Thursday, January 23, 2014

Anime Review: Felidae

FELIDAE: “I’ve got a story to tell, and it’s not gonna be pretty”

Francis is a new cat in the neighbourhood, but even before he could settle, he finds himself in the middle of a mystery that involves a series of cat murders. Together with his newfound friend Bluebeard, he tries to track down who is behind the killings.

What I really like about Felidae is that it doesn’t waste time in exposition. It immediately jumps to the conflict. Sure, exposition is important in storytelling, but Felidae’s plot elements are the kind that doesn’t need it. The real pillar that holds Felidae’s story is the mystery behind it, so there is no need to establish plot points.

Speaking of the mystery, it is quite complex. That’s a good thing, because it prevents the viewers from prematurely cracking it. The thing that gives it complexity is how the threads of it are embedded in certain plot points. Add the fact that there are certain threads that lead to the wrong culprits, and it becomes even more complex.

Even though the mystery is the driving force of the story, its execution is what gives it flavour. The use of eerie dream and nightmare sequences, portrayal of sexual themes, and incorporation of blood and gore, are effective in giving off a sinister atmosphere. They become even more disturbing as the story progresses.

Other departments that give Felidae a sinister atmosphere are the music and animation -- or the art design in general. The utilization of environmental noises and silence is also quite useful.

I also like the characters. They trigger different impressions. Francis, Felicity, and Pascal are the intelligent ones. Bluebeard and Kong are the street-smart ones. What I really like about this distinction is that it is also obvious in the dialogues of the characters. Considering that this is a mystery, meaning that it is plot-driven, it is nice to see characters that are actually distinctive. It just means that they are not just mere objects of perspective to the unfolding of the mystery. They actually have character.

Overall, Felidae is of above average quality. The story is well-paced. The mystery cannot be cracked easily. The characters are interesting. The execution in general gives a sinister atmosphere. But the best part that really makes Felidae an interesting watch is the ending. This is the point that the viewers will realize that this is not a story about mindless gore and mystery. It is a story of being human, being animalistic, and most of all, being hopeful that despite all the catastrophes of life, there are better things to come.

Additional Note: Okay, this is not Japanese anime, but I still labelled it Anime Review to limit the number of labels in the blog. So there.


  1. Mysteries, particularly complex ones, are something that I always, so I will have to watch Felidae sometime. I do not believe I have actually watched much animation not from Japan or an English speaking county, but maybe I will give this German flick a watch. Great review as always!


    1. I enjoy character-driven stories the most, but from time to time I also enjoy plot-driven stories, particularly mysteries, as well. I I haven't watched much animation not from Japan too! And perhaps now I have to, to expand the scope of the blog as well. Thanks!