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Manga: Cat's Eye
From left to right: Rui, Hitomi and Ai.

For other works by this name, go here.

Cat's Eye (original title キャッツ・アイ) is a manga by Tsukasa Hojo published between 1981 and 1985 and adapted to anime format from 1983.

The three Kisugi sisters are at first sight perfectly normal young ladies who run a cafe. In fact, they are the daughters of famous German artist Michael Heintz, who disappeared several years ago, and at night they turn into cat burglars. Their hope is to assemble their missing father's entire oeuvre in order to find clues as to his whereabouts.

Their modus operandi is to announce their forthcoming passage by leaving a Calling Card. Every time, the police will deploy forces in order to catch them, and every time they evade capture and make off with the painting they were after. It helps that the police detective assigned to their case is, in fact, middle sister Hitomi's boyfriend; while he has no idea of the sisters' nighttime activities, he unwittingly helps them stay one step ahead of law enforcement.

Now with a character page


Contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: The three sisters.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Mitsuko of all people found herself in this situation: she had to marry the son of a Corrupt Corporate Executive or her father's company (a small pharmaceutical company that did jobs for bigger companies) would lose all commissions. Luckily, Toshio found out and told the girls and Nagaishi, with the latter stealing all the market from the bigger one, starting with making a huge commission to Mitsuko's father.
  • Animal Motifs: Cats, of course.
  • Anti-Hero: Main heroines break law with good intentions - they want to find their father.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Toshio and Rui. Toshio once dressed as a female officer to try and get the drop on a crazed bomber, and was downright sexy. Rui, on the other hand, created the persona of a fictional male member of Cat's Eye, and was so beautiful that Mitsuko fell in love at first sight.
    • Also, Rui once disguised herself as Toshio, and, according to Mitsuko, was sexier than the original.
  • Big Bad: Cranaff, Michael Heintz's main disciple and twin brother , who, with the other disciples, stole most of his paintings and tried to kill him, forcing him on the run.
  • Bokukko: Ai is one of the early examples of this.
  • Bound and Gagged: The sisters sometimes use this to incapacitate marks during their heists, often so they can replace them. Lupin's Bride also does this to a French painter she ends up impersonating.
    • When Toshio is kidnapped and held on a cruise ship, he is tape-gagged briefly for not being quiet.
  • Brick Joke: Early on, Hitomi joked she should dye her hair blonde because Toshio prefers blonde women. Later in the manga, she actually did it, at least when being Cat's Eye.
  • But Not Too Foreign: From the picture above do you actually believe they have a German father?
    • Apparently, Hitomi looks the most European of the sisters due to her being virtually identical to her paternal grandmother.
  • Calling Card:
    • The sisters are so self-confident that they sign their thefts before they even commit them. Said confidence stems from their ability to get the police to spill the beans on how they plan to thwart them and lip-read what plans Mitsuko manage to not have spilled (she has the habit of discussing them on the roof of the police station, and Rui has a pair of binoculars)..
    • Their rival, a French thief named Lupin's Bride, has a similar calling card for her heists.
  • The Chessmaster: Rui by all accounts.
  • Christmas Cake: Rui fits the age part, but doesn't care in the slightest. On the other hand, Toshio and Hitomi have tried multiple times to find her a boyfriend...
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: The young male detective only lights up when he's really stressed, such as when the underage youngest sister pops up in bed with him (turns out she's a sleepwalker).
  • Classy Cat-Burglar: The sisters fit this trope to a T.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Hitomi is very jealous of Toshio... With the added problem her main rival in love is her own Cat's Eye alter ego.
  • Colorcoded For Your Convenience: The outfits the girls wear while robbing, in the color drawings, have Hitomi wearing a blue one, Rui a purple one and Ai a yellow one.
  • Combat Stilettos: The sisters' catsuits come with built-in high heels.
  • Creator Cameo: Hojo is one of the Cat's Eye patrons, and has even hit on Hitomi.
  • Da Chief: Utsumi's superior.
  • Dating Catwoman: Toshio and Hitomi, although the former remaining unaware of it is a crucial part of their relationship.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Asatani Mitsuko, Utsumi's colleague.
  • Does Not Like Guns: Toshio, in spite of being a crack shot even with a BFG he never used before. Explained due him once fooling around on the range and shooting himself in a leg, and being scared of holding guns ever since.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Ai and Hitomi do this in the first chapter of the manga, posing as a pair of museum guards they supposedly mugged off-panel.
    • The sisters disguise themselves as cops rather often, including a few times they disguised themselves as Mitsuko or even Toshio.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: The thief Kamiya was nicknamed 'The Rat' by the police. He protested the choice of nickname to the police.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Rui disguised as a man. Even Mitsuko fell for her, twice.
  • Frame-Up: One of their enemies once framed Cat's Eye for murder. The police saw through this easily (he had described Cat's Eye as tall men, while the police already knew they were women), but played along to both gather more evidence against him (they had already arrested him once for theft of some of Heintz's paintings and arson, but the evidence disappeared and the higher ups had ordered him free) and to try to get the girls careless, only moving for the arrest when they had enough evidence to pin him with murder, perjury and attempted murder of the Cats and after Ai decided she had enough of his shit and started tossing armored dogs around.
  • Femme Fatale: Subverted with Rui who looks like one but never acts as one, except when done on purpose for a heist or to prank someone.
    • Played straight with the above-mentioned Lupin's Bride.
    • Fille Fatale: Ai. She's rather popular with boys and even men, as befitting someone who looks like a younger Rui.
  • Generation Xerox: The Kisugi sisters are capable art critics, with Ai being the best and shaping up as a magnificent painter herself.
  • Hello, Nurse!: Rui. Even Toshio (who normally has no reaction to any girl but Hitomi) and Takeuchi (who is attracted by high school girls) have been shown to fall for her charms...
    • Ai is one in the making, looking just like a younger Rui.
  • Hero Antagonist: Toshio, Mitsuko, Da Chief, and other cops.
  • Hidden Depths: Ai can recognize a painting from a perfect copy at first sight.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: The sisters' cafe is called the Cat's Eye and is placed into sight distance from a police station. Only Mitsuko ever makes the connection, but is unable to prove it.
    • One episode has a rival thief committing an elaborate art heist....by posing as the painting's actual artist!
  • Identical Granddaughter: Rui and Ai look like their mother, while Hitomi is near-identical to their grandmother (the only differences being that the grandmother was blonde and green-eyed while Hitomi has black hair and eyes).
  • Idiot Hero: Toshio, although he is more competent than most guys that fit this trope.
  • Kavorka Man: Toshio. He's not too bad on the eyes, but the sheer number of girls attracted by him is not just excessive, it's enormous: apart Hitomi we have a girl he saved from a fire years earlier, Mitsuko, the entire Cat's Eye fan club in a women-only college, and even Ai and Rui have shown some attraction (it's not clear if the latter is in love with him or was just trying to help him get closer to Hitomi and have some fun at the same time, while Ai just finds him cute). Plus, in the eyes of his colleagues, one of the Cat's Eye (actually Hitomi in disguise).
  • Latex Perfection: The girls employ it, both in the traditional way and in the rarer use as gloves with fake fingerprints (Mitsuko waiting for her to touch something to get her fingerprints failed to notice it was a glove).
  • Lethal Chef: Mitsuko's usual cooking makes people ill. Her best dish is potentially lethal.
  • Love Triangle: A strange example: Hitomi and Toshio are together and later get engaged, but Toshio also has a crush on one of the Cat's Eye... Who is actually Hitomi. Gets even crazier when, due a series of circumstances, Hitomi starts dying her hair and wearing green lenses during the heists and tries to seduce Toshio as Cat's Eye.
  • Master of Disguise: The girls employ disguises and Latex Perfection quite often. On the other hand, Rui has some trouble interpreting male parts, resulting in Toshio being Mistaken for Gay the one time she replaced him.
  • Meaningful Name: The Kisugi sisters chose Cat's Eye as name of their cafe and gang because it's their father's favourite cocktail: every single heist of Cat's Eye is a call for him.
  • Meganekko: Mitsuko.
    • Blind Without 'Em: Not fully blind, but without glasses she can't tell Toshio from Hitomi in her Cat's Eye outfit and needs to be into kissing distance to see a face.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Both Toshio and Kizaki tend to get mistaken for gay rather often.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black: The sisters wore black vinyl outfits in the live-action movie made in the 90's. The costumes were inspired by Catwoman's look from Batman Returns.
  • Ms. Fanservice: All three would qualify but especially Rui.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Done to a pair of female wrestlers in one episode so that Hitomi and Ai can steal their costumes. Another episode sees one of the sisters doing this to a maid at a fancy party they plan on robbing.
  • Mukokuseki: The Eurasian Kisugi sisters look no different from the fully Japanese characters.
  • Mythology Gag: The Cat's Eye cafe resurfaces in City Hunter, owned by a Hitwoman With A Heart helped by her beloved Umibozu (also a Hitman with a Heart) and another female Phantom Thief (the latter joining the staff felt strangely familiar to the owner).
  • Nice Guy: Toshio.
  • Oblivious to Love: Mitsuko is a mild example: when Kamiya resigned to Hitomi being with Toshio, he proposed to Mitsuko, who, a week later, woke up realizing she had been proposed.
    • Kamiya is worse: when Mitsuko started reciprocating her feelings he got convinced she hated him.
  • Only Sane Woman: Mitsuko Asatani is the only member of the squad assigned to arrest Cat's Eye to understand the inherent wrongness of discussing security measures in a cafe. The average level of craziness only increased with the arrival of inspectors Hirano (a good shot carrying a BFG, and using it in all the most inappropriate situations) and Takeuchi (very short, but a capable martial artist. Also spends one third of his free time lecturing people on the True Japanese Spirit, another third trying to impress Ai, and the final third protesting he's not an Ephebophile), and they were only the first two madmen to join the squad...
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Apart a few stupid habits, the officers assigned to the Cat's Eye case are very competent and easily capable of dealing with most crooks, and their plans to catch Cat's Eye are very sound. It's just that the girls are even better...
    • A good example comes from a heist in a museum with homing cameras, with Toshio sure he'll finally discover Cat's Eye face but still making sure the room with the painting would seal itself as soon as anyone touched the painting, and didn't tell Hitomi about the latter. Hitomi snuck through the homing cameras thanks to a gadget from Ai temporarily neutralizing them, and took care of jamming the lock of the painting's room just in case, thus preventing the room from sealing itself when she grabbed the painting.
  • Panty Shot: Mitsuko gets one in episode 21. Ai ties a string attaching Mitsuko's skirt to the chief's jacket. As the chief walks away, Mitsuko's skirt lifts up, revealing her white panties.
  • Phantom Thief: The Kisugi sisters.
    • Kamiya is one too.
  • The Prankster: Rui, once in a while, will play some strange prank on the other characters, ranging from joking she'd like to marry a younger man to make a fake seduction attempt on Toshio.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Cat's Eye Special Capture Team, initially composed by Toshio Utsumi, Takeshi Hirano, Takeuchi, Juzo Unno and Mitsuko Asatani. It's the Springtime for Hitler version: all members of the team but Asatani had embarrassed the police in some way (most with particularly embarrassing failures against Cat's Eye, and Unno by pickpocketing pretty much everything just because) and were reassigned so their original teams wouldn't get embarrassed anymore, but they soon prove to be a group of Bunny Ears Lawyers and the only ones who have a chance against Cat's Eye, while supposedly elite squads would get humiliated even worse if they made ago at Cat's Eye.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: After one too many failures in arresting Cat's Eye (this time involving Toshio, Hirano and Takeuchi being fooled into acting as perverts), the officers assigned to capture Cat's Eye were taken out of their squad and assigned to a special team that would only act to arrest Cat's Eye, and transferred in the worst-kept part of their police station.
    • Reassignment Backfire: It's soon made clear that, without the ones Reassigned to Antarctica, the First Investigative Squad cannot compete with Cat's Eye, while the exiles can without the First Investigative Squad: Cat's Eye, to hit the prestige of the First Investigative Squad, challenged them to prevent her from stealing a diamond (with the new boss of the First neglecting to warn Toshio but him finding out anyway), and at the moment of the heist the entire squad was put asleep by a trick Cat's Eye had already used in the first chapter, but the Special Cat's Eye Capture Team showed up and not only nearly captured Hitomi as Cat's Eye but managed to take the diamond back.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Cranaff blowed up himself with the entire Cranaff syndicate to remove the main obstacle to the Kisugi sisters finding their father.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The girls of the Cat's Eye gang own a cafe called Cat's Eye placed near the police station assigned to catch them, and some of their regular patrons are cops (including the one trying to arrest them).
    • Another time they had the police call them to open the bank vault containing the painting they were trying to steal.
    • Manga only: when Cat's Eye didn't show up for a while the team to capture them was about to be disbanded, so Hitomi dyed herself blonde and wore green lenses to be identified as Cat's Eye (by that time one of the Cat's Eye had been identified as looking like Hitomi with blonde hair and green eyes) and walked in the police station to personally give Toshio a list of Cat's Eye future targets.
  • The Rival: Inspector Kizaki is this for the team assigned to arrest Cat's Eye, as he's the new boss of the squad they were previously assigned to, and to Hirano in particular, as they both have romantic feelings for Rui.
    • Kamiya is both a thieving rival for Cat's Eye and an occasional accomplice, helping out for some heists.
  • Roof Hopping: An early example.
  • Rule of Cool: Cat's Eye's heists invoke the trope to better spread their fame as part of their call for their father.
  • Russian Roulette: Rui is very good at this game, playing it with a henchman on board a cruise ship in episode 12.
  • Sarcastic Confession: Hitomi did one after winning a bet.
    Hitomi: "Give me the Yuki Onna statue."
    Alpha Bitch who lost the bet: "What! Never! I'd prefer giving it to Cat's Eye!"
    Hitomi: "Really? For I am Cat's Eye..."
    Alpha Bitch: "Bullshit!"
  • Secret Identity: The Kisugi sisters work hard to hide their identity as Cat's Eye and as the daughters of Michael Heintz (the latter done while sending a coded message to him, as Cat's Eye is the name of a cocktail he invented and that only his daughters and his closest friends knew of). Also, Kamiya as the Rat.
    • Secret Identity Identity: Happens to Hitomi in the manga: after creating the identity of the Blonde Cat's Eye (actually Hitomi with dyed hair and green lenses) to try and seduce Toshio into joining Cat's Eye, Hitomi slowly realizes that she acts completely different as the Blonde Cat's Eye, and both personas are in love with Toshio and jealous of each other. It's solved only at the end of the manga, when Hitomi confesses to Toshio that she is the Blonde Cat's Eye and both her and the Hitomi he knows are parts of her.
  • Serious Business: Paintings for Cat's Eye. Smuggle, damage, steal or counterfait any painting without a good excuse and the girls will have you exposed, humiliated and arrested, usually with a crapton of property damage to ruin you financially in the process.
  • Shipper on Deck: Both Rui and Ai work hard to get Hitomi and Toshio together.
  • Shout-Out: Works that Cat's Eye references are...
    • Got one in Totally Spies! (really), given that Alex is an affectionate rip-off of Aļ. Much more blatant for French viewers, since Ai's name in the dub was Alex (for "Alexia").
    • In an early episode of Cat's Eye, we see another mysterious thief, known as Lupin's Bride.
      • Doubles as a Shout Out to Lupin III for Italian viewers, as Lupin's Bride voice actress in the dub was the same as Fujiko.
    • To fake having a broken leg, Rui summoned Black Jack. Thankfully, she's rich enough to pay the bill...
  • Spy Catsuit: Each of the sisters has her own, of a slightly different cut from the other two.
  • Sticky Situation: Ai falls into one in one of the episodes.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The girls are surprisingly prone to use dangerous amounts of explosive when they can get away with it without harming anyone. It started with the girls blowing up all the windows in the target museum to distract the police, and continued with the likes of a pissed Ai using well-directed low-powered explosions to toss around armored dogs or the girls using copious amounts of plastic explosive to penetrate a bank vault (Kamiya, who was helping, called them maniacs halfway during the job. Then Ai pulled out the bazooka...).
    • Nagaishi got in the act: when he provided Hitomi with a racing car for a heist, he added missile launchers.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Toshio
  • Those Two Guys: Hirano and Takeuchi.
  • Tomboy: Ai.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: The three sisters embody it to a "T" with Hitomi as the wife, Ai as the Child and Rui as the Seductress.
  • The Trickster: The girls, especially Rui. Who has hit on Toshio just for fun.
  • True Companions: The special team assigned to capture Cat's Eye.
  • Uncle Pennybags: Nagaishi, an old friend of the girls' father, is very rich, and willing to spend enormous sums of money to help them in their heists (for a heist he procured a plane and a golf club to land it), or even to spoil them rotten (he once bought all the tickets to a concert so that nobody would disturb the girls and their still alive parents. And did it again for a date between Toshio and Hitomi, and hired and personally led a team of trigger-happy mercenaries to keep interlopers away when they went to a beach).
  • Unitard Of Power: Despite some sites describing their costumes as leotards, they actually look closer to unitards.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: See Anti-Hero.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Lingerie?: Toshio is scared by female underwear due a childhood trauma.
  • Wrench Wench: Ai.
  • Yandere: Spoofed by Mitsuko: after being proposed by Kamiya and noticed him being a Casanova Wannabe, she told him they'd die together and shot him... With a water gun.

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alternative title(s): Cats Eye
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