The Internet Is Loving This Viral Samurai Cat Drama From Japan

Japan is home to many anime and live-action series that many in the West find as odd or intriguing thanks to the absurd lengths in which many of the series in the East will go for great storytelling.

The latest, more viral example is sparked by images of Neko Zamurai, in which a samurai defends a cat from being killed after he refuses to assassinate it.

As first spotted by Twitter user @rabbitlayla with the following caption, "This was a real show in Japan about a Samurai who refused to kill a cat he was hired to kill. I had to post the extremely good promo gallery for Twitter," Neko Zamurai is a drama series in Japan where a man, main character Madarame Kyutaro (who gains the popular nickname "Madara the Devil"), is indeed hired to kill a cat (named Tamanojoh in the series). The situation which brings this out is just as hilarious and absurd as well, as the series is described as such:

"Kyutaro (Kazuki Kitamura) is a swordsman who was feared by people at one time. Now, he is poor and lives alone quietly. Kyutaro doesn't know how to earn money without using his sword. By chance, Sakichi (Shingo Mizusawa) happens to see Kyutaro's swordsmanship and offers to hire him for a job. Sakichi wants Kyutaro to kill a white cat named "Tamanojoh" which his boss Yozaemon (Yozaburo Ito) is fascinated by.

According to Sakichi, after Yozaemon began to raise the cat, he changed to a childlike person. Kyutaro initially turns him down thinking its an absurd request, but decides to take the job for the money. When Kyutaro opens the door to where the cat is, he sees the lovely white cat."

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Neko Zamurai was a television mini-series that ran from 2013 to 2015 for two seasons, the second of which, Neko Zamurai 2: A Tropical Adventure, was even more ridiculous due to its island setting. It's a healthy balance of drama and humor, as Kyutaro's plight is a serious one but its juxtaposed with the inherently goofy image of such a deadly killer holding onto such a sweet little kitten.

Assassins defending or befriending cute animals goes a long way as evidenced in the West, as well, by the John Wick series in which a retired assassin was spurred back into action to avenge his pet dog. There's no wonder a series like this ran for as long as it did.