I am not a cat person. I never had cats for a pet though we have a bunch of dogs at home. I’ve always dreamed of owning a Golden Retriever or a Lab but since I live in a condo, that is just impossible. Of late, I’ve been in love with cats and it’s partly Maru and Sol‘s faults. So when I found out that GU GU THE CAT (グーグーだって猫である/Gou-Gou Datte Neko Dearu), which was recommended by @yuui1010, was, well, about a cat and it stars Ueno Juri, Morisanchu and Koizumi Kyoko, my weekend was booked.
(Photo from Gu Gu the Cat on FB.)
The story is about Asako, a mangaka in her 40s whose cat, Ca Va, died. The cat has been with her for 15 years but as she sadly declares…
“Cats live three times faster than humans.”
She gets another cat, Gu Gu, and he brings new life to Asako, her assistants Naomi (Juri) and the three musketeers (Morisanchu). Kase Ryo also appears as Asako’s younger love interest. This guy, imo, is one of themost underrated actors in Japan.
I wonder about the cats used in the film because Gu Gu grows up and he’s got those beautiful black stripes on his fur that make him look like a zebra or some kind of a black and white marble cake. So pretty.
(My screen grabs)
The cat was even there when the cast received a “Friendship Citizen Award” from the Kichijoji city council for portraying the city in a positive way.
Speaking of Kichijoji, it’s one of my favorite places in Japan. A Japanese friend who’s an indie film director (whose day job is at NHK) took me there last year. An interesting trivia is that she was born on March 11 and on the day the Great East Japan earthquake happened, she was in Kichijoji location hunting for a documentary and she was in a small tea shop, the same place she took me to. She reenacted that fateful afternoon for me and recalled she had to walk back to Tokyo because there were no trains. I remember Kichijoji during that visit as a bustling place filled with small charming shops. I would love to go back there some day soon and discover some more of the place.
Back to GU GU THE CAT, the film is typical Japanese: heartwarming, soft, lilting, low-key, with a touch of French cinema. The kind of film perfect for a relaxing weekend, if only it was not too mortal. But just the same, it’s a joy to watch. And might leave you wanting to have a cat for a pet. You’ve been warned.
Watch the trailer below:
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