Samurai Pizza Cats â?? Retrospective

I wasnâ??t fortunate enough to have seen Samurai Pizza Cats when it originally aired. I knew it existed, but I sort of passed it off as yet another anthropomorphic animal action cartoon trying to cash-in on the popularity of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (like Street Sharks, Biker Mice from Mars or the COWboys of Moo Mesa). I didnâ??t give it a fair chance until many years after the initial run, and I have to admit, this show really doesnâ??t get enough credit.

Samurai Pizza Cats was imported from Japan, â??translatedâ? (though I use that term loosely) from the original version called Kyattou Ninden TeyandÄ?, which sort of-kind of translates to â??Surprise! Cat Team Ninja Legendâ?ŠWha?â? There are a bunch of untranslatable Japanese puns and idioms in that title, so donâ??t take my translation as the gospel. Americaâ??s version of the show was more a parody of the original series than an actual proper translation. Supposedly, the translators and script writers were given the raw tapes of the Japanese series, became completely baffled by the shear volume of Japanese-centric puns and gags, and just decided to do a â??Mystery Science Theaterâ? parody instead. The result is brilliant.

While â??OMG Kitty Klan Ninja Legend WTFâ? was a pretty straight-forward Childrenâ??s anime/glorified toy commercial, the English version was a fair bit more clever. The characters are self-aware that theyâ??re in a cartoon and that nothing is real, and as a result, they break the fourth wall on a frequent basis. Theyâ??re constantly making gags about how violent the show is and that theyâ??ll sue the producers over their injuries, or when a cartoon character is acting â??sexyâ? one of the boys will remark at how pretty she looksâ?Šfor a hand-painted drawing on a sheet of paper. They also toss in boatloads of pop culture references, taking potshots as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rather frequently (in the first episode, a pagoda collapses and, according to the Narrator, demolishes a â??Retirement Home for Elderly Ninja Turtlesâ?). They also toss in some references that are bound to go over the heads of a kidâ??s audience, like jabs at Green Peace or the ineffectiveness of the Vice President.

For the full review with video links, Click Here!

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