The tensions rise as the hunt of the big bad black cat of the apartment complex gets more intense.
Writer/Artist: Kanata Konami
What They Say
Chi has made a new friend. There's another cat in the neighborhood; the very cat that the building manager considers to be a nuisance and with a reward on his head. The cat's name is Kuro; a giant of a feline. All black and with a bit of an appetite, this cat has been known to not only sneak into people's yards but he has even been bold enough to enter some apartments searching for food. Now the two cats are working together to take on the big world outside of the Yamada's apartment!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The third volume's the charm for Chi's Sweet Home. While a book can be enjoyable for the first volume or two when it comes to this kind of content, it can definitely wear out its welcome as time goes on. Chi is an adorable kitty after all but can the antics carry for long before they get tiresome? Garfield and Nermal may disagree, but there's always that danger there. This volume shakes things up a bit by letting the reader know that things won't always stay the same and a couple of different kinds of tension are in store for us. Rather than keep it continually cute and cloying, Kanata wants to make sure that we treat this seriously as well, something which the regular thought of eviction certainly carries.
Blackie has been an interesting character in the book as he's something of the sage older cat, yet not an elderly cat. He's taken Chi out to do a bit of hunting, showing the tricks of survival on the outside and some of the tips on how best to get your owner to do what you want. Chi's learned a lot from him, yet Chi's still not entirely familiar with Blackie. When the two get along, it's all good, but when Chi does stuff to tick off Blackie, he wants nothing to do with Chi. The hunting adventure alone shows that. But when the chips are down, the two work together well and Blackie definitely looks out for Chi, which is important when the super sees both of them outside and Blackie has earned quite the reputation for problems and property damage.
When things do get problematic, Chi's presence is something that's actually causing Yohei's parents to consider sending Chi to Hokkaido to live since it would be safer. The Super didn't know about Chi before, but now that she does, it's even more of an issue since finding places to live that take pets is so hard. It's really good to see the kind of scare the parents get into about Chi's presence and how it can affect their living there as well as seeing how Yohei reacts to all of it, especially with Chi being oblivious to all of it. There are some good, real issues here that the family faces, ones that others have faced in real life as well when it comes to pets and apartments, and while it is simple, it's not candycoated for us. That Chi's Sweet Home can give us silly and serious, often at the same time, is one of the biggest points in its favor.
While I had thoroughly enjoyed the first two volumes of Chi's Sweet Home, I really had wondered if it would be able to hold up with the third one. It's a very cute and endearing concept but one that could easily wear out its welcome. Thankfully, Konami Kanata has things down pat and knows how to massage the material so as to not overdo it. While the book could exist solely with the comedy and sugary sweetness aspect, it is more than that and excels at that while utilizing those aspects in just the right amount. It does, in the end, make you smile and think fondly on it, earning it a reputation it rightly deserves, but it brings in much more as well that really humanizes it and makes it easily to relate to. Chi's Sweet Home hits its stride perfectly here and hints at things to come as it intends to change things up. Highly recommended.