A blog where I post about comics, and occasionally get sidetracked by the goings-on of general pop culture.
Monday, July 05, 2010
Manga Monday: Chi's Sweet Home
Chi's Sweet Home (Volume 1) Konami Kanata
One glimpse through this manga and Patrick called it "cuteness porn," a term that I agree with. Kanata may even go over the top on cuteness when she begins to have the cat speak baby-ish with w's throughout her words like "It's a wittle too open" and "Pwease, no more. I'm gonna pway dead." It's a bit much for me. But I have to admit, this book is cute as hell, so if that was the creator's goal, she succeeded. Kanata also succeeds in giving the book that feeling of taking in a new pet and watching it do all sorts of funny things. In that way, it reminds me of Yotsuba&!. In that manga, we get to see the day-to-day cute things that a child does, and it's very natural and true-to-life. The same sorts of things occur in Chi's Sweet Home, although the author's attempts at interpreting the cat's thoughts during these cute moments distract from the inherent cuteness of the act. I really don't care what the cat's motivation is for the most part, and its inner monologue gets repetitive. I think a more straight-forward look into Chi's life would have been a better choice. But I really did enjoy reading this book. The story follows the Yamada family (a mother, father and little boy) who discover a lost kitten and adopt it into their family, despite their apartment's no pet policy. Most of the book focuses on Chi's acclimating to her new environment, often in bewilderment. She's potty-trained, brought to the vet and plays with new toys before the first volume is complete. It made me smile throughout and chuckle often. I don't think it would have been nearly as effective if not for Kanata's beautiful art style. Thanks to Vertical, who have done a great job translating manga from Osamu Tezuka and Keiko Takemiya over the years, we get a very nice presentation of Chi's Sweet Home in full color. And honestly, the color makes this book. Kanata's bright panels explode with vibrancy, really bringing this world to life, and making the drawings pop. Kanata does some very pretty things with watercolor specifically, and paces each of the little vignettes chronicling Chi's new life to highlight just the right moments for maximum effect. If I weren't allergic to cats myself, this would have convinced me that I needed one. This really is a beautiful visual treat.