Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Reader's Diary #1160- Konami Kanata, translated by Ed Chavez: Chi's Sweet Home, Vol. 1

A few times while reading Kanata's Chi's Sweet Home I had to remind myself that I picked this from the junior graphic novel section at the library. I was not the intended the audience. So whenever I rolled my eyes over the kitten who thought in overly-cutesy misspellings (e.g., scarewy instead of scary) I quickly moved on, accepting that younger audiences may not find it as annoying.

But it wasn't all simply tolerated, the book does have it's genuine warm and funny moments. It's a story of a kitten rescued by a famiwy... er, family... who live in a "No Pets Allowed" apartment. Quickly they grow attached and the kitten grows to accept her new surroundings.

The best thing about Chi, for cat lovers, is how well Kanata captures the kitten experience. Curious, playful, skittish, Kanata also gets inside Chi's head at times, helping to clarify just why the heck she's acting the way she is. (And when it comes to cats, that's no small task!) It's not as fantastical as Ashley Spires' Binky the Space Cat, but the realism still held my attention.

The artwork is okay, if not an overly detailed work of manga, nicely coloured with watercolours. In some regards it would be a good starter manga for younger readers, adhering to many common comics and manga tactics (e.g., showing a sequence of panels featuring objects around the room to imply a passage of time) and therefore could help build one's comic literacy. It has been flipped for North American audiences, however, so some might feel it's not introducing them to the true form. On the other hand, it would also make it less of an adjustment for many.

2 comments:

Nicola Mansfield said...

Interestingly enough, while the North American audience is aimed at kids, the intended Japanese audience is men 30s/40s (as opposed to boys)! This is classified as seinen manga. Japanese men must really go for cats! My 14 yob has read this series for years and we are looking forward to the last volume coming out in June.

John Mutford said...

Nicola: Seinen manga? Yeah, that's... odd.