So lately I’ve been ordering a lot of manga. I’m in the mood to discover my next big manga love story. I’ve also not been reading as many webcomics. At least not family-friendly ones. As such, I figured I would switch my webtoon recommendations for manga first impressions until I build up a nice stock of webtoons to recommend once again. That way, maybe you can discover your next big manga love. And I gotta say, it’s pretty easy to fall in love with an adorable kitty like Wonder Cat Kyuu-chan.
Why I Picked up Wonder Cat Kyuu-chan
This was part of a haul I did and I think it mostly caught my eye because the cover was so different. This wasn’t the usual band of cool looking characters in staring at me or cute girls in flattering positions. The cover is a huge naively drawn kitty on someone’s head rendered in monochromatic pink. So I figured, why not. I like kitties and I like pink. Let’s go!
There’s more to this kitty than meets the eye! Kyuu-chan loves snacks, cuddles, and bow ties, but most of all loves Hinata, the young professional who adopted this mischievous wonder cat into his home.
As the two adjust to life together, they discover that they have a lot to learn from each other.
The ordinary and the extraordinary live side by side in this delightful slice-of-life manga!
My First Impression
This is cute but a little simple, maybe I’ll just read a few more…. This is really cute and those 4 koma sure do fly by, I guess I’ll read one or two more… This is adorable, I want more. Can I buy the second volume?
What I liked
Kyuu-chan is a difficult manga to explain. A lot of its strengths could also count as weaknesses.
It’s a collection of single-page 4-koma strips which means it’s very easy to read and also very easy to just pick up whenever the mood strikes you. Low commitment, unlike a pet!
It’s also very unpretentious. There’s a simplicity and a comfort to how the little stories play out. Often with almost no dialogue. Once you settle into it, it becomes a gentle but uplifting experience that is likely to ring familiar to anyone who’s ever loved a pet.
And I should mention that it’s a full-colour manga. Ok, that’s a bit misleading. Kyuu-chan is presented in varying shades of pink and purple with some occasional baby blue accents. So it’s selectively full colour but all the pages are colourful. And that’s extremely rare. The printed version gives off a slightly different impression than what you are seeing on your screen which I think really adds to the experience.
Well, it’s very easy to read and there is not much dialogue. You could probably get through a volume in 15 to 20 minutes. I personally think it’s still entirely worth it and unlike more involved narratives, I can see myself rereading Kyuu-chan a lot, but I could understand someone not wanting to pay full price for such a short experience.
The simplicity which I ultimately thought played in Kyuu-chan’s favour can also be deceptive. For the first few strips, I was under the impression that I might be reading a children’s book. Like a little children’s book, for 5-year-olds or something. However, it builds on itself and grows into something more subtle and enjoyable but I can’t deny that it retains a certain innocence throughout. This will not be for everyone. Ironically, I think it will turn off younger readers who are too old for this stuff.
The art style is naïve. It’s cute and very simple without much detail or effort at looking photorealistic. I mean you see it clearly in the images. Like all my points in this section, this wasn’t a drawback for me personally but I can see how some people may not enjoy the style. I did, I want stickers of Hinata and Kyuu to put on everything.
Wonder Cat Kyuu-chan is a manga that sort of snuck up on me. I bought it on a whim not expecting anything. Then I decided o read it one night because it looked easy to get through. I read the first few pages thinking it was cute but that’s it and ended up loving it and recommending it to a friend the very next morning.
I’m writing this in mid-March and volume 2 should be released right about the time this post publishes in May. I fully intend to get volume 2. These are great palette cleansers between heavier mangas and just wonderful light reading at the end of a long day.