Ito Junji no Neko Nikki: Yon & Mu was published in English as Junji Ito's Cat Diary: Yon & Mu by Kodansha Comics USA on October 27, 2015. It was also published in Spanish by Tomodomo Ediciones in 2015.
For me, I enjoyed reading this manga very much! A fan of Itou Junji after reading Uzumaki, I began reading his many other works. After hearing that he's not some psycho manga artist, but instead, a gentle cat lover who drew a cat manga about his real life experience with his cats, I know I must go and read that manga!
All the works from Itou junji that I have read was horror or gore related. Only this was so cute and.. normal! Normal in a way that there's no blood or rotting flesh related things appearing inside
It's so comical at how Itou Junji's drawing style are used in this 'normal' kind of environment. Imagine the horrified faces Itou Junji draws, when the protagonist sees a rotted body or spirals or tomie reviving a thousand times (in Uzumaki, Tomie), being used here, when the protagonist is instead, faced with cute and cuddly cats!
It's just so funny and different from his usual works. This is a must read!
Today, we’re looking at his cat diary that he wrote when he and his wife first got married. In the manga, he dubbed over their names and called them like J-san, A-ko, Yon, Muu, etc. It actually hardly matters because the focus on the story on how he’s trying to cope living with cats, since he’s a dog person.
What makes this pretty funny is that he’s telling a non-horror story using his signature horror style. It kinda makes things creepier than he intended but once you’re stuck in a style, it’s hard to get out of it.
There are a lot of moments where we can
relate to – trying to get the cat’s affections, when cats do weird things, when cats run away. The cats themselves definitely have their own personalities and honestly, I think Junji wasn’t entirely serious on doing this manga in the first place. It says what it is right on the tin: a cat diary.
He learns things that people like him would learn about cats and how people are with them. I don’t have much to say about it because it’s really cute and it’s really funny. Within the manga, there’s also some questions some fans would ask him and he’d earnestly answers them!
If you’re a cat fan, you’ll relate to this manga. If you’re a Junji Ito fan, then this is a funny piece of trivia to have in your arsenal. It’s a nice and light read to kill some time but I wouldn’t really want to pick it up over and over again unless I can truly relate to the antics (which I probably won’t since I have cat allergies).
Junji Ito, easily the greatest horror mangaka ever, decided to write an autobiographical diary about taking care of his two cute cats with his wife. It was a radical departure, but Ito's talent shined through, creating a funny, entertaining work.
Despite being a manga about two adorable felines and his wife, Ito uses the same drawing style and presentation as for his horror manga. The wife has pupil-less eyes and a demonic grin. The cats are constantly drawn as creepy, fearsome beings internally plotting among themselves for their owner's demise. Frequently, Ito draws himself as an insane monster. This
art style and presentation, when contrasted against the stories of taking care of two adventurous felines, is amusing and stays that way throughout the almost 200 pages of the manga. Everyone outside of Ito's household is drawn as a normal, cheerful person, adding to the humor.
The individual chapters detail different episodes of dealing with cats, from their adoption to them curling up on a bed to one escaping and being caught. It's entertaining enough for cat lovers and owners, but one obviously shouldn't expect Ito's usual creativity. It is, after all, a cat diary. Ito was smart enough to end it after 10 chapters, before the cat's antics became repetitive, and the charm of the horror-style presentation faded away.
One aspect I really enjoyed were the color photos of Ito's two real-life cats contained near the end of the manga. After seeing them, I was even more impressed by Ito's fiction depiction of them in the manga. Then again, as a cat lover myself, I know there is a little devil inside even the most innocent of cats!
Junji Ito's Cat Diary is a good, solid manga I would recommend to any fans of his, cat lovers, or anyone looking for a short, fun read.
Junji Ito, better known for his remarkable twisted and weird horror manga, becomes a co-kitty-owner when his fiancée moves in with him, bringing her cat, Yon, along for the ride. Soon afterwards, she adopts a small kitten, Mu, to help keep Yon from being lonely.
The manga was a small collection of hilarious anecdotes of what life is like with a small clan of energetic, curious, and mischievous feline family members. Almost all of the tales can be appreciated by anyone who’s ever been a cat-slave. They were very cute.
The humour and adorability was further amplified by Ito-san’s unique, creepy, and horror-infused illustrations. For example, Yon
is described and drawn as a “cursed” kitty due to the markings on his back that resemble a skull. This “cursed” nature comes up a couple of times throughout the book in funny ways when Ito-san describes a busy night of working. I laughed quite a bit at those parts because I could relate to it on a personal level. I once mistook my black cat for a gargantuan rat in the middle of the night (yay exhaustion). I had been awake for almost 4 days, studying for midterms.
My favourite aspect of the manga is the message that no matter what kind of person you are–cat person, dog person, etc.–when animals are involved, your passions can usually be swayed, especially where love and cuteness is concerned. 😉
I will provide a small warning for anyone who’s ever lost a pet: the extra story at the end is much sadder than the rest of the manga and may evoke tears. I know that I cried dearly and hugged my cats to my chest for a while.
I highly recommend this to fans of Junji Ito, manga fans, and cat lovers everywhere. There’s something here for you all to enjoy or relate to.