Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chi's Sweet Home (manga, vol. 9-10) by Konami Kanata, translated by Ed Chavez

Chi's Sweet Home is one of my favorite slice-of-life and animal series. It's the manga equivalent of a warm, snuggly blanket. Chi and the other animals are wonderful, and the Yamadas are a nice family that manages not to be too cutesy, despite the fact that nothing all that bad ever seems to happen to them.

I plowed through a huge chunk of this series during my vacation the year before, so it was nice to be able to continue from where I left off.

Once again, a warning: my synopses include some spoilers. Read on at your own risk.

Chi's Sweet Home (manga, vol. 9) by Konami Kanata, translated by Ed Chavez – Chi gets to have her cone taken off. Unfortunately for her, Mr. Yamada is afraid to let her out alone, so he decides that she'll be an indoor-only cat from now on. Chi slips out while he's trying to walk her on a leash, and briefly experiences life as a free stray cat: fighting for food and trying not to sleep in the middle of the street. The Yamadas eventually find her and Cocchi. Meanwhile, there are increasing encounters with Chi's original (cat) family.

This series continues to be very cute and enjoyable. I'm glad that Mr. Yamada has finally started worrying about Chi being an outdoor cat, but it looks like it's going to be difficult, if not impossible, for her to get used to indoor-only life. Chi's reaction to walking on a leash was about the same as that of one of my parents' cats – utter confusion, plus mad wriggling to try to get free.

Part of me is looking forward to further encounters with Chi's cat family, and part of me is worried that Chi might end up parted from the Yamadas. I'm sure Kanata will figure out a happy ending for everyone.

Chi's Sweet Home (manga, vol. 10) by Konami Kanata, translated by Ed Chavez – Cocchi decides he prefers living outdoors to staying with the Yamadas. Meanwhile, Mr. Yamada finds a “lost cat” poster with a picture of Chi on it. He frets over what to do, and he and Mrs. Yamada decide to do nothing, for the moment at least. Chi comes closer to meeting her mom – she plays with her siblings, not realizing who they are, and both Blackie and Cocchi think all three kittens look similar.

The suspense is killing me. What's going to happen when Chi meets her mom? And are the Yamadas really going to do nothing about the “lost cat” poster? It's a tough situation, because they've come to see Chi as another member of their family, but Chi's former owner clearly misses her. Crossing my fingers that Kanata does something like “the former owner is glad that Chi's okay and is fine with her staying with the Yamadas, and he/she and the Yamadas arrange for Chi and her family to meet and play together every once in a while.”

One thing I'm wondering: how long have the Yamadas had Chi? Chi's siblings look very little compared to their mother, but I know the series has been going on long enough for Yohei to have a birthday. Is Chi ever going to grow up, or is this one of those series where the characters stay the exact same age forever?

I was thrilled when the Yamadas took Cocchi in, but the way that played out was, unfortunately, how it often plays out with strays in real life. Cocchi was too used to life outside. It's possible he might stop by the Yamadas for food in the future, though. I hope so.

I liked this volume, for the most part, but I wasn't really a fan of the bit where Chi noticed that she's different from the Yamadas and was upset about that revelation. Kanata is usually pretty good about making very cat-like cats, and that part felt a little too human to me.

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