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Black Cat "Anime"

Black Cat (ブラックキャット Burakku Kyatto?) is a Japanese Shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Kentaro Yabuki. It was originally serialized in Japan in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump. It was later collected in twenty tankōbon volumes from January 11, 2001 to October 9, 2004. The series was adapted into a twenty-four episode anime series by Gonzo studio. It debuted in Japan on the anime satellite television network Animax and the terrestrial Tokyo Broadcasting System network on October 6, 2005 with its final episode airing on March 30, 2006. The story centers on a man named Train Heartnet who withdrew from an elite group of assassins called the Chrono Numbers (時の番人 Kurono Nanbāzu?) to become a bounty hunter, or Sweeper.

Genre Adventure, Comedy, Action, Fantasy, Science fiction
Written by Kentaro Yabuki
Published by Shueisha
English publisher Canada United States Viz Media
Australia New Zealand Madman Entertainment
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump
English magazine Canada United States Shonen Jump
Original run 20012004
Volumes 20 (List of volumes)
TV anime
Directed by Shin Itagaki
Studio Gonzo
Licensed by Australia New Zealand Madman Entertainment
Canada United States Funimation
United Kingdom MVM Films
Network Animax, TBS
English network Australia New Zealand Cartoon Network
United States FUNimation Channel
Original run October 6, 2005March 30, 2006
Episodes 24 (List of episodes)
Light novel
Black Cat: Hoshi no Zanshou
Written by Tomohito Ōsaki
Published by Shueisha
Published October 2005
Anime and Manga Portal

Viz Media licensed the manga series for English-language publication in North America and as of May 2009, have released all 20 volumes of the series. Funimation Entertainment licensed the anime series for North American broadcast where it was broadcast on the Funimation Channel. The series later were released on six DVD compilations, as well as a Complete Series boxed set.


Chronos, an organization bent on world peace, rules one third of the world's economy. To maintain the balance of the world, Chronos is therefore essential, and there is a need for people to protect Chronos. Thirteen special elite assassins each possess unique orichalcum-forged weapons and are called the Chrono Numbers, assassins who work for Chronos. When the thirteenth Chronos Number (Train Heartnet), also known as the infamous Black Cat, meets a Sweeper (licensed bounty hunter) named Saya Minatsuki, Train's morals and values are changed from those of Chronos's to those of his own. Instead of killing his victims like he is ordered to, he merely uses Hades (his orihilcon gun) to stop them instead. This leads to tension between him and the Chronos Elders, the leaders of Chronos, and eventually culminates in Train's departure from the organization. Creed Diskenth, a Chronos assassin, resents the way that Saya changed Train's life, and murders her. Six months later, Train is an easygoing Sweeper, traveling with his partners Sven Vollfied and Eve, when Creed appears before Train once more. Creed, whom Train believed dead, now holds awesome power, using ancient spells of Tao, something Chronos believed no longer existed after the War 20 years earlier. Creed, now with followers and power that rival anyone alive, including the numbers, vows to get Train to join him. Train must choose his friends and new life, or revenge, as Creed threatens to undermine Chronos and start his own World Revolution.


According to Kentaro Yabuki, Black Cat's main theme is Train's journey to find freedom. When the manga ended serialization, Yabuki expressed desire to make a sequel from the manga labelling the series as "Part 1". As he was not sure if there could be a sequel, Yabuki still remarked that the characters of Train Heartnet and Eve may appear in other titles he would make in the future.



Written and illustrated by Kentaro Yabuki, Black Cat was originally serialized in Japan by Shueisha in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from 2000 to 2004.[2] One hundred and eighty-five chapters were collected in twenty tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. The first volume on January 6, 2000, with the final volume released on October 14, 2004.[3][4]

It was licensed in English in North America by Viz Media as they first announced at the 2005 San Diego Comic-Con International.[5] The first volume released on March 8, 2006 with the final volume released on May 5, 2009.[6][7] Madman Entertainment published Viz's English release in Australia and New Zealand.[8] The series is also licensed for regional language releases in Dutch by Glénat Benelux,[9] French by Glénat,[citation needed] Italian by Star Comics,[citation needed] German by Carlsen Comics,[citation needed] Simplified Chinese by Chuang Yi,[citation needed] and traditional Chinese by Tong Li Publishing.[citation needed]


Gonzo studio adapted Black Cat into a twenty-four episode anime series, directed by Shin Itagaki. Black Cat was later licensed for an English-language dubbed release by Funimation Entertainment in June 2006.[11] Animax and the terrestrial Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) network with its final episode broadcast on March 30, 2006. Episode fifteen was not broadcast by TBS, but only by Animax.[12][13] In Japan, the series was released across twelve Region 2 DVD volumes from December 21, 2005 to November 22, 2006.[14][15] Each volume was also published in Premium Edition which included various extras.[16] The DVD volumes were gathered in a limited release DVD boxset by Sony Pictures Entertainment on April 23, 2008. The episodes were then licensed and dubbed by Funimation Entertainment and were broadcast on Funimation Channel. The series was then released across six Region 1 DVD volumes released between December 19, 2006 and July 24, 2007. The DVDs were gathered in a boxset and released on March 18, 2008.


There were three drama CDs based on the series released between February 28, 2005 and October 14, 2005

Cover to the Black Cat Original Soundtrack Nikukyu

A full anime soundtrack was released on March 15, 2006 entitled Black Cat Original Soundtrack Nikukyu (lit. Pawpad).[23] It contains the opening and ending themes along with twenty-one tracks of background music.

Light novel

With the permission from the author, Kentaro Yabuki, Tomohito Ōsaki wrote a light novel titled Black Cat: Hoshi no Zanshou (lit. The Star's Afterglow). It was released in Japan in October 2005.

Video games

There were two video games released in Japan. "Black Cat: Kikai Shikake no Tenshi" (lit. The Mechanical Angel) was released for the PlayStation 2 on March 30, 2006 by Capcom. Black Cat: Kuroneko no Concerto (lit. The Black Cat's Concerto) was released for the Nintendo DS on June 21, 2007 by Compile Heart. Characters of the Black Cat series have also made appearances in the games Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars.


As of 2008, Black Cat's twenty volumes sold 12 million units in Japan. Volumes from Viz's publication of the series have also been featuring in best-selling manga rankings such as The New York Times[25][26] as well as Nielsen BookScan. During 2006, Black Cat was North America 9th best Manga property according to ICv2. In ICv2 Top 50 Manga, Black Cat was listed as the 15th Manga property from North America during the first half from 2008. In ICv2's Top 25 Manga Properties Q1 2009, it was the 22nd best manga property from North America during 2009's first quarter.

The anime has been listed as North America 22nd's anime property during summer from 2008. Navarre Corporation cited the DVD releases from Black Cat as the main reason for Funimation's profit increase during the last quarter from 2006.


  1. ^ Yabuki, Kentaro (2009). Black Cat, Volume 20. Viz Media. p. 212. ISBN 978-1-4215-2379-8.
  2. ^ a b "Kentaro Yabuki". Viz Media. Retrieved October 8, 2009.
  3. ^ "Black Cat 1" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved September 1, 2009.
  4. ^ "Black Cat 20" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved September 1, 2009.
  5. ^ "New Viz Manga". Anime News Network. July 18, 2005. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
  6. ^ "Black Cat, Vol. 1". Viz Media. Retrieved 2009-04-24.
  7. ^ "Black Cat, Vol. 20". Viz Media. Retrieved 2009-04-24.
  8. ^ "Viz Media & Madman Entertainment Join Forces". Madman Entertainment. Archived from the original on April 24, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-24.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Black Cat Anime". Anime News Network. May 10, 2005. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
  11. ^ "FUNimation Gets Black Cat". ICv2. June 13, 2006. Retrieved October 8, 2009.
  12. ^ "Animax Southeast Asia's official daily schedule for April 2007". Animax. Archived from the original on April 22, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-13.
  13. ^ "Schedule for Animax Philippines". Telebisyon. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  14. ^ "Black Cat Vol.1". CD Japan. Retrieved October 12, 2009.
  15. ^ "Black Cat Vol.12". CD Japan. Retrieved October 12, 2009.
  16. ^ "Black Cat DVD" (in Japanese). Tokyo Broadcasting System. Retrieved October 6, 2009.
  17. ^ "Black Cat DVD Box Limited Release". CD Japan. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  18. ^ "Funimation Channel Adds MoonPhase, Peach Girl, Suzuka". Anime News Network. March 3, 2008. Retrieved October 11, 2009.
  19. ^ "Black Cat, Vol. 1 - The Cat Out of the Bag". Retrieved 2009-04-24.
  20. ^ "Black Cat, Vol. 6 - Cat's Nine Lives". Retrieved 2009-04-29.
  21. ^ "Black Cat: The Complete Series". Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  22. ^ " on the Drama CD of Black Cat". Retrieved 2007-07-28.
  23. ^ "BLACK CAT Original Sound Track“Nikukyu”". Retrieved 2009-04-24.
  24. ^ "Top Manga Properties in 2008 - Rankings and Circulation Data". Comipress. December 31, 2008. Retrieved August 26, 2009.
  25. ^ "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, March 1–7". Anime News Network. March 13, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2009.
  26. ^ "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, May 10–16". Anime News Network. May 22, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2009.
  27. ^ "BookScan's Top 20 Graphic Novels for January 2009". ICv2. February 5, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2009.
  28. ^ "Manga Releases Up 16% in 2007". ICv2. February 7, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2009.
  29. ^ "ICv2 Top 50 Manga--Summer 2008". ICv2. September 8, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2009.
  30. ^ "'ICv2 Insider's Guide' #65: Top 25 Manga Properties Q1 2009". ICv2. June 10, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2009.
  31. ^ "ICv2 Top 25 Anime--Summer 2008". ICv2. September 8, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2009.
  32. ^ "Navarre Q4 Report: Profits Up 24.9%". Anime News Network. February 13, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2009.

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