I’m pretty sure I’ve never read manga before I picked up The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home. I know some of the reasons I didn’t pick one up before, (honestly, I blame Sailor Moon TV Show – I didn’t like it at all and there’s something about the overly large eyes typical of manga that bothers me) but it was mostly just a decision I had made that the manga/comics section of the bookstore or library wasn’t for me. I was wrong. While I read more comics now than I ever have before, I don’t think I’m converted to manga necessarily, but I did very much enjoy Kanata Konami’s work.
I think part of my enjoyment of Chi’s Sweet Home is that it is part of a subgenre I didn’t know existed: cat manga. Manga of course has something in basically any genre you’re looking for: action, adventure, comedy, detective, drama, historical, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction and fantasy, erotica, sports and games, and suspense so I really have no excuse for not finding something for myself sooner, or for being surprised that beloved cats wouldn’t also have their own place in this world.
Chi’s Sweet Home tells the story of Chi: a mischievous newborn kitten who gets lost. Separated from the warmth and protection of her mother, Chi is distraught and she breaks into tears in a large park meadow where she comes face to face with a similarly upset young boy. Chi is rescued by Yohei and his mother. The book takes off from there, giving us a view into how our cute little kitten is incorporated into the warm and inviting Yamada family, and all the subterfuge needed to hide a kitten in an apartment complex that does not allows pets. A heartwarming tale that leans well into what its like to live with a cat.