A few months ago I decided to just buy a bunch of volume 1 manga that I didn’t know anything about and figured if I found something I liked I would continue it. This has backfired horribly. Not only did I like most of the series I started but I absolutely loved receiving a box in the mail full of manga to discover and going through them one at the time in the evenings. It was like a different adventure every day!
And then, I did it again… This is not a cheap hobby by any means! I should just read digital versions. I really really should. And to kind of slightly justify it in my mind, I want to at least share my experience with you guys!
And this week, I’m talking about I’m The Catlords’ Manservant. I’ll be honest with you guys, I write these tings waaaaay in advance so I may have finished the series by the time this publishes (it happens). If I do, I’ll try to remember adding a little paragraph at the end or something.
Why I Picked up I’m The Catlords’ Manservant
Well, it’s called: I’m The Catlords’ Manservant. You don’t just pass that over. Also, the cover is this kid looking completely overwhelmed as he carries a bunch of cats. That spoke to me!
Yukiharu Izumi just wants one thing—to be a normal high school student. But homeless, penniless, and with nobody else to rely on, he finds himself begging on his knees in front of…shape-shifting cats? They’re willing to take him in—but only if he waits on their every whim. And so start his chaotic days as the catlords’ manservant!
My First Impression
What I liked
I did quite like the basic premise. Izumi’s parents die in an accident and Izumi inherits his father’s sizeable debts only to discover that the man had taken out those loans in the first place to buy a house…for a bunch of cats…who are actually bakeneko. Let’s just say they aren’t willing to give it back but they are willing to help out, in exchange for a free live -in maid.
Is it contrived? heck yeah! But it’s cute and it incorporates a Yokai element which I tend to really like in fiction.
I’m The Catlords’ Manservant is a light comedy. It frames the tragedy in Izumi’s life as comedic rather than melodramatic which to me is always a plus. Besides, I think that a serious drama would have been completely out of place with this type of story.
However, it counters to fluff (cause cats) by actually taking the character arcs seriously. Even in the first volume, it gives enough backstory and personality to everyone to get a good feel for the cast and even care a bit about them. Or at least make you want to adopt a cat even if these ones are making Izumi’s life miserable.
I think some of the writing is a bit weaker but I’ve read much worse lately. First volumes are often where the author finds their footing and the balance is worked out so it’s not unusual for characters to come out a bit more caricatural at first. And I did find that there was a charm that shone through so I’m not too worried.
What’s a bit more annoying is that once he was past the initial shock. Izumi is a bit of a Gary Stu. I mean he’s impossibly kind and that wasn’t really established as a character trait in the first chapters. It’s just that any sort of potential moral dilemma is resolved immediately with Izumi on the side of virtue.
And so far, he’s also very efficient. These 5 Bakemono have been living together for years and although they have their problems, they seem to have made the best of it. Each of them has managed to find their place in the human world, although some are still working at fitting in. They are gainfully employed and have plenty of resources. Yet as soon as Izumi entered the place, the entire house seems to rely on him for everything.
I don’t think this destroys the stories but it could get annoying.
I’m The Catlords’ Manservant – Conclusion
I’m going to throw in a few neutral points. I said stories because so far, I’m The Catlords’ Manservant is more or less structured like a slice of life. Every new chapter in volume 1 marked a new more or less stand-alone story. However, the chapter does end on something of a cliffhanger so there may be a more general arc to come.
For those of you wondering, I’m The Catlord’s Manservant is not BL. At least not so far and not in the least. Unlike something the A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation which has a lot of definitively romantic undertones, this is straight-up supernatural comedy with at most casual friend vibes. Again this may change in the future.
I quite enjoyed the first volume in spite of some visible flaws. I thought it was a fun read and when I got to the last page I wanted more. Now I do think my manga buying may be a bit excessive so I was going to begrudgingly put I’m The Catlords’ Manservant in the digital list or they collect when on sale list but… I found out the entire series is 4 volumes and now I gotta… right? I mean I love when I can have complete series and it doesn’t happen that often.
So I’m gonna get the rest when they come out and if I read them before this post publishes, I’ll update you all.
ed – I found out volume 2 comes out in November so nevermind! I will be buying it though 🙂