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Manga / Cat's Eye

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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 (of City Hunter fame) published between 1981 and 1985 and adapted to anime format by TMS Entertainment from 1983 to 1985.

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.


In 2019, it was announced that the girls will be making a guest appearance in City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes, marking their first on-screen appearance in decades, complete with their original voice actors....sorta note 

The first season is now streaming on Retro Crush and Amazon Prime Video.

Has nothing to do with the 1985 film.


Contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: Lupin's Bride. In the manga, the girls find out her plan rather easily (since she doesn't resemble the woman she's impersonating at all), and Hitomi casually dispatches her with a single blow before stealing her identity and eventually turning her over to the police. The TV adaptation portrays her as more cunning and capable, and fixes the identity theft problem by having her actually use a lifelike mask to impersonate the art expert, with Hitomi only finding out the truth because of a coincidence the impostor hadn't foreseen. She even manages to turn the tables on the sisters after her men capture Ai, and is about to kill the three until she learns who their father is. And most importantly, she manages to evade capture this time.
  • Amazon Brigade: 3 Action Girls that kick ass? Yeah, they fit this.
  • 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. They are cat burglars in the series.
  • Anti-Hero: The main characters are romance-centered thieves who break the law in order to find their father.
  • Art Evolution: Tsukasa Hojo's tract becomes much better as the series goes on.
    • The designs in the anime also become a little more animator-friendly come episode 37.
  • 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.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Not fully blind, but without glasses Mitsuko can't tell Toshio from Hitomi in her Cat's Eye outfit and needs to be into kissing distance to see a face. And, sure enough, one chapter starts with her losing her glasses when trying to ambush.
  • 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 art expert she ends up impersonating.
    • When Toshio is kidnapped and held on a cruise ship, he is tape-gagged briefly for not being quiet.
  • Brand X: Ghostbrother in Episode 42.
  • 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. Even then, it took a long time before Toshio even asked her if her father was Japanese, when he began to suspect her of being Cat's Eye after realizing that she and Cat's Eye were virtually identical.
  • 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, which is separated from the cafe only by a public park, and Rui has a pair of binoculars). That, of course, when the force doesn't convene at the cafe itself within full earshot of the sisters.
    • Their rival, a French thief named Lupin's Bride, has a similar calling card for her heists.
  • Chick Magnet: Toshio. 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).
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Color-Coded 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.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The final episode of the anime sees Ai writing a school play about Cat's Eye, while Rui and Hitomi try to steal a rare diamond from a famous actress named Noriko Kurokawa. They're thwarted by a high-tech, computerized jewelry vault, and realize that they need to somehow lure Noriko out into the open and swap her diamond with a fake without anyone realizing it. Through sheer coincidence, they find out that Noriko is an alumna of Ai's school, and that all former students are eligible to act in school productions regardless of age. All it takes is some convincing from Ai, and Noriko joins the show and offers up her diamond as a prop. From there, the sisters are able to replace the diamond under the guise of it all being part of the play.
  • Creator Cameo: Hojo is one of the Cat's Eye patrons, and has even hit on Hitomi.
  • Dancing Theme: Both endings features Cat's Eye doing aerobics.
  • Dating Catwoman: Toshio and Hitomi, although the former remaining unaware of it is a crucial part of their relationship.
    • Hirano and Takeuchi instantly crush on Rui and Ai respectively. Notably, Takeuchi's infatuation is seen as unhealthy by the rest of the cast since, well, Ai is still a teenager.
  • The protagonists themselves have traces of it, which is expected since Hojo Tsukasa takes influences from the trope. Ai in particular, might be this or a Fille Fatale as she's rather popular with boys and even some men.
  • 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.
  • Gratuitous English: The opening theme. Despite being primarily in Japanese, every other stanza has at least one or two words in English, and English loanwords were used in two instances of the song. And then there's the fact that the chorus ends on the extremely memorable "We got you! Mysterious girl!"
  • Generation Xerox: The Kisugi sisters are capable art critics, with Ai being the best and shaping up as a magnificent painter herself.
  • Good vs. Good: The cops are unambiguously heroic, while the thieves have good intentions, and frequently act genuinely heroic — for example, they once rescued children from burning house, and also, they saved the detectives from truly evil criminals a few times.
  • Head-Turning Beauty:
  • 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 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).
  • Instant Sedation: The sisters use special knockout spray dispensers on their victims. The spray is potent enough to instantly render people unconscious, but without any negative side effects.
  • Intercourse with You: The second ending theme, Hot Stuff:
    When I hear those words that you whisper
    flowing so sweetly in my ear.
    I love you baby, take me baby.
    Don't stop, let's get in gear.
  • 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.
  • Local Hangout: The Cat's Eye Cafe is this for the police force, even when it's just Toshio (who actually lives there with Hitomi), Hirano and Takeuchi.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: This hits Hitomi pretty often due to Toshio's fixation in catching Cat's Eye without ever knowing Hitomi herself is one of them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • The final episode has an interesting double example. Rui portrays a maid in the Play Within The Show who is tied up and impersonated by Cat's Eye, and it's later revealed that Rui had drugged and taken the place of Noriko, one of the play's stars.
    • There's a lot of times this is implied (such as the sisters impersonating guards, police officers, or other uniformed personnel) but not explicitly shown.
  • Mukokuseki: The Eurasian Kisugi sisters look no different from the fully Japanese characters. In addition, Toshio is said to greatly resemble Michael Heintz, the sisters' father... even though Heintz is German and Toshio is Japanese.
  • Mythology Gag: The Cat's Eye cafe resurfaces in City Hunter, owned by a Hitwoman With A Heart helped by her beloved Umibozu and another female Phantom Thief (the latter joining the staff felt strangely familiar to the owner).
    • According to Word of God the manga character Kaibara is not the Shin Kaibara from City Hunter, just a lookalike with both legs paralyzed (Shin Kaibara lost only one leg).
    • The City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes film takes it a step further and has the Kisugi sisters still being the actual owners of the café.
  • 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 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 blows 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.
    • In the final episode of the anime, Ai writes a play about Cat's Eye, and casts Hitomi in the lead role. Even after it's discovered that the real Cat's Eye has used the play as a cover to steal a valuable diamond from one of the lead actresses, Utsumi's boss doesn't even consider that Hitomi might have had something to do with it.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: Both the original manga and the anime are hit with this. Most noticeable in the manga however, where after the first 70 or so chapters, the tone shifts towards a romantic ensemble comedy as opposed to an action manga, the heists staged by the girls become rarer to the point of nearing The Artifact territory and the heists that do appear become Lighter and Softer courtesy of Hitomi's recurring masquerade as the Blonde Cat's Eye.
  • 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.
  • 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!"
  • School Play: The final episode revolves around one. It gets very meta when Ai casts Hitomi and Toshio as themselves.
  • 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 Aï. 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...
  • Spandex, Latex, or Leather: The sisters' suits are spandex in the original, in the remake, they look like rubber or latex.
  • Spy Catsuit: Each of the sisters has her own, of a slightly different cut from the other two.
  • 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.
  • Thanks for the Mammary: How did the police find out that Cat's Eye was a gang composed of women? Easy: in the first chapter Toshio managed to get the jump on Hitomi during a heist, and, while unable to see her face due to darkness, he accidentally groped her breast.
  • 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.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Toshio is scared by female underwear due a childhood trauma.
  • 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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