I have noticed that there are a lot more manga about cats than about dogs. I have a feeling that Japan in general is more of a cat place. Not that they don’t have their share of notable and incredibly adorable dogs. It’s just that I mostly see manga and anime either about cats or about people who love cats for some reason.
The good news is that I like cats too. So I’ve been picking up these cat-themed mangas as I come across them. I told you about I’m The Catlords’ Manservant, Nyankees and Wonder Cat Kyuu-chan already. I also have The Treasure of the King and the Cat as well as Hard Boiled Tales from the Cat Bar. It’s a niche I’m always up for it seems. And Today, I add to it by bringing you The Masterful Cat is Depressed Again Today.
Why I Picked up Masterful Cat
Honestly, I’m not sure. I liked the title but not so much the depressed part. I also liked the cover but didn’t love it. I have to admit, this was sort of an impulse buy and I went into it with a lot of doubts.
A sweetly comedic manga about a cat who cooks, cleans, and succeeds at adulting more than the woman who expected him to be a pet!
When Saku took in a stray black cat, she never expected that he would become the equivalent of a housekeeping life partner. But Yukichi, a giant cat who towers over Saku, is not your ordinary feline. He takes great pride in his culinary skills, and a good sale at the supermarket always gets his whiskers twitching. Saku may not have her act together yet, but at least she has Yukichi!
My First Impression
Oh wait, this is adorable
What I liked
First, let me say that The Masterful Cat is Depressed Again Today is not depressing at all. In fact, Yukuchi (the cat) does not seem so much depressed as exasperated. But it’s in fact a very sweet domestic comedy about a very odd couple who love each other a lot. Just to be clear, not a romantic couple. Not at all.
The Masterful Cat is Depressed Again Today is also sot of a 4 koma. Each 4-panel page is a more or less self-contained mini-story and they usually have continuous plots over short chapters. 12 chapters in the first volume.
There are classical jokes and punchlines but it’s a lot like Wonder Cat Kyuu-chan in that it’s mostly very sweet.
There is a bit of a subversion happening. Yukichi is almost monstrous. He’s an enormous completely black cat who often has a stern expression and wears a variety of odd aprons. Just going by character design, Yukichi the cat isn’t what most people would call “cute”. Now Sau is definitely a pretty lady but she’s a grown professional woman so cute isn’t exactly the right term here.
Yet they come together to create these extremely cute stories that don,t feel like they are reducing their characters to idiots or talking down to the readers.
The manga is told entirely from Saku’s perspective. Saku is a pretty great character. Yukichi does not speak and we can only guess at his thoughts from very occasional facial expressions. However, the manga includes two bonus chapters that are from Yukichi’s point of view and they sort of change a lot about what you think is going on. Let’s just say, this might be my favourite interpretation of the Tsundere. Also, imagine a Tsundere that goes for verbal rather than physical abuse but doesn’t talk.
Hmm, it’s a very specific type. Not for everyone, that’s for sure.
I would say if you liked Kyuu-chan you might like this but it’s not quite a sweet as Kyuu-chan as it includes much more traditional comedy.
Basically, this is a book with a specific audience. It’s about professional adult characters with the worries and cares that that implies. It’s also about loving pets and taking care of others. And it’s not much about anything else. So if none of those things appeal to you, you will not like The Masterful Cat is Depressed Again Today.
There is a closing note from the author that explains that after her last manga wrapped up, she found herself unable to find more work for a long time and she got a little depressed. So she started drawing a little strip to cheer herself up that would include all the things she really wanted in her life. That sentiment comes across in the manga. It’s comforting and it made me feel comforted after a long day.
I’ve already ordered more volumes…
7 thoughts on “The Masterful Cat is Depressed Again Today – Manga First Impression”
I’ve just been reading about this in NEO mag’s Manga Snapshot feature this very morning! 😮
According to Jonathan Clements, the title should read “accomplished” rather than “masterful” and the cat is “disapproving” not depressed, as the idea is the cat is trying to get the woman to sort out her unhealthy life style and get herself back into “dating” form again.
Anyway, glad you enjoyed with this one. I’ll wait for the inevitable anime adaptation even though I am a dog person myself! 😉
I’m not sure how this will translate into anime. Maybe as a short? The structure isn’t the type that usually gets adapted much.
And now, because no human asked for it, the response from the other side of the Fur Aisle. Rep. Rachel from the state of Canines (Wolves)
“OH WHAT FRESH MADNESS IS THIS HUMANS HAVE LEFT IN THEIR INTELLECTUAL LITTER BOX!! CATS ARE TGE MOST SELFUSH, SELF CENTERED, DEMANDING BASIC FURS IN THE MULTUVERSE!! NOBODY REALLY LIKES… MILKYBOKITAN IS A FLUKE!! YOUR ALL THERE FOR THE WHITE FURRY CANINE ACTION ANYWAY!! ADMIT IT!!
Ugh. Anyway it’s not a REAL Basic Cat! It’s just a Felian that looks like a Basic Cat. Also big deal! Considering how commonplace stray homeless Basic Cats are in Anime/Manga that shows their “love”!! Hah. If you ever see a homeless Basic Dog in an Anime? Some character is probably going to adopt him or her! So (bark) on Basic Cat propaganda!! All hail our furry Spirit Foxes and… WHATTYA MEAN FOXES ARE KINDA LIKE CATS?!? THATS FURCUSTS!!… whatyya mean I made that up… Ok I did.”
Hm, I never thought about that, but cat anime do seem to outnumber dog anime. All I can think of is Dog Days, Shiba Inuko-san, and Dog and Scissors. There’s the recent short that’s about both a dog and a cat, I forget the exact name, something like With a Cat and a Dog Everyday’s Fun (not verbatim or if verbatim only accidentally so). I can think of dozens of cat anime.
I wonder whether part of it is that cats are easier to keep in small apartments and don’t require walking as much, making them better suited for late-shift salarymen?
Many cat anime do also include dogs (think, for example, the neighbourhood dog in My Roommate is a Cat), and things look a bit better for dogs, if they’re not the focus of a show (think, for example, Given or Yuri on Ice).
The classic cat and dog friendships… I do think that living coditions in Japan make cats a more practical pet which also made them a more popular pet. But I have read that Japanese are also one of the nations that just really love cats in general. They are used in advertisement and decoration a lot as well.
This manga really is adorable and it’s a great addition to my growing collection of cat manga. I’m just as confused as you are about the title though, Yukichi is at best annoyed, never depressed.
Exasperated maybe… I think something may have gotten lost in translation.