The Gist: Chii is young Yohei’s and it’s the one month anniversary of her coming to live at his home. Yohei’s crazy parents decide to celebrate this special moment with a feast, a custom photo book, and scary clown faces.
Chii, being a kitten, doesn’t really understand what is going on and gets in trouble for losing Yokei’s marbles and inverting all the photos in her commemorative photo book. Then she goes to a park with Blackie, an older male cat that tries unsuccessfully to give her advice. Then she goes to a party and Yohei makes up with her.
You may like Chii because it has a lovely Wallace & Gromit claymation’ish 3D rendering style and solid animation. The camera moves slightly within scenes and the characters move simply, but in a pleasant and believable way. The lighting is also top notch and its opening credits have a fantastic song and art style.
You may not be interested in Chii because the story is empty, saccharine fluff. Unlike Wallace & Gromit, Chii’s humor is simplistic and the ‘space’ she occupies has no hidden meaning. It’s all too clean and sanitized.
The Verdict: at 12 minutes, Chii toes an odd line. I expect more from it than a 3-4 minute mini, but it may not have enough room to develop content like a normal 24 minute show. This first result feels like a bad children’s program, where the audience is entirely underestimated by the developer. Seriously, while it is adorable, even little children want more than cute faces and hopping around for 12 minutes.
All that said, I’m going to recommend you watch Chii. The visuals are well executed in an uncommon style and it is pleasant enough to sit through. However, I am not going to review the series going forward because I can not imagine anything interesting will ever develop in it.