Another cross-post from Neko Machi, because I’ve been really busy of late.
Nekomimi Days (ネコミミデイズ) is an obscure manga by Houki Kusano (草野ほうき) that I discovered on Amazon.co.jp and ordered from the local Kinokuniya. It’s a curious work in that it involves a rather strange genre fiction element, but more as a backdrop than a plot element. It takes place in a world where there’s a “cat-ear cold” going around. It’s like the common cold, except that people who catch it often grow cat ears. They can also acquire certain catlike traits, like an obsession with fish or susceptibility to catnip.
Hina Mochizuki (Hii-chan) is a normal girl who lives in an area where there are a lot of both cats and people with cat ears, including her best friend Yuzuko Asahina (Yuzu). The one thing that is a little unusual about Hina is that cats and people with cat ears are naturally drawn to her for some reason.
What unfolds is the story of Hii-chan and Yuzu starting at a new school, and their encounters with different people there. Between general quirkiness and the cat-eared people being oddly interested in her, Hina’s life gets a bit complicated at times. Yuzu always means well–it’s very clear that their friendship is important to her–but it seems like Hina’s cat-magnetism drives her to do things like try to force her friend to cosplay.
I don’t want to spoil what little story there is, but Nekomimi Days is fundamentally a slice of life story, and its conclusion is more of a quiet coda that helps the reader understand the characters and the setting a little better.
The artwork is good, but nothing to write home about. Kusano’s art is relatively simple, and much of the manga has line art and very simple, flat screen tone. It could be better, but I have nothing to complain about, particularly.
I enjoyed Nekomimi Days overall, but I really wish they’d done more with it. The one volume is apparently all it’s going to get; it finished its run in Comic Gum magazine back in January of 2009. With typical manga pacing, that’s not much time to really do much story-wise. On top of that, the cat-ear plague is a really neat idea that they could’ve done more with, even in a slice-of-life story. Only the final chapter really touches on the effect cat-ear-ification has on people and how they relate to one another. On the plus side it does show an amusing variety of people with cat ears, including not only high school age catgirls, but catboys, adult women, and in one case a middle-aged man.
Anyway, that’s about all I have to say about Nekomimi Days. In the final analysis I have to give it a 2.5 out of 5.
Related articles by Zemanta
- [Ewen’s Corner] Suzunari! Manga Review (geekorner.wordpress.com)