Chi's Sweet Home manages to be very cute again without being unbearable, which is quite the feat.
Writer/Artist: Konami Kanata
Translation: Ed Chavez
Adaptation: Ed Chavez
What They Say
As Kouhei grows up Chi grows up twice as fast! Now moving into the feline version of the terrible twos, Chi's increasingly curious and independent behavoir begins to wear on each member of the Yamada household. Mom's flowers are being shredded, Dad's sick, and little Chi needs to play with him after lunch every day. And when Kouhei doesn't share his toys, Chi begins to use fangs and claws on his best friend!
Lesson learned: cats are cute, but they can also be scary!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The first installment of Chi's Sweet Home really hit the spot. It was simple, funny and endearing while having a very appealing design to it. It's also something that a lot of comics and manga fans forget about in that it's highly accessible. Not only did my kids at seven and ten adore it and devour both volumes before I could, they got into the anime as well. And the few adults I showed it to who had never touched a volume of manga before in their lives thought it was great and wanted to share it with others. Fear the power of Ch.
The second volume has the unenviable job of following up what the first did so well while trying to not falter and build on it. You don't exactly what more of the same but you want to retain that same kind of feeling. Thankfully, it manages to do just that by being adorable and silly while introducing Chi to new situations. Chi's life in the household is like any new kitten's would be as she discovers what kind of new foods she likes that the humans eat (mmm, waffles!) and she discovers one of the most wonderful things that a cat can discover, sleeping on a persons chest and falling sound asleep to the sound of a beating heart. Chi's life has its challenges but there are some wonderful perks as well.
One of the first challenges Chi has to face is trying to play with the toys in the bathtub when Yohei and his dad are in there. The toys are so enticing, but it leads to her getting hugely wet and the whole idea of baths together becomes a terrible thing. The temptation is so high though that you can see her desperately wanting to get in on it more. Chi also has to deal with not being the center of attention as the family is talking about a postcard from a relative and that leads her to being creative in trying to get their attention. Her real issue though is that large gray cat that's come by before causing trouble as it's now made its way into Chi's house and she has to defend it. It could have gone badly in a way, but Kanata manages to make this challenge very adorable for Chi as she tries to scare away the other cat or just the amusement in watching it open the sliding screen door so she can enter. That nobody else notices outside of Chi makes it even more fun as she's exhausted over the whole ordeal.
While there's a trip to the vets in store for Chi this time, she has some other fun hurdles to face as well. But she also has a lot of fun, fun that really does delight the reader because of the way in which Kanata draws her characters and how they react to it. Life through Chi's eyes is full of wonder and magic and cow milk that she can't get enough of. Chi's the epitome of the cute kitten who is learning about life and her world but it also manages to make the other characters just as enjoyable. It's the kind of family book that doesn't grate on you as the human characters are fun and play well with each other and Chi in a way that makes you smile. Chi's Sweet Home is the book that you use to convert you non-manga and non-comic reading fans into at least trying one book and making them a part of Chi's Brigade. Highly recommended.