Samurai Pizza Cats, known as Cat Ninja Legend Teyandee (キャッ党 忍伝 てやんでえ Kyatto Ninden Teyandee?) in Japan, is an anime series produced by Tatsunoko Productions and Sotsu Agency. The series was aired from February 1, 1990 to February 12, 1991, totaling up to 54 episodes.
The anime was introduced to western audiences in 1991 by Saban. The stars of the show are three anthropomorphic cats who protect the city of Little Tokyo from crime while making a living running a pizzeria.
In both the Japanese and English versions, the plot of most episodes follows a villain of the week formula with a strong continuity in the form of two part episodes and references to previous episodes.
In the Japanese version, the series takes place in an area called "Edoropolis" (Based on the "Edo period" and the city of Metropolis), which is populated by "animaloids" (animal androids). In the English dub, the setting of the show is “Little Tokyo”, a city that is an amalgamation of Japanese culture (a spectrum its feudal system with contemporary 1991 culture) populated by cybernetic anthropomorphic animals.
At the head of government is Shogun Tokugawa (Emperor Fred), an insane figurehead who is mentally disabled. The actual leadership comes from his daughter, Usahime Tokugawa (Princess “Vi” Violet) and a council headed by Ko'on-no-Kami (Seymour Cheese), an ambitious prime minister who constantly plots to usurp the Emperor’s position with the help of Gennarisai (Jerry Atric), his trusted advisor and Karamaru (Bad Bird), the leader of an army of ninja crows.
Part of the Council is Wankoo-No-Kami (Al Dente), Commander of the Palace Guard, who constantly uncovers the prime minister’s plots but can never claim treason because of plausible deniability. Instead he calls the Secret Ninja Team, Nyankī (Samurai Pizza Cats) (Nyankī, a portmanteau of nyaa ("meow") and Yankee), a superhero trio who moonlight as staff at a local pizzeria, to uncover and interrupt Koon's plans that usually come in the form of robots and elaborate schemes.
Unique to the English version is that supposedly due to lost translations, the comedic tone of the series was further exaggerated by releasing it as a dubbed parody. Throughout the series, characters and the narrator constantly break the fourth wall by commenting on the Japanese attributes such as the written language, sight gags, and complaints to the writers and producers regarding the strange plots.
- Executive Producer: Hitoshi Hazime Guri
- Draft: Mihara Todoroki
- Planning: Inagaki Shigemitsu (Sotsu) Narishima Hiroki (Tatsunoko Productions)
- Series Composition: 真頼 Seki Shima, taking a dig red
- Character Design: Aizawa Masahiro
- Design draft Animaroid: Wed heart knowledge
- Animaroid design settings: Suzuki Noritaka
- Opening Animation: Suda Akira Yuki
- Music: Kawai Kenji
- Art Director: Arai Torao
- Director of Photography: Tadashi Tadashi Miyakozima
- Sound Director: Tanaka Hideyuki
- Production staff: Koizumi Syouzi
- Assistant Producer: Ookura Toshihiro
- Producer: Mutsuo Shimizu (Tokyo), Ryuu Masakatsu Koizumi (Sotsu), Ueda Motoo (Tatsunoko Productions)
- Chief Director: Satoshi Shima Kunioka
- Video Check: Kaoru Yabana, Mawatari Hisashi, Himeno Miyuki, Yamano Kazuo, Ishimaru Miyuki, Miyawaki Kazuhiro, Ryoichi Kishimoto, Li Ran Kaoru
- Coloring: Katayose Tieko, beauty Huruhashi Sato, Satoko Takeshi, Kubota Mitsutoshi, M. Noguchi, Nishiyama Makoto, Kihara Etsuo, Mihashi Youko
- Inspection: 三Ke尻 Yasuhiko, S. Hisashi Toyo, Moriyama Masako, Satoko Takeshi, Kihara Etsuo, Kotani Naoko
- Art: Koyama Toshihisa
- Art charge: 水野尾 Hazime Makoto, Tahara Masako
- Special Effects: Takao Tanaka, Kihara Etsuo, Tomii Hutoshi, Nishiyama Makoto, Kubota Mitsutoshi, Oota Noriyuki
- Background: The Eye Productions, CLOVER-ART, beetle workshop
- Photographer: anime friend, Ogata production, security Nishimura, Sanko production, ACC Studios Hara Tani, Rumi old studio, studio partner, Tatsunoko Pro, coral reef
- Edit: Miki Yukiko, Yoshida Tihiro Kazuo INOUE, Yuko Watase, Akiko Ohara, Akio Satsukawa, Uetake Masayuki, Kuniyoshi Nobuyuki
- Record: Ikegami Makoto 照
- Recording Assistant: Shibue Hiroyuki
- Selection: Audio Tanaka
- Effect: Konno Yasuyuki (production swirler)
- Recording Studio: Tubac
- Main Title: Sawa Hideki cedar
- Subtitle: Maki Pro
- Developing: Toukyou processing station
- Production Desk: Tsutomu Sugiura, Koizumi Shiyouzi, Inokuti Noriaki, Katsumi Toyo, Yada Takuo, Shibata Masaru
- Production Progress: Watanabe Yasuhiro, Sugiura Tsutomu, K. Morita, Maki Tree Sun, Hosono Koutarou gate right E Taya Kiyoshi Mori, Aiba Satoru, Abe Masami, Takasuga Katsumi, Ootsuki Hirokazu, Yoshida Shiyouiti, useless husband out of the round hole treatment Tazawa
- Production Cooperation: Monsieur onion, videos Oriental random Mie studio, shafts, Taj studio, laboratory Tatsunokoanime
- Production Cooperation: Furedo animation studio old Rumi
- Producers: TV Tokyo, Sotsu Agency, Tatsunoko Pro
- Copyright: Hazime Tooru, Tatsunoko
The theme song for the English dub naturally differs from the original, a common practice for dubbing at the time. In keeping with the parodic nature of the show, the lyrics of the new theme song make a number of references to American pop culture. For example, the lyrics "they've got more fur than any turtle ever had" subtly imply that the Samurai Pizza Cats are equal to the similarly themed cartoon series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (but turtles don't exactly have fur or even hair), while the lyrics "they're stronger than old cheese, tougher than dirt" refer to an advertising slogan once used for the industrial cleaner Ajax. The theme song also contains the line "As soon as someone finds the script, we might begin the show", which can be interpreted as a reference to the lack of transcripts.
Michael Airington, one of the show's writers, also sang the theme song. According to Andy Thomas, Airington had a few drinks before the recording session for the song started, and as a result, accidentally repeated some of the lyrics (i.e., "this cat gets down down with a love hang over"). Airington recorded this doing his Paul Lynde voice.
- A Time for Beautiful Days (おっとどっこい日本晴れ) by Rena Yazawa (opening)
- To Be Yourself by Reina Yazawa (ending)
- Battle In Flash by Ami Itabashi (insert 1)
- Teyandee Special Express by Ami Itabashi (insert 2)
Both the opening and ending songs were composed by Etsuko Yamakawa, Takeshi Ike and Anju Mana and sung by Reina Yazawa. Ami Itabashi, the singer of the ending song of Izumo OAV, sang the insert songs.
Samurai Pizza Cats has been broadcast in Australia and New Zealand, as well as various countries in Africa, Eurasia and the Americas, most notably the India, United Kingdom, Spain, Finland, France, Italy, Poland, Greece, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Chile, Peru, Panama, Hong Kong, Thailand, Mexico, Brazil, Israel, Kenya, South Africa, Sweden, Armenia, and the United States, from 1991 onwards.
Of the 54 episodes that were originally produced in Japan, 52 were translated into English. The two untranslated episodes were clip shows that did little to further the series' plot.
The series has a video release in Japan, though it only spans up to 20 episodes. Being enumerated as these causes has lost the master tapes from which the broadcasting station in the United States was being lent by Japan for broadcasting. A French language version is also available.[dead link] An English DVD appeared on Amazon.com back in 2004, containing five episodes of the series. A three-DVD release claiming to be the first box set appeared on Amazon.com in 2007.
In 1991, Tecmo published a video game based on the original Japanese version, Kyattou Ninden Teyandee, for the Famicom. It was released as a Japanese-only release, but was bootlegged outside Japan under the title Ninja Cat. Players take the role of the three main cats and otasuke (Rescue Team) members, of whom can be switched to at any time and have their own special abilities to progress through the game. The game features most of the characters in the series as well as an additional villain, a mysterious scientist who shows up later on in the game and "appears" to team up with Ko'on-no-kami (the Big Cheese).
All manner of toys and model kits were released in both Japan and Europe, the latter usually being reboxed versions of the prior. Known toys include the following:
- Action figures for the Samurai Pizza Cats and the Rescue Team. The Japanese originals came as model kits comparable to today's Gundam toys, while the European figures came pre-assembled.
- Both large and small (Gachapon-sized), rubber-like figures.
- Playsets for the smaller figures, including the Great Catatonic and the pizza parlor.
Aside from two official books, a number of doujinshi was also made in the early nineties. However, the manga does not follow the TV series story like at Ko'on-no-kami (Big Cheese) never left Little Tokyo after the comet incident (final episode) instead he remains at Little Tokyo and plot another scheme. Speedy is in love with Lucille not Polly. The Manga is really a "What If" story. In other words the Manga is World B where the Big Cheese never left Little Tokyo after the comet incident. The TV Series is World A is where Big Cheese and Jerry Atric left Little Tokyo after the comet incident.
- "キャッ党 忍伝 てやんでえ". Tatsunoko Productions. Retrieved 2009-08-16.(Japanese)
- Cats Legend Teyandee
- Ze manga - anime - hentai - DVD manga - Samourai Pizza Cat's - Partie 1
- Amazon.com: Samurai Pizza Cats: Movies & TV
- Samurai Pizza Cats Boxset 1 (3 DVD) (1995)
- LSI Game at Princess Violet's toybox.
- Princess Violet's toybox
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- Samurai Pizza Cats at the Internet Movie Database
- Samurai Pizza Cats (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Samurai Pizza Cats at TV.com
- Edoropolis.org, a gathering place for today's SPC fans
- Samurai Pizza Cats episode information