Friday, November 25, 2016

REVIEW: Chi's Sweet Home (manga, vol. 12) by Konami Kanata, translated by Ed Chavez

This post contains lots of spoilers (right down to the description).

The Yamadas are going to France, and they have a difficult decision to make: should they notify Chi's original owner that they have her, or should they just continue on as they have been? The decision is basically made for them when they find Chi's mom, hurt after being hit by a car (don't worry, she's fine). Although Yohei is resistant, the Yamadas eventually give Chi up to her original owner. What they didn't count on was that Chi would miss them enough to try to go find them.

I probably wouldn't have minded if this series had gone on to be as massive as Skip Beat! or Naruto, so I was a little sad to have reached this final volume. My expectations were also maybe a bit too high. In the end, I felt this volume was a little too rushed and pushed some of its emotional buttons a bit too hard.

I cried during the bit with Chi's mom. Thank goodness Kanata didn't kill her off, but seeing her just lying there after being hit by the car broke my heart, especially since it happened because she was trying to save Chi. The Yamadas' final decision went a bit further in the tear-jerker direction than I was expecting, however, and it just felt wrong. For maybe the first time in the series, Yohei refused to listen to his parents and acted out, and I was right there with him because, darn it, Chi had been part of their family for at least a few months (I'm not sure how much time has passed between this volume and the first, but my guess is nearly a year). The relative ease with which Mr. and Mrs. Yamada gave Chi up didn't feel right.

Unsurprisingly, Kanata turned things around right before the end of the volume, but even that had aspects to it that didn't quite seem to fit. I've never had to make arrangements to get a pet to another country, but I'm pretty sure that the Yamadas wouldn't have had time to finish those preparations with only a few hours to go before their flight.

I still love Chi, I'm glad she got to meet her mother and siblings, and I'm glad she was reunited with the Yamadas in the end, but I prefer the earlier volumes in the series that were just about a cute kitten doing cute things while her first-time cat owners watch.

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