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True Love is Just 'A Whisker Away'

A 2020 Japanese anime movie that focuses on a high school girl who is desperately in love with her secret crush.

A Whisker Away (2020)

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A Whisker Away (2020) is a Japanese anime movie that is centered around a love story. This film discusses topics related to adolescence and high school.

Miyo Sasaki is the main character of A Whisker Away, played by Japanese actress Mirai Shida. She receives a magical mask that transforms her into a cat when she’s wearing it and turns back into her human form when she takes the mask off. The title of this Japanese anime movie hints to the viewers that the plot revolves around a girl who turns into a cat and becomes trapped within her cat body.

All of the characters are given traditional Japanese names. The setting takes place in Tokoname, a city in Japan. The elements that the viewers see in the movie are based on Japanese cultural elements such as Japanese pottery and written Japanese language. All of the cast members voicing the characters are of Japanese descent, including the director.

The cat that appears in Miyo Sasaki’s house is a symbolic and foreshadowing element. It foreshadows the central climax and the themes of the movie. The way Miyo is stuck inside her cat form forever shows viewers about losing themselves in a transformation where they begin to lose their human characteristics and old personalities. Miyo is so desperate to win his crush’s heart that she loses her old personality through her cat body and has trouble turning back to her human form. As a cat, Miyo has the ability to talk in complete sentences and discovers that her crush loves her in her cat form, not her human form. This, however, is short-lived; the cat mask magically turns into a human mask, symbolizing her old human form. To make matters worse, she slowly loses her ability to talk. She regrets her wish to turn into a cat.

The theme of a love story is emphasized by special effects in the Japanese anime style; the pink sparkles effect symbolizes young love among human beings. Miyo’s eyes, when viewed up close, give a shining pink sparkle. Her voiceovers indicate to the viewers that she has trouble telling her crush about her feelings towards him and vice versa.