What's Michael?

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What's Michael?
What's Michael.jpg
Cover art of the North American release of volume 4, Michael's Mambo, featuring Michael, his "wife" Poppo and their kittens, performing the running-gag dance whenever he tries to escape a difficult situation
(Howattsu Maikeru?)
Written by Makoto Kobayashi
Published by Kodansha
English publisher
Magazine Weekly Morning
English magazine
Demographic Seinen
Original run19841989
Original video animation
Studio Kitty Films
ReleasedNovember 25, 1985
Runtime55 minutes
Anime television series
Written by Satoru Akahori
Music by Kōji Makaino
Michiaki Katō
Studio Daume
Original network TV Tokyo
Original run April 15, 1988 March 28, 1989
Original video animation
What's Michael? 2
Studio Kitty Films
ReleasedJuly 25, 1988
Runtime60 minutes
Wikipe-tan face.svg   Anime and mangaportal

What's Michael? (ホワッツマイケル?, Howattsu Maikeru?) is a Japanese manga series created by Makoto Kobayashi. In 1984, it began its serialization in the Weekly Morning magazine. The manga shows Michael, an orange American Shorthair tabby cat, his feline friends, and other domesticated pets in a series of humorous episodes. Michael is not a specific cat, but rather a feline version of the everyman as he appeared in drastically different settings across chapters: he's a normal cat in some chapters (with different owners in different chapters), an anthropomorphic cat in others, and he even dies in some chapters.


Dark Horse Comics released the series in the US as eleven volumes between 1997 and 2006, and in 2020 released the first volume of a "Fatcat Collection", which spanned the first six volumes. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] The manga was presented in the standard left to right American reading format.[ clarification needed ]

In 1986, What's Michael? received the Kodansha Manga Award for general manga. [14]

The manga was adapted into two anime OVA films in 1985 and 1988, and a 45-episode TV series in 1988–1989.


Most episodes of the series fall into one of two kinds of stories. The first portrays the cats in a realistic way, living out normal lives with their owners. It finds humor in how humans observe their pets' naturally quirky behavior. The second type of story is complete fantasy in which all the animals are given anthropomorphic characteristics such as walking on two legs, wearing clothes, and being able to talk to each other; these episodes place the animals in a clichéd storyline, and mixes up their human personae with normal animal behavior.


No.Release dateISBN
1 18 January 1985 4-06-176507-8

Chapter 01-21

  1. Michael's Intro‼ (マイケル登場‼)
  2. Beauty and Kitty (美女と子猫)
  3. Terrorist (テロリスト)
  4. A Day in Michael's Life (マイケルの1日)
  5. Suspicious Niboshi Case (疑惑のニボシ)
  6. Michael VS. Rocky (マイケルVS.ロッキー)

See also

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  1. Kobayashi, Makoto (1997). What's Michael? - Michael's Album. Translated by Lewis, Dana; Smith, Toren. Dark Horse Comics (published 1997-04-01). ISBN   978-1-56971-247-4.
  2. Kobayashi, Makoto (1997-07-30). What's Michael? - Living Together. Translated by Lewis, Dana; Smith, Toren. Dark Horse Comics. ISBN   978-1-56971-248-1.
  3. Kobayashi, Makoto (1997-10-29). What's Michael? - Off the Deep End. Translated by Lewis, Dana; Sather, Jeanne; Smith, Toren. Dark Horse Comics. ISBN   978-1-56971-249-8.
  4. Kobayashi, Makoto (1997). What's Michael? - Michael's Mambo. Translated by Lewis, Dana; Sather, Jeanne; Smith, Toren. Dark Horse Comics (published 1998-01-28). ISBN   978-1-56971-250-4.
  5. Kobayashi, Makoto (November 2001). What's Michael? - Michael's Favorite Spot. Translated by Kotobuki, Hisashi; Gleason, Alan; Lewis, Dana; Winkler, Erin; Smith, Toren; Hernandez, Lea. Dark Horse Comics (published 2002-01-16). ISBN   978-1-56971-557-4.
  6. Kobayashi, Makoto (2002-07-17). What's Michael? - A Hard Day's Life. Translated by Lewis, Dana; Hernandez, Lea. Dark Horse Comics. ISBN   978-1-56971-744-8.
  7. Kobayashi, Makoto (2003). What's Michael? - Fat Cat in the City. Translated by Lewis, Dana; Hernandez, Lea; Smith, Toren. Dark Horse Comics (published 2003-02-19). ISBN   978-1-56971-914-5.
  8. Kobayashi, Makoto (2003). What's Michael? - Show Time. Translated by Lewis, Dana; Hernandez, Lea; Smith, Toren. Dark Horse Comics (published 2003-09-17). ISBN   978-1-56971-972-5.
  9. Kobayashi, Makoto (2004). What's Michael? - The Ideal Cat. Dark Horse Comics (published 2004-04-14). ISBN   978-1-59307-120-2.
  10. Kobayashi, Makoto (2005). What's Michael? - Sleepless Nights. Dark Horse Comics (published 2005-06-22). ISBN   978-1-59307-337-4.
  11. Kobayashi, Makoto (2006). What's Michael? - Planet of the Cats. Dark Horse Comics (published 2006-05-10). ISBN   978-1-59307-525-5.
  12. Kobayashi, Makoto (2020). What's Michael?: Fatcat Collection Volume 1. Translated by Lewis, Dana; Smith, Toren. Dark Horse Comics (published 2020-02-12). ISBN   978-1-50671-414-1.
  13. Dark Horse comics (2020-02-12). "What's Michael? Fatcat Collection Volume 1 TPB :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics" . Retrieved 2020-07-05.
  14. Joel Hahn. "Kodansha Manga Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved 2007-08-21.