Cat Paradise Vol. #04 - Mania.com



Manga Review

Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translation Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 13 and Up
  • Released By: Yen Press
  • MSRP: 10.99
  • Pages: 208
  • ISBN: 978-0316077361
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Cat Paradise Vol. #04

Cat Paradise Vol. #04 Manga Review

By Kate O'Neil     June 17, 2010
Release Date: May 18, 2010


Cat Paradise Vol. #04
© Yen Press

The chosen students and their cats make a mad dash to stop Kaen from destroying the world.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Yuji Iwahara
Translation: Amy Forsyth
/Adaptation: Amy Forsyth

What They Say
The fur will fly as the battle frenzy above Matabi Academy ensues!

As the skies over Matabi Academy are rent apart and a pathway to the heart of the barrier of Futakago is opened, Kaen and the Spirit Beasts set upon the Princess and Shirayuki to exact their long-anticipated vengeance. While Kamio and Yamamoto fly to the princess's defense, the Matabi Academy student council pairs left behind prepare for the inevitable battle that lies before (and above) them. And both Yumi and Kansuke have no choice but to face the truth of their mutual past - and their doubts and fears - head on in order to be effective players in the fight for Akifuji-senpai's soul, the safety of the campus, and the survival of all mankind!

The Review!
The group has been issued its challenge. To save their world as they know it, they have to try to stop Kaen and the rest of the spirit beasts from bringing down the barrier. The gang has just enough time to regroup, which gives Yumi time to mentally prepare herself for the events to come. This includes a pep talk with Kansuke, during which they reminisce on the past and Kansuke tells her why he thinks she can succeed. Let's just say that the past, as Kansuke remembers it, isn't exactly the whole truth, but Yumi cheers up anyway.

There is also the added trouble of the school still being on fire and the other students being able to hear the cats talk for the first time, (which leads to a few amusing moments as Yumi's friends freak out). The gang attempts some damage control, splitting up to tackle various attacking spirit beasts and keeping the rest of the students safe. They even get some help from the rest of the cats on campus in creating a barrier around the gym.

Class President Kamio gets some character development and a chance to show off his powers. He has a tough decision to make: sacrifice the other students to buy them time or save the students and miss the chance to get to the portal before it closes. Hinode is back in action after spending the last volume in the nurse's office, and he uses his powers to transport most of the group through the portal.

The exhausted group then faces another unexpected challenge from within. It turns out Akifuji wasn't the only council member to be possessed. After being forced to take on another one of their own, the group hears a recount of the tragic start of this entire conflict centuries ago. The war between the spirit beasts and the humans doesn't seem to have a solution that won't end in bloodshed.

The story races towards the finish, but without an obvious solution in sight. Will the final volume end with Yumi finding a way to save the day? Perhaps with the power of love? Sticking to convention, that would be the safe bet, but this is a Yuji Iwahara work, so all bets are off. The artwork is still expressive and playful and the cats are still wonderfully drawn.

The first printing of this volume includes several color pages at the beginning of the book.

In Summary
This volume is almost non-stop action from the very start, only slowing for a few key moments, mostly in flashbacks. The swift pacing allows for a lot to be accomplished in little time. The battles are brisk in this volume, with each of the student-cat pairs comfortable in their fighting roles. The humor is still highly self aware, playing with the school setting tropes, like a love confession and Kansuke's pep talk. The cats are as fantastic as always, and they tend to steal the show. As this fun little series draws to a close with the next volume, I'm eager to see how it all ends for the student council, Yumi, and their cats.

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