Cat + Gamer Volume 2


Cat + Gamer Volume 2

Writing and art by Wataru Nadatani, translation by Zack Davisson, lettering and retouching by Susie Lee and Studio Cutie

Published by Dark Horse

I like a lot of genres of comics and manga, but one genre that I feel is somewhat lacking in North America is that of slice-of-life stories. There are times I want something cozy and gentle to read before going to sleep or to take my mind off of things, and it's titles like Cat + Gamer that I reach for. It feels like the graphic equivalent of getting a Swedish massage or taking a long, warm bath. As a known connoisseur of adorableness, trust me when I say that it is cute. Even the logo is cute, with a little cat head outlined by the m in "Gamer."

There's something so refreshing about spending time with Riko, the human owner, and Musubi, the tuxedo kitten. And make no mistake, there is more than just some panels of a cute cat. There's also a lot of lovely and detailed art, tips for cat owners, homages of popular games, and plenty of humor. On one of my favorite pages, when Riko is about to assemble a cat tower, she realizes that the instructions call for two adults. Unconcerned, she proclaims, "There is none but I! I face this challenge alone!" As any cat owner is well aware, when dealing with cats, it helps if you have a good sense of humor.

Once again, it's clear that not only is Nadatani using a real cat as a model but that they are very familiar with cat behavior. Behavior that includes sleeping on top of warm consoles, shredding tissues and pieces of paper, climbing into bags and boxes, and being fascinated by touchscreens. It's equally clear that Nadatani is also a gamer. I like that Riko is into a bunch of different games on several different consoles. In this volume she plays a fantasy MMORPG, a fighting game, a casual tablet game, and also a game made for cats. Really, she needs to get herself a copy of Stray!

I was so happy to read the first volume back in May, and I’m thrilled that the second volume in English is being published so soon after. This is a title that will appeal to any animal lover, especially one who also enjoys video games, and it is also appropriate for younger readers as there is no swearing, nudity, or violence aside from some love bites and scratches. Fans of Aggretsuko, Heaven’s Design Team, Yotsuba&!, and Silver Spoon will likely enjoying Cat + Gamer. It’s a series that has come at a time when sweetness and light are more appreciated than ever.