join in the fight at some point or another.
- Barehanded Blade Block: This is tried by one of the targets of Tomokato's vengeance. He then smiles up to Tomokato. And then dies due to the razor-sharp katana buried in his skull — he failed the manoeuvre.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: notable in the trip to The Magnificent Seven.
- Call Back: "Letters of Transit" in Goes to Hell.
- Dead All Along: The heroes for the plot of Goes to Hell
- The Dragon: Ubersaurus Rex tends to act as one; to the Nazi high command in Adventures, to the God-Emperor in Movies, and to Satan in Goes to Hell (Not that Satan really needs a dragon, but...)
- Diagonal Cut: Used on Darth Vader.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Why, yes, he did. Tomokato has taken on not one, but two Cthulhu analogues, sliced Thor's hammer in half, single handedly prevented Ragnarok, and ends the series by killing Satan.
- Drink Order: In the Conan the Barbarian parody in the first book, Tomokato enters a tavern and orders a saucer of milk. This leads to some of the tavern's tougher patrons thinking the cat is an easy target for a bit of harassment. Of course, this ends very badly for them.
- Epigraph: Each chapter is prefaced by a relevant snippet from Cat Out of Hell: A Biography of Miaowara Tomokato, by William Shirer and A.J.P. Godzilla. And, in the first two books, a parodical Fantasy World Map.
- Faking the Dead: the original battle scene when Nobunaga's enemies think Tomokato is dead.
- Gatling Good: Troll mobsters carrying GAU-8 Avengers.
- Highly-Visible Ninja / Technicolor Ninjas: The Hollywood Ninja from The Sword of Samurai Cat, who insists on wearing white at night and black in the daytime. And on being generally ridiculous.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Shimura's kimono, which conceals roughly all the .45 automatics ever made. And Hanako's — she has the ammo clips.
- Hurricane of Puns: In Goes to Hell: the "Pax Mongolica" sequence goes on for three hilarious pages, by which time even the author is begging for it to end.
- Idiosyncratic Wipes: In the Seven Samurai parody, the characters employ a Kurosawa-esque wipe to end a scene. Which is to say, everybody shouts "WIPE!" and voila, the scene changes ...
- Improbable Weapon User: Happens all over the place, but honorable mention goes to Shimura, a black-belt samurai of the Colt Semi-Auto school.
- Infant Immortality: Lampshaded up the wazzoo by Shiro the homicidal kitten, who revels in his Baby+Cat Immortality, gleefully rushing into meat-grinder battles in the smug confidence that the author wouldn't dare kill him. Eventually this trope was averted in Samurai Cat Goes To Hell, but only as a plot device to send his uncle to retrieve the bloodthirsty little creep.
- Kill 'em All / The Hero Dies: Apparently the Hami nuke killed a lot more people than Tomokato thought...
- Lampshade Hanging: Of everything, including the lampshade hanging. Recursive trope is recursive.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: typical when it's a fictional setting.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Darth Shatner tries this on Tomokato, only to find his claim reversed: "How can that be, when I'm your father?" It catches him off guard long enough for the cat to finish him.
- Magical Negro: the W.O.B.L. (Wise Old Black Lady).
- The Magnificent Seven Samurai: in The Magnificent Seven Samurai Cats, natch.
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover: the army sent to take out Nobunaga. Itself an Anachronism Stew.
- Mathematician's Answer: Used when appropriate, as in The Magnificent Seven Samurai Cats:
"Where did you get those alligators and all that lava?"
- More Dakka: Shiro lives this trope.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Ubersaurus Rex is a Nazi werewolf Tyrannosaurus Rex!
- No Fourth Wall: The series is this trope. It folds, spindles, mutilates, and slices sashimi out of the Fourth Wall, so much so that the feline characters constantly deride the author for being such a spineless, unimaginative hack. Occasionally, this incurs direct in-story retaliation in the form of bad luck and/or nasty enemies' sudden and inexplicable appearance.
- Noble Demon: Ubersaurus Rex in Goes to Hell: when his plan to kill Satan and take over fails, he tosses the god-gun to Tomokato and lets himself die.
- No One Could Survive That: When Tomokato complains that Ubersaurus Rex couldn't possibly have survived a fall, the SS tyrannosaur replies: "Logic means nothing to a true Nazi!"
- Ubersaurus Rex has the distinction of being one of the most difficult-to-kill enemies Tomokato has ever faced. He survives the fall of Der Kampfburg and becomes an ally of Josef Stalin — and a werewolf to boot. Yes, a werewolf tyrannosaur. He shows up again in an alternate universe ruled over by an evil Shiro, and which means Tomokato has to go through all the trouble of killing him again.
- Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: In Samurai Cat Goes to the Movies, Tomokato ends up shot nearly to pieces by his enemies. The bullets are said to pass through the several places in his heart and brain where a bullet could pass through harmlessly. He and Shiro are 'millimetres more accurate' in their return fire.
- Odd Name Out: Shiro's brothers Huki, Duki, Luki, and Agamemnon.
- Paper Master: "Origami Ito" (a reference to Lone Wolf and Cub) is able to create anything out of paper, including weapons, soldiers, even paper tanks. The last one does him in, though, since he took too long folding the men to crew it and gets shot.
- Playing Both Sides: In Prohibition-era Chicago, Tomokato decides to do the classic bit with the Capone and Moran gangs as "a refreshing break from (his) usual style." At the end, once most of the dust has settled, Sanjuro and the Man With No Name show up to score his efforts.
- Power Born of Madness: Shiro, able to carry an Avenger around like it was a toothpick. Actually firing it was a bit too much, though.
- Public Domain Character: typical in a historical romp, although
Santa Colonel Claus and Satan also crop up.
- Red Scare: A fallen Soviet satellite irradiates a graveyard, resulting in Communist Zombies! The horde seems unstoppable until Tomokato and Shiro manage to trick them into talking to each other; the only thing Communists hate more than Capitalists are other Communists who do things slightly differently, so the horde soon falls on itself with cries of "left deviationist!" and so on.
- Retired Badass: Tomokato's brother Shimura, who can still step up to kick ass if need be.
- Roaring Rampageof Revenge: Tomokato's whole quest.
- Rule of Cool: Whatever can't be excused by this...
- Ruleof Funny: ...is excused by this.
- Samurai: of course. Miaowara and his brother were actual samurai under Oda Nobunaga; his brother retired with an injury, while Miaowara went ronin and spent the entire series avenging him.
- Ronin: as a former samurai, Tomokato ends up going this route.
- Screw Destiny: Tomokato almost single-handedly (with one assist from Shiro) wins Ragnarok for the dead-drunk Aesir, foiling supposedly unbreakable prophecy.
- Silver Bullet: when fighting werewolves, naturally. Shiro tends to carry these.
- Take That: A few, here and there. He apparently doesn't like the movies Willow or Spaceballs, since the former is dreamed up by a scriptwriter who has had his brain removed. And every book includes a slam against Dick Van Patten and Eight Is Enough.
- Those Wacky Nazis / Stupid Jetpack Hitler: In order to kill Reinhard Heydrich, Tomokato must team up with Colonel Claus and assault a three-mile-high Nazi fortress. Run by the jackboot-clad SS tyrannosaur named Ubersaurus Rex. Who plans to launch a missile containing thousands of dehydrated Nazi dinosaurs into the Great Lakes.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Inverted. Shiro throws a sword at a fleeing bad guy, and strikes the man firmly in the head with the pommel of the sword, knocking him out cold. He had been aiming for decapitation.
- Trigger Happy: Shiro. At one point he claims his weapons will go to a museum. A very big one.
- Weapon of Choice:
- Katana for Miaowara; then again, while he thinks Katanas Are Just Better, he will use other weapons if needed (for example, when fighting Xenomorphs straight out of Alien, guns are clearly the way to go).
- Guns for Shiro. He knows his guns very, very well. He does take up a sword once or twice, though.
- Wonderful Life: Blatant rip off. Tomokato, finding Shiro less than mindful of bushido, considers what would've happenned had he not been there. That's when we find out the difference between Character Alignment Neutral and what could have been...
- Bonus points for having the Terminationer be from the alternate future.
- You Have Failed Me: The God-Emperor of the Universe has what amounts to an assembly line of Mooks standing on trapdoors being randomly shot, dumped, and replaced while the line is shouted at them. For the Evulz.
- Satan comes up with an appropriately-twisted, definitely unique variant of this when he's chewing out his high command in the last book.
- Zombie Apocalypse: A fallen Soviet satellite irradiates a graveyard, resulting in a horde of — yes! — Communist Zombies in Red Dawn of the Dead.