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Goin’ Japanesque!

Cat & Chocolate the Card Game on the Rise in Japan: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu also Loves it!

We would like to introduce to you “Cat & Chocolate,” the analogue card game developed in Japan and now becoming increasingly popular throughout the country. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu also tweeted “This is a fun game!” and caused the game to become the focus of great attention.

“Cat & Chocolate” is a card game which is quite similar to what is called “Ogiri.” “Ogiri” is a show performed often as part of Rakugo, the traditional Japanese verbal performance art. In Ogiri, Rakugo performers try to improvise some interesting story according to a theme proposed by the audience. In Cat & Chocolate, cards are used first to pick a troublesome event to be resolved and the type and the number of items that can be used for solution. Then the active player is required to come up with a good story in which the troubled situation is resolved by using the items on hand and leave it to the judgement of other players whether the trouble has been resolved or not according to the story the player has told.

Writer’s Photo: Cat & Chocolate: Business is Business

Writer’s Photo: Four Types of Cards Used in the Game

Seen in the photo are the cards used in Cat & Chocolate. Let’s take a look at each of them.

1. Event Card: Seen on the top in the photo. This type of card describes the trouble to be resolved. It has a number written on the backside.
2. Faction Card: Seen on the right. Determines the faction you belong to.
3. Item Card: Seen on the bottom. Shows the item to be used when creating a story.
4. Decision Card: Seen on the left. Used to announce the end of the game.

Writer’s Photo: Opening of the Game

Let’s prepare for the game.

Preparation 1: Distribute faction cards without revealing them to other plyers.
Faction cards decide your faction but you still don’t know who will belong to the same faction as yours. Without any knowledge about who belongs to which faction, each player can make a fair judgement on each story.

Preparation 2: Shuffle the item cards and distribute three items cards to each player. Each player is always given three item cards.

Preparation 3: Shuffle the deck of event cards. Insert the end card with the face side upward into the middle of the deck of shuffled event cards.

When all the preparation is done, you will have the cards laid out as seen in the photo above. Decide the player turn and start the game. Now let’s take a look at how the game works.

Writer’s Photo: Flipped Event Card

Procedure 1: Flip the card on top of the event card deck.
On the face side, each event card describes what trouble needs to be resolved. The card in the photo says “The CEO is getting mixed up with some kind of cult.”

Procedure 2: Check the number written on the card on top of the event card deck. Using the same number of item cards on hand, the active player should try to come up with a story in which the trouble is resolved.

Writer’s Photo: Item Cards on Hand

Here, my item cards include “projector,” “attache case” and “expensive booze.” Let me show you how I actually tried to work it out with the projector.

“Because people like CEOs tend to believe strongly in religions, I make up a religion that’s really appealing to CEOs. I use my projector to project the image of the god and make him believe I have made the god descend upon him. Believing what he thinks he saw, the CEO now listens to whatever I tell him.”

This is an example of how you can create a story using the designated number of item cards on hand, the projector in this example, and resolve the trouble described in the event card. If the number shown on top of the event card deck is “2,” you need to use two item cards on hand. In the case it’s “3,” you need to use all the item cards on hand.

Procedure 3: Now let’s have the other players judge whether your solution is convincing or not. If more than half of the other players approve of your story, your trouble is considered to have been resolved successfully. Luckily, my projector story was considered successful.

Procedure 4: If you have resolved a trouble, place the resolved event card on the table close to you.
The resolved event card at your hand will give you a point. If you fail to have your story approved by more than half of the other players, you cannot keep the event card and will not be given any points.

Procedure 5: Discard the item cards you have used and pick the same number of cards from the deck of item cards.
You thus make sure that you always have three item cards on hand. If all the item cards are picked and used, shuffle the discarded item cards and place them back again as a fresh deck.

Procedure 6: Repeat the procedures 1 to 5 and the game ends when someone picks the end card. The end card does not count as a point.

When the game ends, now we can judge who won.

Writer’s Photo: Ending of Cat & Chocolate

Judging the Winner 1: Flip the faction cards for all to see with the face sides up. My faction card here in this photo suggests I belonged to the same faction as the player on my left side.

Judging the Winner 2: Count all the event cards won by the same faction. Here we have won 6 event cards and the other faction, 5.

Judging the Winner 3: The faction with more event cards is the winner.
We have more event cards, so we are the winner here.

But winning and losing is not the essential point of this game. It is more about trying to come up with good stories and enjoying the stories told by the other players. Winning and losing is always a part of any game for sure. But Cat & Chocolate places more emphasis on enjoying together.


It is definitely an excellent party game that makes everybody a chatterbox. Here we took a look at “Business is Business” edition of the game but there are other variations on the setting such as “Haunted Mansion” and “School” as well.

True to the name “Cat & Chocolate,” any edition of the game series has item cards of “cat” and “chocolate,” which are always difficult to use and give some headache to players.

Make sure to give this absolutely recommendable fun party game a try!

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About the author

I hope to convey various information from tourist destinations in Japan to pop culture. I look forward to showing you about the excitement of my favorite Japanese manga.

View all articles by Takuma