Mangaka: Kyuryu Z (@kyuryuz)
Publisher: Yen Press (@YenPress)
Lettering: Lys Blakeslee
Translation: Stephen Paul
WHAT IS IT?
A man discovers the joys and chaos that comes alongside owning a cat for the first time.
Think Simon’s Cat but with a manga twist.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
When Fuuta’s sister P-chan moves in with him, she comes with an unexpected plus one in the form of a cat. Having never owned a cat before, Fuuta finds himself mesmerized by the strange shapes he twists into and the odd noises he makes. Now, coming home from work and spending time with his feline roommate becomes the highlight of his day and the ways in which his life has changed since first meeting the curious kitty are weird and wonderful.
Shown through bite-sized tales, Nights With A Cat highlights all of the small moments that make owning cats so special.
Kyuryu Z’s artwork is adorable. It’s simplistic and has a classic manga feel to it. The traditional black and white art is enhanced by pops of green, yellow, and blue that really add to the cozy aesthetic of the style. The illustrations of Kyuruga the cat doing all of his weird and wonderful feline things have the perfect combination of humor and realness.
Most of the dialogue is internal as Fuuta ponders his new life with a cat and it is superbly relatable. The conversations between Fuuta and his sister are simplistic and feel like the ones you’d have with your own friends and family, making this down to earth title all the more lovable and chuckle-worthy.
Paul and Blakeslee really had their work cut out for them with this title due to the insane amount of sound effects shown throughout. Everything looks clean, is understandable, and easy to read. They handled this title with exceptional care.
The humor is 100% aimed at and meant for crazy cat people, every little moment had me saying "yep" and chuckling thinking back to similar moments with my own cat.
The charm of the manga definitely comes from Kyuruga and the heavy amounts of sound effects that follow him around. Many of the panels simply feature him doing typical cat things and the flowing, winding wording that wraps around his body truly steals the show.
Each chapter is only a few pages long and focus on a different theme - i.e. flipping cats ears over just to see if they stay, the inevitable “how did my camera roll just become cat photos?” moment, etc. - so the low-key vibes and aesthetics make this a great quick read that you can return to again and again.
Some of the moments were modeled after actual experiences Kyuryu Z had with their own cat and you can absolutely see it shine through in the storytelling. You can feel an immense love for felines show through the narrative and art style.
The physical edition is high quality. The printing is downright lovely and the texture of the paper and cover stand high above a lot of other manga titles out there, which is becoming a more common attribute for Yen Press' releases.
Kyuruga is named after the Japanese word for QR code after Fuuta and his sister discover that the pattern atop his head tries to register on their cameras and open a link. That’s the kind of humor you can expect from this title.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
This is the absolute definition of a slice-of-life manga. Unlike a lot of similar titles on the market right now, there isn’t a heavy emotional depth to the story, so some readers expecting a complex narrative may not find this one enjoyable.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Manga about the delights and destruction of life with cats are becoming an immensely popular sub-genre nowadays. With similar titles like A Man and his Cat becoming such beloved picks amongst cat owners, a light-hearted and easy read like Nights With A Cat is the perfect new addition to that shelf of cat-focused manga you most definitely own and cherish.
Starting out as a series of illustrations posted on a message board and then making their way to Twitter and Kyuryu Z’s personal blog, this look at life with a cat comes from a place of love and curiosity. A simplistic and fun new series, every page had me giggling and nodding in agreement and I can’t wait to join Kruruga again on his next set of adventures when it releases next month.
HOW DO I READ IT?
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