Chi's moved into her new apartment and it's a whole new world of adventures and perils.
Writer/Artist: Konami Kanata
What They Say
Youhei's actions at the end of volume three have motivated his parents to look for a new home for their kids. Chi is moving to a new address; someplace where cats can play to their heart's content without having to worry about nosy managers and mean hungry bully cats.
Moving alone will be something of an adventure for Chi. While the Yamadas can handle changing their environment now and then, for a kitten home means much more than just a place to sleep. When the old apartment starts to disappear, suddenly Chi starts losing all of her favorite toys and nap spots. And what are all those boxy things? Why are they all stacked so high up? And what's up with all the noise around them? Are there dogs behind all of this?!?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The first three volumes of Chi's Sweet Home had a lot going for it as it introduced us to Chi and her new family. She faced a lot of troubles there with finding out where to spend her time, what to play with and where she had to do her business. She made friends along the way and learned a lot about the world. But she lived in a place where animals weren't allowed so she had to be kept secreted away from everyone, which is difficult for a kitten who just wants to get out there and explore the world. This story idea certainly has its merits and Kanata explored it well in those volumes, but it's something that could drag on too long and bring down the series. So I was glad that with this volume, the family has moved into their new place.
Chi, naturally, isn't all that keen on this experience since the carrier has invariably lead to bad places. But once she's there, she's truly quite curious about the place and all the new smells, but she still wants to go home since she doesn't get it. It's adorable watching her explore all the areas and the stairs especially since she can see through them, which leads her to feeling like she's taller than mom. She finds lots of little nooks and crannies but it's her exploration of her own back yard that really wins her over. Getting her scent all over what she now claims as her grass is priceless. And it makes things seem better after having to deal with finding herself at the top of the stairs and grappling with just how scary that can be.
The moving experience also has the family going to visit the neighbors with Chi in tow which gets them to meet the varied people around them, most of whom have pets themselves, from dogs to cats to parakeets. Chi's freaked by the dog named David but David is very well trained and just wants to play. The relationship the two of them could have may be one of the biggest potentials coming up here. Chi gets some basic fun outside of the move as well, with the really cringe inducing scene involving the dad getting her ready to have her nails clipped or getting trapped inside a dresser drawer while playing hide and seek. Chi's expressions and vocalizations throughout these stories makes it all the more charming than it would be otherwise and seeing her explore her new home and have a number of new experiences unrelated to it just helps to highlight the excellent tone Kanata has set with this book.
Chi's Sweet Home has really hit its stride very early on, pretty much from the first volume, and hasn't lost its way in the slightest since. It knew when to shift gears which is hugely important as it could have overdone a particular plot point and it knows how to populate a new setting. The family side of the story is a bit weaker here since it's focusing more on Chi and the new place and all the new animals and people she meets, but they still have their moments and I continue to have a particular affinity to the dad who has to do some of the unwelcome tasks. Chi's reactions to his touching her paws alone is exactly how I think every cat feels and that resonates since I have to do the same thing with my cat. And that's what's so great about Chi's Sweet Home; if you have cats, you've experienced it and can laugh about it, but if you haven't had them, you can still enjoy her adventures just as much and maybe even be foolish enough to get a cat who will treat you as their servant. Once again, very enthusiastically recommended.