Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chi's Sweet Home Volume 2

By Konami Kanata. Released in Japan by Kodansha, serialization ongoing in the magazine Weekly Morning. Released in North America by Vertical.

Another volume of Chi, and it's just as cute. Chi's personality is easily identifiable to cat lovers, especially her stubbornness combined with her intractability. Much of what makes this manga fun is seeing the various expressions of surprise and happiness Kanata-san draws on Chi's face - along with the expressions of being incredibly pissed off. Seeing Chi defend her home from interlopers was highly amusing.

Speaking of said interloper, we get a new character introduced here in the form of a huge black cat that's wandering the neighborhood stealing food. At first the cat looks to be some sort of villain character, but as time goes on and Chi meets him a few more times, it's clear that Blackie (which I believe is the cat's name) is going to be more of a mentor figure for Chi. Already we're seeing the difference between kittens like Chi with very strong ties to their owner, and cats like Blackie who strive to be 'independent'.

Chi does develop a bit here. As time has gone by and her life with the Yamadas becomes more dominant, she's no longer troubled by constant memories of her old family. Though we do see her instinctual need for mother love pop up at times. Likewise, at one point Chi escapes from the Yamada's yard, and we suspect another long 'where am I?' arc, but Chi has learned from past adventures, and is able to quickly find her way back.

If there's a fault to this manga, it's not one of the writer or publisher. It's just that Chi's Sweet Home can be a bit much to take in one volume's sitting. I can see how insanely popular this is in the pages of Weekly Morning, where it runs in between such titles as Vagabond and Kinou Nani Tabeta?. But I get exhausted reading 150 pages of pure kitten love. I have similar issues with other 'one mode' manga which serve a similar function in other weekly magazines, such as Bobobobo-bobobo in Jump. (Weekly Morning was also the home of What's Michael?, so it's no stranger to cat manga. Even though What's Michael? is a lot weirder than Chi will ever be.)

However, the collection is incredibly sweet, and the coloring and translation are top notch. (I've grown used to Chi's baby accent, mostly as she seems to be using it less and less as the books go on.) I would happily recommend this collection to any family who wants their kids to have a nice comic to read, or to those who like cute gag manga, or just to cat lovers.

No comments:

Post a Comment