Welcome to the Powet Top 5, where we explore the top (and bottom) 5 items we think are relevant to any of a variety of topics that span the imagination. Sit back, read, and respond

Sailor Moon episode 31 - Luna and Rhett Butler

Japanese people love cats, as can be seen by such Internet sensations as Maru. This also extends to Anime, where many shows and movies feature prominent cats from pets to sentient cats to humanoid cat people. Here are my top 5 favourites. What are yours?

5. The Cat Bus from My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro - Cat Bus running

It’s not quite a cat… and it’s not quite a bus! The Cat Bus or “Neko Bus” as it’s called in Japanese is… well… a giant cat that’s really a bus. It doesn’t roll around on wheels, it runs around like a cat. It has windows and a door which can change sizes and people can board it and ride around like they would in a bus. A bus with an interior that is made entirely of fur…

My Neighbor Totoro - Inside the Cat Bus

4. Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki's Delivery Service - Jiji with Kiki

Jiji is a familiar belonging to a young witch named Kiki from Hayao Miyazaki’s film “Kiki’s Delivery Service”. Jiji talks to Kiki, or is it just that Kiki can understand cat? Jiji is Kiki’s only friend as she leaves home to embark on her adventure to find her place in the world.

Kiki's Delivery Service - Jiji drinking milk

As the story progresses Kiki looses her ability to do magic an in doing so loses her ability to hear what Jiji is saying! As the story goes Jiji represents Kiki’s immature side and she stop hearing him as she outgrows him. Despite being able to reclaim her magic she never does manage to hear Jiji again. This being said the original English dub of Kiki’s Delivery Service has Jiji speaking to Kiki in the final scene, a change from the original Japanese version. This line was omitted from the DVD release of the film.

Kiki's Delivery Service - Jiji and his lover

During the movie Jiji encounters a fluffy white cat and it is insinuated they share a romantic relationship.

Kiki's Delivery Service - Jiji with a dog

While the Japanese voice of Jiji is female the English voice is that of Phil Hartman. The movie’s first theatrical screening was May 23rd 1998, a mere 5 days before Phil Hartman’s death. The video release of the movie wasn’t until September, some time after he’d passed away.

3. Polly Esther from Samurai Pizza Cats

Samurai Pizza Cats - Polly Esther

The Samurai Pizza Cats are these ninja cats that work in a pizza parlour. Polly Esther is the girl of the group, along with Guido Anchovy and Speedy Cerveche.

Samurai Pizza Cats - Polly Esther's helmet

Polly has a real fiesty attitude! She’s full of rage and passion. She has a flute which she uses in battle and attacks with pink hearts fitting of a lady.

Samurai Pizza Cats - Polly Esther pencil sketch

Polly usually wears pink armour but on occasion she’s removed it to reveal red hair. One example of this is when she performs a duet and sings with Lucille in the group “The Pointless Sisters”.

Samurai Pizza Cats - The Pointless Sisters Polly Esther and Lucile

Polly Esther is a play on words for “polyester”, a synthetic fabric synonymous with cheap clothing.

Samurai Pizza Cats is a truly insane show. Rumour is that when writing the English dub the translators weren’t actually provided with the Japanese scripts and that they just basically made everything up as they went along. Anyone who’s seen the show should be able to see how this is possible.

2. Rhett Butler from Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon - Rhett Butler

Rhett Butler is an obese cat who is the star of Sailor Moon episode 31 “Loved and Chased! Luna’s Worst Day Ever.” In this episode Rhett Butler comes to Luna’s rescue when she is attacked by a gang of alley cats. We later learn that this exceptional cat possesses one of the seven Rainbow Crystals which seems to bestow upon him Tuxedo Mask like powers.

Sailor Moon - Rhett Butler and his owner

It’s because of his Rainbow Crystal that is is able to transform into the monster Bakene. Despite this transformation Rhett Butler keeps some of his humanity, or rather his catmanity, and continues to protect Luna despite his transformation.

Sailor Moon - Yoma Bakene protects Luna

Once healed by Sailor Moon Rhett Butler returns to his owner, a young girl who loves him dearly, and him and Luna part ways. He still has feelings for her and she clearly has feelings for him as well.

Sailor Moon - Luna dreams of Rhett Butler

The name Rhett Butler comes from a character from Gone With the Wind. An odd name for an odd cat. Rhett Butler is one of the greatest characters, let alone cats, in Sailor Moon. This episode is one of the funniest due to his inclusion.

1. Luna from Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon - Luna waking up Usagi

Sailor Moon’s faithful sidekick, mentor, guardian, confidant and friend Luna tops our list as the greatest anime cat. She plays many roles throughout the series. When we’re first introduced to Sailor Moon Luna acts as a guide into this world, explaining how things work to us, even if she herself doesn’t know everything that’s going on. Before Usagi meets up with her friends it’s just her and Luna against the Dark Kingdom and Luna is always there to keep Usagi focused on what she should be doing, or to be frustrated trying!

Sailor Moon - Luna using a computer

As Usagi’s entourage grows Luna remains around to help not only Usagi but the entire Sailor Team. She is never afraid to get her paws dirty so to speak in trying to protect Usagi an her friends such as trying to fight off a monster while Usagi has lost her memories or protecting ChibiUsa from an enemy that is stronger than her.

Sailor Moon - Luna and Artemis

Luna is also no stranger to romance! She has a brief encounter with Rhett Butler. She also has a complex on again off again relationship with Artemis, with whom she will eventually have a daughter Diana. Before settling down with Artemis she even has a flying with a human Kakeru in the Sailor Moon S movie. She even goes so far as to transform into a human to be with him, but this romance is short lived as she turns back into a cat and finds her way back into Artemis’s arms … or paws rather.

Sailor Moon S movie - Human Luna, Princess Kaguya

Luna’s transformation into human form when pursuing Kakeru is not her only time in doing so. In the manga she has a human form along with Artemis and Diana. They all use these forms in later acts. In the live action series Luna, who is normally portrayed as either a plushie or CG, eventually turns into a young human girl Luna Tsukino. The insanity does not stop there as human Luna can also transform into Sailor Luna and fight evil in this form.

Live Action Sailor Moon - Sailor Luna

Luna is a great character who just happens to be a cat. With such a prominent role her character displays a great deal of depth as we get to know and love her throughout many incarnations of the series.

Live Action Sailor Moon - Luna the plushie

These are just 5 anime cats. There are a ton more! Of the few that were on my short list I also considered Meowth from Pokémon, Merle from Escaflowne, that cat from The Secret World of Arrietty and Artemis from Sailor Moon but there are countless others. Let us know which ones are your favourites in the comments!