Fans of 3D CG are being treated to a free 20-minute episode of military action drama “Cat Shit One” before it hits Japan’s cinemas. The episode, which details the exploits of a pair of commando bunnies who attempt to spring hostages from a Middle Eastern jail, can be viewed on YouTube until Sept. 20.
Adapted from the original “Cat Shit One” (“Apocalypse Meow” in the States) manga created by Motofumi Kobayashi, the 3D version moves the action away from the Vietnam War to a more modern setting. As with the original, all the characters are animals, with the Arabic enemy being depicted as bumbling camels – the reason our heroes, plucky Packy and panicky Botasky, of the Cat Shit One team are rabbits is because the Japanese word for rabbit, usagi, when written in the roman alphabet becomes USA GI (geddit?).
The 3D graphics are flawless and in scenes that don’t contain anthropomorphic animals with machine guns, it almost feels as if you’re watching real footage of the desert. Director Kazuya Sasahara put in some comical touches that made me giggle: When Packy and Botasky are lying on a knoll staking out the prison, their little fluffy tails twitch cutely while they plan out how to take care of the enemy. Military buffs will eat up the action sequences which, while not bloody, have quite a raw feel to them.
This isn’t the first time an animation has been released for free on the web before its theatrical release. “Eve no Jikan (Time of Eve),” an animation movie by Yasuhiro Yoshiura about a café for robots, was broken up into episodes and made available for free on Yahoo!, stirring up lots of interest and garnering numerous fans before it hit the cinemas in March this year.