Chi's Sweet Home Volume 1

Written by Konami Kanata
Illustrated by Konami Kanata

Chi is a lost little kitten who doesn't know much about the world. She's covertly adopted by a family that can't have pets but soon wins them over with a combination of charm and pure adorableness. Can this unlikely combination stay together and combat everything from litter training to scratching up Bell Bottoms? Find out in Chi's Sweet Home!

My wife wants to build a device that allows you to make the record scratch noise in an easy to carry container. I could have used it after reading Chi's, because I would never in a million years have pegged it for a seinen manga. When I finished this one, I was thinking about how I tend to have trouble getting into manga for young boys!

So yeah, color me fooled. From the first few lines, where Chi sounds rather like Black Jack's wife, I was convinced this was a shonen manga for the all-ages set. The art did nothing to convince me otherwise, and while the story bears some resemblance to the discovery themes of Yotsuba&!, Karakuri Odette, or even Aqua/Aria, I just wasn't able to get into this one. The tone is just a bit too juvenile for me. Unlike those other manga, I don't see Chi asking questions that might trouble an adult. It's more pitched at that "adorable kid" mindset that tends to ruin movies featuring precocious tykes.

Maybe I'm just being an old curmudgeon (which is David's gig, so I'd better be careful!), but this one was lost on me. If I had a young friend, however, I'd not hesitate to give them a copy and watch them laugh over jokes about bathroom problems and making dad look silly. The art does not skimp, and I will admit that Kanata's images of Chi alternately being happy, sleepy, and freaked out beyond all reason are definitely well done and accurate, speaking as a veteran cat owner of many years.

All in all, however, despite its seinen origins, I don't think Chi's Sweet Home is quite enough of a full package for an adult without kids or a real soft spot for cute. I'll see if maybe volume two changes my mind, because I will always give stories with cats every chance to hook me. Now if you'll excuse me, my non-cute loving self has some candy to steal from children...*

*Just kidding. I actually prefer to take their lunch money instead.