At our first CJAS CCG (Collaborative Creative Group) meeting, the hot topic of discussion was the Cat's Eye anime. Despite the negative opinions of the show expressed by some of us present at the meeting, we decided that we wanted to come up with some features of the anime which we considered redeeming. Despite the fact that the guy who wrote the "I dislike Cat's Eye" article was present and being a non-stop bundle of negativism, we were actually able to think positively about Cat's Eye.
So why should you give Cat's Eye a chance? Well, it isn't blatantly offensive or insulting, which at least puts it above Princess Army. The opening credits are distinctly James Bond-ish, if you like that sort of thing, and even if you didn't like the visuals, the opening song is sufficiently catchy. The ending credits were much more highly debated, with some people liking the campy aerobics while others cringing at the mere mention of "C'mon girls, let's exercise!"
Cat's Eye features good character designs by the creator of City Hunter. Each design is distinctive and consistent with each character's personality, and Cat's Eye, unlike City Hunter, is mostly non-sexist, featuring strong female characters and almost bumbling male characters. [How is that non-sexist? -Ed.] Without glaring amounts of sexual innuendo and death by gunfire, Cat's Eye is "wholesome family entertainment" while still offering action and suspense.
This leads to some interesting parallels with another anime featuring an all-female main cast: Bubblegum Crisis. After comparing the two series closely, there are a surprising number of similarities suggesting that Cat's Eye (the earlier work) may have had some influence on the BGC concept. In both shows, we have a team of skilled females (Cat's Eye and the Knight Sabers) bound together by a common purpose, each with very distinctive and unique personalities. (There's the leader, the support character, the athlete, etc...) In addition, both shows include a clueless cop character who is interested in one of the main female characters, unaware of her alternate identity. Both teams of females have similar motivations that revolve around an absent father. Both organizations operate outside the limits of the law, but both have noble goals. The Knight Sabers operate out of a lingerie shop; Cat's Eye operates out of a coffee shop.
Being early eighties stuff, perhaps Cat's Eye is a little dated compared to the mostly modern fare we present at CJAS. However, at least for its time, it still is pretty innovative.