Last week I saw a Japanese movie that I think every cat-lover will love, and perhaps even not-cat-lovers too. I’m a fan of Asian movies, while some can be confusing, I have seen a lot of Asian movies that had me sitting on the edge of my chair from excitement. When we think Asian movies, we think martial arts. Don’t expect to see any in Rent-A-Neko. Nonetheless it’s a little gem.
I’ll try my best not to spoil anything!
Rent-A-Neko, also known as Rent-A-Cat (neko means cat), is about a young woman called Sayako, who has her own company. She rents out her cats to people to fill the emptiness in their heart. You can find her walking along the banks of the river with her cats in a handcart and a megaphone in her hand.
Sayako has trouble being around people and by renting out her cats and her daily chores around the house, she begins to slowly realize that building a bond with a cat is simpler than doing that with a human. During her everyday walk along the river with her cats, she meets all kinds of different people with different characters. And they all have a different reason why they want to rent a cat. They look for warmth and companionship or because they get more love from a cat than from their family. But they all have the same thing in common: insecurities and loneliness.
I was filled with sadness. I thought there was no way to fill the hole in my heart. But the cats helped to fill it little by little.
While Sayako is a bit odd herself, and in almost every scene of the movie, she is never annoying, but quirky and vulnerable. In the end of the movie, you may even find yourself a bit connected with Sayako.
It might feel like a long movie, but it’s entertaining and has a lot of funny (typical Japanese humor) moments, sad moments, and scenes that make you think. And let’s not forget about the cute cats. It’s a movie with a different point of view and a gentle message.
“Rent-a-cat. Rent-aaaaaaaaaa-cat. Feeling lonely? I’ll lend you a cat.”