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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ToshioUtsumi, TakeshiHirano, Takeuchi, JuzoUnno and MitsukoAsatani. 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.