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Black Cat Detectivenote , based on the novels by Zhu Zhixiang, is a Chinese animated children's television show made from 1984 to 1987. It's beloved by children and adults alike.

The show largely consists of Hei Mao kicking ass and taking names. Hei Mao is not unlike Dirty Harry, except that instead of being a cop who is committed to justice but not the rules, he's committed to justice in a world that has no rules. Hei Mao has a Badass Crew of other cats and pigeons who are very competent and disciplined. The other most frequent character seems to be known only as OneEar, an evil mouse who wears a bandage on his head because he lost his left ear during a police raid. The mice, on the whole, are thieving, evil, dirty and greedy.

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The show is quite different from American children's shows because characters, both good and bad, frequently get permanently killed as animal behaviours are usually plot points for this show. Just one example would be the scene where a couple of baby animals get eaten alive by an eagle.

The animation series ended on a cliffhanger, which wouldn't be continued until the movie came out in 2014, 20 years later.


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Tropes:

  • Animated Adaptation: It's adapted from the novels by Zhu Zhixiang.
  • Anyone Can Die: Bad guys, innocent bystanders and even some of the good guys.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Hei Mao is an excellent shot and typically the one seen actually killing villains. He's physically strong as well, judging from how he pries cage bars apart with his bare hands in the first episode.
  • Badass Crew: Hei Mao Jing Zhang's subordinates are shown to be very competent and disciplined. If Hei Mao orders them to do something, they will do that, period.
  • Car Fu: Hei Mao and his men can do Motorbike Fu and then Helicopter Fu.
  • Cats Are Mean: Zigzagged. Hei Mao and his crew can be quite brutal in their methods, but they never attack anyone who doesn't deserve it, and when an innocent is in danger, nothing will stop them from rescuing the helpless victim.
  • Cool Bike: All members of the police force ride an extremely cool bike that can also transform into an even cooler flying bike.
  • Civilized Animal: The cast exhibits many human traits like wearing clothes, walking upright, and living in houses. At the same time, they also retain some of their species' natural behaviours like the mole teaching her children to hunt for insects and the mantis eating her mate.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: When the elephant... eats... bricks... it made sense at the time, okay?
  • Commissar Cap: Hei Mao wears one, making it clear that he's in charge.
  • Crapsaccharine World: It's a cute and colorful world where the local bad guys are ready to rob, kidnap, murder or eat the locals. The only reason this isn't Crapsack World is because of Hei Mao and his men.
  • Dirty Coward: OneEar and the other mice. They taunt the police every chance they get but run with soiled pants the moment Hei Mao fires a shot.
  • Ear Ache: OneEar got his name at the end of the pilot, after Black Cat shot his left ear into a stump.
  • Edutainment Show: Every episode, Hei Mao is sent to investigate mysteries that are based on actual animal behavior.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The protagonist is a black cat police detective.
  • Extreme Omnivore: In one episode, a hippo, a boar and an elephant raid a village to eat their adobe bricks.
  • A Father to His Men: Hei Mao is shown to care deeply about his men. When he finds a dead officer in the fifth episode, Hei Mao holds his body with tears in his eyes.
  • Funny Animals: The cats don't act much differently from human police officers. While they spend much of the show pursuing mice, it's because they're criminals, rather than any animal instinct.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Averted by Hei Mao's men, as they always wear their safety helmets, and their headgear actually protects them from harm. Played straight with Hei Mao, as he wears a cool Commissar Cap instead.
  • Homing Projectile: OneEar seems to get his name from the occasion when Hei Mao Jing Zhang shot a bullet at him, and missed. But the bullet, actually curves in mid-air, chases him, and then pierces his ear, causing it to fall off.
  • Mantis Mating Meal: The fourth episode has the police led by Black Cat investigating a crime scene in an insect community where a young praying mantis is brutally murdered on his wedding night, and the series' recurring villain, the One-Eared Mouse who's reported stealing food from the insects, is a prime suspect. But it turns out One-Ear isn't the culprit, said mantis was actually killed and devoured by his bride.
  • The Movie: A movie was made in 2015 called Black Cat Detective: Green Star.
  • Not Me This Time: After the first three episodes had OneEar as a reoccurring villain, when the fourth episode has an incident where a praying mantis gets brutally murdered on his wedding night, a day after OneEar is spotted lurking through the mantis' community and stealing corn from them, sure enough everybody is quick to assume OneEar is the killer. He isn't.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Hei Mao does not jump to conclusions and is willing to take circumstances into consideration before meting out punishment. For example, in one episode, a female praying mantis is discovered to have killed and devoured her groom. Hei Mao decides to let her go because he knows she was only following her species' natural mating instincts.
  • Rescue Romance: In the fourth episode, this is how the mantis groom meets his bride, a fellow mantis warrior, by throwing his sword into a random locust about to ambush her from behind. They briefly form a Battle Couple taking down several enemies, and at the end of the day he then proposed to her... sadly it doesn't last due to mantis biology.
  • Shown Their Work: During one episode, the police is called to investigate a murder. Once Hei Mao's crew arrive, they immediately isolate the crime scene, then carefully take pictures of the body and collect evidence before bagging the victim's remains and taking them to the police HQ to run a forensic analysis to determine the cause of death.
  • The Swarm: The fourth episode has a swarm of locusts devouring the fields where a community of mantises lives, and the local mantis warriors have to defend their crops in a lengthy battle. Hei Mao's arrival turns the battle around as his men assists the mantis warriors by incinerating the invading locusts with their weaponry.
  • Your Size May Vary: The sizes of the larger and smaller animals like the elephant and the mice can be pretty inconsistent between scenes. For example, in one scene, the mice are up to the cats' waists, and in another, they're around the size of Hei Mao's boot.

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