Cover of Apocalypse Meow volume 1 as published by Softbank Publishing
|Original run||1998 – ongoing|
Apocalypse Meow is a three volume manga series written and illustrated by Motofumi Kobayashi. It was originally published in Japan as Cat Shit One in 1998 by Softbank Publishing, but was renamed for the US release to parody the title of the film Apocalypse Now, which also took place during the Vietnam War. It was published in the UK (printed in Canada) in 2004 by ADV Manga. It was also released in Poland in 2006, also under the title Cat Shit One. It has been released in France, Belgium and Spain, as Cat Shit One, by Glénat in 2006.
In 2008 Kobayashi released a follow-up to Cat Shit One – Cat Shit One 80. Currently two volumes have been published in Japan.
A computer-generated anime adaptation of Cat Shit One by Studio Anima is also in the works. The animated version is set in the Middle East rather than Vietnam, and a version of the trailer that includes non-official English subtitles indicates that the action takes place after 1991. The series is due for release early 2010.
The manga follows three American soldiers in the Vietnam War named Bota, Perky and Rats. All three are in the recon team called Cat Shit One. Each mission (or chapter) shows the daily activities of the reconnaissance group in Vietnam. There are sections of the manga which give brief history and truths behind the war, such as the types of weapons used by different countries and the activities of forces in the war. At the end of volume one there is a chapter called Dog Shit One — separate from the main story — showing human characters.
In Cat Shit One '80, the story continue to follow the three main protagonists as they became involved in various low intensity conflicts in the 1980s. Perky, now a member of the elite Delta Force, was attached to the Special Air Service and was involved in various SAS operations while Rats and Bota were invovled with the US operation in Afghanistan against the Soviet invasion.
The manga depicts the characters as different animals according to their nationality as follows:
The following are new animals depicted in Cat Shit One '80:
The British characters were depicted as rats to honor the World War II British 7th Armoured Division, nicknamed the Desert Rats. Similarly, the Germans were depicted as Foxes to honor General Erwin Rommel, nicknamed the Desert Fox.