Haru, a schoolgirl bored by her ordinary routine, saves the life of an unusual cat, and suddenly her world is transformed beyond anything she ever imagined. The Cat King
rewards her good deed with a flurry of presents, including a very shocking proposal of marriage to his son! Haru embarks on an unexpected journey to the Kingdom of Cats where her eyes are opened to a whole other world and her destiny is uncertain. To change her fate, she’ll need to learn to believe in herself and appreciate her everyday life.
The Cat Returns is something of a loose spin-off of “Whisper of the Heart” as it features two characters from that film: Muta (the cat from “Whisper”) and the Baron (the cat statue from “Whisper”). There is no other connection between the two movies and this is not a sequel. The story is based on Neko no Danshaku (The Cat Baron) by Hiiragi Aoi.
The main character of the story, Haru, is a clueless, ordinary 17-year-old girl. She has no special abilities and neither is she an extraordinary beauty. When faced with reality, she is unable to make decisions for herself, thus often sways to others’ opinions to avoid challenge. One day, Haru saves the life of a cat without considering her own safety. The cat turns out to be the Cat Prince from the Kingdom of Cats, however as a result, Haru is trapped in the world of cats. Can Baron and Muta rescue Haru who has wandered into the world of cats?
One afternoon on her way home from school, Haru saves a cat from getting run over by a truck and promptly gets the shock of her life when it stands on its hind legs to thank her. That night, she is greeted by a parade of felines who inform Haru that her earlier heroics saved the prince of the Cat Kingdom. Haru suddenly finds herself inundated with gifts of mice and catnip as means of thanks, culminating in the announcement that she will be taken to their kingdom to marry the prince. With no desire to marry Prince Lune, Haru turns to The Baron and Muta from the Cat Bureau for help, but unable to stop them, Haru is swept away by a horde of cats. Can Haru prevent this marriage of inconvenience and return home before she becomes a cat herself?