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Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 1 by Kanata Konami

Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 1

by Kanata Konami

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Watching 3 month old kitten Chi explore her new world is relaxing and enteryaing, though the baby talk got old near the end. ( )
  SparklePonies | Apr 4, 2014 |
Oh, the cuteness! This is an awesome graphic novel that is excellent for all ages and definitely a must read for cat lovers.

Chi (the kitten) gets lost from his mother and then found by a toddler boy. The toddler (Yohei) convinces his mother to take the cat home until they find its owner. Yohei and his family live in an apartment where they can’t have pets. However, as Yohei’s family struggles to find a new home for Chi, they get more and more attached to the little guy. Chi also gets more and more attached to his people and is less anxious to find his kitty mom.

The drawings are cartoony with lots of pastel colors. They are very cute and do an excellent job of showing character emotion (including kitty feelings). They will make you laugh and laugh. I am not sure I would recommend this to someone who doesn’t like cats, but if you enjoy cats this book will have you laughing your butt off.

Chi is a kitten with a lot of attitude and that “sweet kitten vulnerability” everyone loves. We get to watch as Chi settles into her new home, wins over the family, takes her first vet trip, discovers super balls, and dodges the neighbors. The book is told from Chi’s perspective.

This really is fun for all ages. Yohei is fairly young, maybe four or five, and him and Chi get up to some crazy antics. My whole family enjoyed this. I have a seven year old son and he could relate to a lot of scenes between Chi and Yohei. Seriously we read this as a family and could barely even get through parts because everyone was laughing so hard. As soon as we finished the book my son wanted to know if we could get the next one.

Overall incredibly cute and hilariously funny with wonderful illustrations throughout. Definitely recommended to cat lovers of all ages out there, seriously this was an awesome read. ( )
  krau0098 | Jan 31, 2014 |
I think very highly of this series so far. True, not much goes on, but Chi is delightful. If you have ever lived with a cat, you will probably find quite a bit of Chi's behavior and the Yamada family's experiences to be familiar. And, if you're like me, you may find yourself wishing you could have a big Chi poster to plaster on one of your walls.

The things the Yamadas go through with Chi are things many cat owners (or pet owners, in general) go through when they get their first cat, especially when the cat is a found stray. My own cat, who I have now lived with for almost 8 months, was found under a car when she was a tiny kitten. I had a bit more time to adjust to having her than the Yamadas had with Chi, but I remember getting all of her things, figuring out where to put everything, making sure she knew how to use the litter box, and, in general, just trying to figure out what her personality was like and how she was going to fit into my life. Remembering all of that, I had to smile while reading about the Yamadas doing some of the very same things I did.

Although the danger that Chi will be discovered is very real, this volume, at least, focuses primarily on humor and sweetness. Even during the times when Chi is almost discovered and Mr. and Mrs. Yamada worry that they might be evicted, Kanata doesn't weigh things down with that worry and keeps things light with fairly humorous solutions. As anyone who has ever tried to hide owning a cat knows, however, this situation can't last long, and I wonder how Kanata will be able to keep the tone of the series light. For now, for example, the Yamadas have managed to camouflage Chi's habit of sitting on the windowsill, but Chi will soon get much bigger and more obvious. Also, if apartment-living in Japan works the same way as apartment-living in America, the Yamadas will have to figure out what to do when they need maintenance work done or when someone comes to do apartment inspections or pest control.

For those who are wondering, Chi is anthropomorphized somewhat - she meows rather than speaking, but readers are shown her thoughts, which are done in a somewhat inconsistent babytalk. While the babytalk helps emphasize how young Chi is (and may have been a feature of the original Japanese), the inconsistency bothered me a little. For instance, Chi will say something like, "So scarewy!" Shouldn't that have been, "So scawey"? Sometimes her l's and r's are replaced with w's and sometimes not. While I'm sure readability might have been compromised if that had been done, I couldn't seem to keep myself from noting every time Chi's l's and r's were fine. It was a little distracting, so I hope that Chi grows out of her babytalk in future volumes.

Chi has happy, sad, angry, and scared expressions, just like any of the human characters in this volume. However, I thought Kanata did an excellent job of making Chi's expressions seem believable on a cat. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've seen some of those same expressions on my kitten's face, particularly "serious face" and "happy purring face." Kanata can definitely draw cats well. As an added bonus, the entire volume is in color. Manga lovers know how amazing this is. All of the manga I've ever read has been black-and-white. If any pages were in color, it was usually only a few extra drawings of the first few pages of the manga, and US companies don't always release volumes with those color pages actually still in color. I don't think I've ever read anything published by Vertical before, but they've impressed me with this volume, which has gorgeous color throughout, feels well-made, and is still somehow only $13.95 (and that's the cover price - you should be able to find it cheaper).

As a cat lover, I can't help but worry about Chi's future with the Yamadas and feel sad about her continued futile search for her mother. Chi wants to find her mother but can't, or, being a kitten, gets distracted during her searches. She dreams about being with her mother and remembers her mother grooming her when Mr. Yamada pets her in her sleep. It's the kind of thing that makes me want to go hug my own kitten.

Overall, I loved this volume. I loved it so much, in fact, that I plan on buying the later volumes as I can afford them. This is one of those series that I think I would regret not having bought if it ever went out of print, so I'm going to make an effort to collect it.

(Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Sep 24, 2013 |
All I wanted was something super cute. And this only sort-of delivered. The artwork is bright and stylish and the panels are easy to follow, and Chi the kitten behaves like a real one would (trust me, I grew up with cats, lots of cats). I was impressed with Konami's ability to convey kittenhood with such simple artwork.

However. Chi the kitten narrates in cutesy-wutsey baby tawk. Just wike dis. Oh, it is so adowable. Wight? Isn't dis adowable?

No, no it isn't. And that is why this has been upgraded (or downgraded?) from super cute to nauseatingly cute. Also, there is no plot, but I didn't pick this up for a plot -- I just wanted to look at Chi and go "awwwwww". Even that simple joy was taken from me.

If you pick this book up, just look at the pictures. Put your finger over any text bubbles you may see, even the ones from the humans. This should've been a wordless book, anyway, and you'll be happier. I will do this with successive volumes in this long series. ( )
  Crowinator | Sep 23, 2013 |
Chi's Sweet Home's bright, cheerful illustrations, precious characters, and heart warming storyline make it a nearly faultless volume in the young readers' genre. However, it would be devastating to limit to its target demographic. There is plenty to satisfy an adult reader in this manga, as has already been discovered by readers of Shūkan Mōningu, an adult magazine with a target age range of 18-30 in which Chi has been serialized.

What is so appealing about the adventures of little Chi, a kitten who is adopted by a family after becoming separated from her mother and siblings? In large part, the parallels created between raising Chi and raising the family's young son, Youhei, make it easy to compare Chi's childish antics to the activities of any other mischievous child, even whilst Chi engages in behavior that is remarkably relate-able for any cat owner. Chi is not merely a pet, but a member of the family, and the humans in her life make it quite clear that patience and love is as necessary when raising kitten as it is with a human child. It's very hard not to be very endeared to Chi's family.

There is an equally fabulous anime based on the manga that follows the manga reasonably well. Both do an excellent job of capturing the energy and optimism of the young cat and reading and watching Chi is always a happy experience. I'm eager to get my hands on the rest of the volumes and find myself reaching for this book when I need an emotional boost. The art is simple and sweet but still very communicative. As the book has very little in the way of dialogue it's important that the art tell the story and it does so effectively.

Chi's Sweet Home has a lot of potential and area for growth and the possible stories that can be told about the little cat seems limitless, so I hope to see the series continue for a very long time. ( )
  vombatiformes | Aug 31, 2013 |
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Book description

Chi is a michievous newborn kitten who, while on a leisurely stroll with her family, finds herself lost. Seperated from the warmth and protection of her mother, feels distraught. Overcome with loneliness she breaks into tears in a large urban park meadow., when she is suddenly rescued by a young boy named Yohei and his mother. The kitty is then quickly and quietly whisked away into the warm and inviting Yamada family apartment...where pets are strictly not permitted.
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"Chi is a mischievous newborn kitten who, while on a leisurely stroll with her family, finds herself lost. Overcome with loneliness she breaks into tears in a large park meadow, where she is rescued by a young boy named Yohei and his mother. The little kitty is then quickly and quietly whisked away into the warm and inviting Yamada apartment...where pets are strictly not permitted."--Publisher's website.… (more)

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