Apocalypse Meow is a three volume manga series written and illustrated by Motofumi Kobayashi. It was originally published in Japan as Cat Shit One (Japanese: キャットシットワン? Hepburn: Kyatto Shitto Wan) in 1998 by Softbank Publishing, but was renamed for the US release to parody the title of the film Apocalypse Now, which also took place during the Vietnam War. It was published in the UK (printed in Canada) in 2004 by ADV Manga. It was also released in Poland in 2006, also under the title Cat Shit One. It has been released in France, Belgium and Spain, as Cat Shit One, by Glénat in 2006.
Cover of Apocalypse Meow volume 1 as published by Softbank Publishing
(Kyatto Shitto Wan)
|Written by||Motofumi Kobayashi|
|Published by||Softbank Publishing|
|Original run||1998 – 2005|
|Original net animation|
|Cat Shit One: The Animated Series|
|Directed by||Kazuya Sasahara|
|Produced by||Junya Okabe|
|Released||July 17, 2010|
|Cat Shit One '80|
Cover of Cat Shit One '80 volume 1 as published by Softbank Publishing
|Written by||Motofumi Kobayashi|
|Published by||Softbank Publishing|
|Original run||2008 – 2013|
In 2008 Kobayashi released a follow-up to Cat Shit One – Cat Shit One 80. Currently four volumes have been published in Japan.
A computer-generated original net animation series of Cat Shit One by Studio Anima began release on IDA Entertainment's YouTube channel in Japan from July 17, 2010, and in North America, Australia and New Zealand on February 5, 2011. The animated version is set in the Middle East rather than Vietnam, and a trailer indicates that the action takes place after 1991.
The manga follows three American soldiers (who are anthropomorphic animals) in the Vietnam War named Botasky, Perky and Rats. All three are in the recon team called "Cat Shit One". Each mission (or chapter) shows the daily activities of the reconnaissance group in Vietnam. There are sections of the manga which give brief history and truths behind the war, such as the types of weapons used by different countries and the activities of forces in the war. At the end of volume one there is a chapter called "Dog Shit One"—separate from the main story—showing human characters.
In Cat Shit One '80, the story continues to follow the three main protagonists as they became involved in various low intensity conflicts in the 1980s. Perky, now a member of the elite Delta Force, was attached to the Special Air Service and was involved in various SAS operations while Rats and Bota were involved with the US operation in Afghanistan against the Soviet invasion.
An animated adaption of Cat Shit One was released in 2010.
The manga depicts the characters as different animals according to their nationality as follows:
- American – rabbit
- Vietnamese – cat
- French – pig (from pigs used to hunt truffles)
- Chinese – panda
- Japanese – chimpanzee and gorilla
- Russian – bear
- Korean – dog (from the dog dish bosintang)
- British – rat (from The Desert Rats)
- Australian – kangaroo and koala
The following are new animals depicted in Cat Shit One '80:
The Germans were depicted as foxes in reference to Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, nicknamed the Desert Fox.
- Sergeant Perkins (aka Perky) Voiced by: Hiroshi Tsuchida (Japanese); Will Prescott (English)
- An American soldier and leader of the Cat Shit One recon team, later receiving the rank of Captain. In Cat Shit One '80, Perky, now a major, continues to serve in the Army under Beck with the newly formed Delta Force. He is attached to the British Special Air Service under the command of Sir Michael Rose as the American exchange officer and develops a close personal and professional relationship with GSG 9 commander Ulrich Wegener and GIGN commander Christian Prouteau. Perky is heavily involved in the SAS operations during the Iranian Embassy Siege and the Falklands War.
- Sergeant White (aka Rats)
- An American soldier, sniper, and interpreter of English and Vietnamese. Rats, who was born in the Bronx, comes from humble background and is sympathetic to the plight of those displaced by the war. In Cat Shit One '80, Rats is recruited into the CIA and was sent to Afghanistan to serve as liaison and military advisor for General Massoud and the Mujahideen under his command against the Soviet forces.
- Botasky (aka Bota) Voiced by: Satoshi Hino (Japanese); Tom Flynn (English)
- American soldier and the radio operator for the group. In the story he is often portrayed as cowardly and racist. After the war, Botasky made a fortune selling fast food and became the chairman of a multinational fast food chain. In Cat Shit One '80, Botasky begins to expand his business to the Asian market and uses his influence with the Chinese government to smuggle Chinese-made weapons into Afghanistan to Rats and Massoud's Mujahideens.
- A Montagnard (or "Yard") trained by the Americans. He is featured frequently in the story, often bailing Cat Shit One out of jams.
- Major Charlie Beckwith, the commander for the Special Force Detachment B-52, is in charge of the recon team operations. Cat Shit One always receives their orders directly from Beckwith himself. In Cat Shit One '80, Beckwith becomes the commander of Delta Force and is forced to retire due to the failure of Operation Eagle Claw.
- Introduced in Cat Shit One '80. Misha is a young and inexperienced Soviet VDV second lieutenant sent to Afghanistan to reinforce the Soviet forces in the region. His position was under heavy suicide attack by the Taliban, and he was rescued by Perky and a small SAS detachment. Due to his bravery, he was assigned to a Spetsnaz unit. It is later revealed that Misha is the son of a high-ranking KGB general.
A CG animated ONA adaptation of Cat Shit One was developed by IDA Entertainment. So far, only one episode has been released on Japan's YouTube channel on July 17, 2010, with plans for a 12 episode series currently in production. An English dub was released on YouTube on February 5, 2011, and will be independently distributed on DVD and Blu-ray Disc via Amazon in North America.
|#||Episode Title||Original air date||English air date|
|1||July 17, 2010||February 5, 2011|
|Sergeant "Perky" Perkins and his companion, Botasky, are sent to retrieve three hostages from a group of terrorists. As Perkins infiltrates the camp and manages to reach the hostages, Botasky panics after coming under attack when his sniper position is compromised, requiring Perkins to help him out. With intel that enemy reinforcement will arrive before gunship support can, Perkins orders Botasky to get the hostages to safety while he fends them off single-handedly. Although Botasky eventually regathers his courage and returns to Perkins' aid, both of them end up being pinned down by enemy fire. Just as all hope seems lost, a friendly "angel" arrives in time to help save the day.|
The recent Cat Shit One adaptation was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Short category in the 9th Annual VES Awards.
- "Cat Shit One #01". Manga Glénat (in French).
- "Apocalypse Meow Manga Gets CG Anime Series from Anima". Anime News Network. 2009-03-20.
- Green, Scott (March 24, 2009). "AICN Anime – Cowboy Bebop, Upcoming Figures, Cat Shit One, Battleship Yamato and More!". Ain't It Cool News.
- "News: Cat Sh*t One Nominated by Visual Effects Society". Anime News Network. 2010-01-10. Retrieved 2010-01-12.