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Chi’s Sweet Home

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Referring to Chi’s Sweet Home as “cute” would be a major understatement that inaccurately depicts the true experience that this 104 episode anime provides a viewer. This series doesn’t provide you with moments that just make you go “Aww! That’s Cute” but will instead leave you with a consistent warm fuzzy feeling as you are amused and charmed through the titular kitten’s naive adventures and experiences.

Chi’s Sweet Home follows an innocent young kitten who would later be named. During a walk with her mother and siblings, she becomes separated from them and cannot find her way back home. All by herself, she is eventually found and taken in by the Yamada family, who face the predicament of living in an apartment complex that doesn’t allow pets. While initially planning to find someone to care for their new furry friend, their attachment becomes so strong that they decide to adopt her. This series is therefore primarily about Chi as she begins to adapt to the new lifestyle, learning new things and meeting new people (Both human and animal) – and the occasional attempt by the Yamada’s to hide Chi’s existence from the landlord and other residents.

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Each episode comes in at only a couple of minutes in length, and while sceptic about the length at first, it is one of the reasons that I think Chi’s Sweet Home works so well. Two to three minutes may not sound like much when a majority of anime come with running at 20-30 minutes apiece, however in those brief moments the writers articulately provide a look at one small event in Chi’s life without any pointless overlapping. There are a few cases where a cluster of episodes form an arc or events from earlier episodes are references, but a sizable number of them focus on just the one issue: from Chi experiencing nightmares to her first whole day home alone.

There is nothing complex about this series, and it provides what would be a perfect definition of “light watching”. Some episodes will make you laugh or giggle, some will make you just smile, and to be fair; a couple might have you reaching towards to skip to the next episode. Most importantly, it is a series that you could watch with younger siblings of any age, and if it were English dubbed wouldn’t be out of place having an episode aired every afternoon on ABC2. The simplistic dialogue will appeal to younger audiences, while adult anime fans should still find plenty to appreciate throughout the (approximately) 300 minute experience. On the mention of dialogue, the localization team also added a childish flair to the English subtitles which was an unnecessary but nevertheless cute touch.

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Chi’s Sweet Home features animation and designs by studio Madhouse, known for releasing a plethora of titles over the years (Including Cardcaptor Sakura, Casshern Sins, Monster and collaborative roles on Mamoru Hosoda films). Ultimately the production value is lower than other recent anime series, in addition to the 4:3 aspect ratio which is almost never found in new releases nowadays. However for the experience that Chi’s Sweet Home provides to viewers, these issues can for the most part be overlooked. Chis is an adorably designed cat with everything she does being well animated, and the visuals are just as cute as the stories that complement them.

Understandable for a series this niche, this collection doesn’t feature any additional features of extra content. In some ways it is possible to consider the lower price point of just $34.95 AUD an extra in itself, with most Siren Visual DVD’s of the same runtime coming in at approximately $49.95 AUD.

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With even more complex anime series appearing on the market nowadays, it is sometimes refreshing to sit back and enjoy something simplistic. If I were coming home from a stressful day of studying and had to reach for something to help me relax, my hand would now likely grab this DVD off the shelf. While not for everybody, Chi’s Sweet Home is a simple yet entertaining and well thought-out series that is most of all…. so damn cute!

But do you want to know the best thing? We will have the season two out before Christmas!

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Sam
Founder of The Otaku's Study. I have been exploring this labyrinth of fandom these last fourteen years, and still nowhere close to the exit yet. Probably searching for a long time to come.

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