Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Plum Crazy! tales of a tiger-striped cat: Volume One Reivew

Chronicling the adventures of a cat named Plum and her interactions with her owners high schooler Taku and his Mother who runs a traditional Japanese dance studio capturing the happenings of everything from dealing with a new cat when Plum discovers a new kitten she rescues and brings home only to have the cat that Mom named Snowball to decide to take out its frustrations on Plum. Combined with stories like Plum coming to School Mom having to learn not to be such a soft touch with Snowball and various adventures and even a dream sequence at one point. Plum Crazy! While serialized in a Manga magazine specifically aimed at Women is a series much like Yotsuba &! that is all ages in the best sense of the word being able to appeal to anyone who likes cats or simply likes leisurely paced slice of life Manga it wouldn't even be too much of a stretch to call this an Iyashikei (Healing) Manga. With its light domestic comedy interspaced with realistic cat interactions particularly funny are the reactions Plum or Snowball will give be it a withering look of contempt forced into some ridiculous holiday themed outfit at Mom's hands. Or the joy when Plum gets to see Taku when he comes home from school. That both Snowball and Plum are in part based on cats owned by the Mangaka makes it especially realistic. The panel layout is especially good at expressing movement be it of Plum or Snowball or simply the flow of the story visually from the line of shoes of the students of the dance academy to insert panels it's not fussily busy but feels as if thought was put into it being a visual story partially due to things being told from the cat's perspective and Hoshino-Sensei decides to not give the cat an interior monologue like in Chi's Sweet Home. Character design and backgrounds feel old fashioned more akin to Shojo or Josei designs from the Nineties or early Two Thousands. Which honestly I like Mom may be a bit of a "Womanchild" but she can hold her own and Taku has his regular school days and home life. In conclusion, it's a breezy bit of gentle humor with realistically written cats that can be recommended to anyone who likes cats or light slice of life Manga.

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