About A Whisker Away
If you have Netflix or if you’re an anime fan, you’re probably aware of A Whisker Away. It’s a touching story of a middle school girl experiencing unrequited love. To be closer to her crush, she dons a magical mask that transforms her into a cat. As a feline, she visits her crush, and the two grow close together.
The second feature-length animation film by the up-and-coming Studio Coloride, which won the 42nd Japan Academy Award for Excellent Animation for Penguin Highway (2018), A Whisker Away has been high on the ranking of top Netflix films in Japan since its release on June 18th, and has also had excellent reviews outside of Japan. It currently has a 92% Tomatometer ranking on Rotten Tomatoes, and film critics have mostly given it positive reviews. For example, Karen Han at Polyon says: “So while the cats may be the initial draw in this film… what really makes A Whisker Away worth watching is its dissection of growing up enough to face difficult feelings head-on and to think seriously about other people’s emotions as well.”
Tokoname, Aichi Prefecture, setting for “A Whisker Away”
With any great anime series or animated film, fans very quickly show an interest in discovering the real-life settings, and A Whisker Away is no different. One of the attractive features of the film is the beautiful scenery, which is directly taken from the city of Tokoname in Aichi Prefecture, famous for pottery, as well as the home of the Maneki Neko (welcoming cat). The city is beautifully depicted in detail in the film. According to director Tomotaka Shibayama, who spent his childhood years in Tokoname, “There’s something mysterious about the city, with its complex network of footpaths which go up and down slopes. It’s truly a cat’s world. Through the experience of making this film, I was reminded of how wonderful Tokoname is.”
Here are a few of the locations you’ll be able to visit:
The path where Muge meets the Mask Seller:
The playground where Muge and Hinode share a special moment together:
The sloped alley steps where the “cat path” appears:
You can discover many of these locations and much more when you visit Tokoname. For more information, here is the city’s official English tourism website.
“A Whisker Away”