If you’re behind on this series like I’ve been, it’s terribly easy to catch up, since each episode is just under three minutes long. I assume it airs either as part of a variety show or in-between longer programs. Anyway, here is a good series you can enjoy without a lot of time commitment … possibly learning a bit of Japanese along the way … and just gush at how cute it is.
Chii’s Sweet Home follows the story of a kitten who accidentally got separated from his family one day. However a boy named Youhei finds him in the park and convinces his family to take him in. The first arc of episodes cover Chii getting temporarily housetrained while the family tries to find a real home for Chii. Chii, meanwhile, just wants to go back to his original home and be with his mother, but he learns to adapt to the new home as well.
Chii is not actually a stray, I think, as it seems that all the good memories he has are in a cat bed with his mom and siblings. Yet the family takes outdoor walks, and it’s not known yet if the cats’ human owners (if any) are bothering to search for one kitten. I even wonder how Chii’s family is taking it; we’ve been seeing the story only from Chii’s perspective so far.
The opening episodes catch on, mostly because they’re so short but also because of Chii’s train of thought. In typical kitten fashion, he has a very limited attention span, easily distracted by cute and moving objects … and prone to go to the bathroom often. He wishes nothing more than to go out and search for his mom and family, but the world is so hazardous and large. At least he gets a bed and milk from his foster family.
Potty training was interesting, and perhaps the actual way to do it is to put something he’s already wet into the litterbox (I don’t have a cat; I’ve heard kittens are terribly difficult to raise anyway). And it’s great how Chii got his name based on the struggles of peeing everywhere except for the litterbox.
I say learning Japanese is possible, since all the characters speak at a decent speed and with simplified language. Listening to Chii may not be a good idea, since he uses an informal, kiddish, diminutive form of Japanese. Even the OP has him saying “urechii” instead of “ureshii” for happy. But simple sentence structure and use of general vocabulary are good for beginner Japanese students.
Personally I’m not a die-hard fan of Chii’s design, but I’m probably spoiled over KyoAni and their illlustrious eyes and faces. Chii’s face by comparison is very flat; he just has huge eyes is all. But then again would Chii be cute if he had KyoAni eyes? It might get too weird at that point, but who knows. You get used to the character design in this show anyway, and it’s more of Chii’s monologue and mannerisms anyway that get you into a cute frenzy. …except for when he misbehaves. >_>
Currently, I am watching Yoroshiku’s sub, which is out to ep22 so far. Chii’s Sweet Home is a relaxing slice-of-life series of shorts that you may be able to relate to, but otherwise it’s just a gentle thing to watch while you pass the time on a hot day or with a bowl of ice cream … or something. ^^;
I’m stubbornly electing to use “chii” based on the katakana of his name, チー (perhaps a similar argument was had among fans long ago about Chii from Chobits).