Five years ago, I expressed my delight with the cute kitty antics depicted in the first volume of “Chi’s Sweet Home.” The series has reached its conclusion with vol. 12 and the reason you never read another review after the first… is because my feelings on it never really changed. Mangaka Konami Kanata’s art continued to be utterly charming in depicting how Chi interacted with her world, to the point that it rendered most of the kitten’s dialogue redundant. Really, Konata’s art is so expressive that you could probably take out all the words spoken by the non-human characters and still follow the story with little difficulty. There is an attempt to manufacture some last-minute drama as Chi has to decide whether or not to stay with her biological or adoptive family, but if you’ve been reading the series this long then the outcome should be a foregone conclusion. As heartwarming as it is predictable, this is series I can’t recommend enough (to cat lovers like me).
There’s a particular story in the (soon to be next) most recent volume of “My Neighbor Seki” that illustrates why I like this series so much. During the re-take of a test, one which Yokoi passed and Seki failed miserably, shenanigans ensue. Yokoi is predictably distracted as Seki resorts to rolling his marked pencil like a die, dowsing, and hypnosis for the correct answers. This is amusing in itself, but I was pretty concerned for Yokoi as her mind was clearly elsewhere during this test. Yet she does even better this time around… only for the story to end with Yokoi demanding the teacher to do another re-test as Seki came out on top this time.
Lesser creators would’ve punished Yokoi for her distractability and reveled in the fact that Seki’s bizarre stratagems led him to victory this time around. Yet there’s real good-hearted humor to be had in seeing her do better this time around and not being able to enjoy it at all. Sometimes, the other person doesn’t have to lose in order for you to win.