MANGA REVIEW | "Chi's Sweet Adventures" - Volume Four
No matter the instance, Japan's famous cat Chi always manages to bring smiles to readers of all ages. With her positive personality and can-do attitude, she manages to deliver warmth and happiness both to her Yamada family and her fellow feline pals. The fourth volume of Chi's Sweet Adventures showcases more of that joyful mantra, albeit with its content somewhat geared towards the younger crowd than its initial older audience.
In this new collection of shorts by Kinoko Natsume, Chi finds new discoveries and lessons about keeping one's paw firmly planted on the ground. She meets a new amphibious friend, has an interesting day at the beach, and aids Yohei on his quest to catch some bugs. Chi also finds out the hard way regarding protecting one's meal, a as well as how to properly hiss to show she means business.
All of this is captured with Chi's trademark smile, as she takes on new journeys and experiences by diving head-first just about into everything. There's even a moment of conflict that the tabby must deal with, as the Yamada family seemingly drifts apart due to a fight. It's in this story where Chi learns about the importance of togetherness, as she easily finds that a home broken apart is nowhere near as cozy as a roof hovering over a house of love.
However, I couldn't help but feel that Natsume's latest stories about Chi didn't quite grab me as much as the previous volumes. While the stories themselves are more for kids and the like, they still manage to be just as entertaining for the adults reading along with their children. With the exception of the final chapter in this volume, everything seemed a little bit more simplified when it came to both character actions and the banter it brings along.
Volume Four of Chi's Sweet Adventures is still a pretty good read, but parents might not find themselves as enthused as their kids are as they read it. It's got its fun moments, as well as some important morals, but in the end, Japan's most famous kitten appears to widen the gap between a good read for kids and a good read for families. Although I wouldn't be mad per se if it stuck with this mentality, one hopes that Natsume manages to pull back in the older audiences the next time around.
Promotional consideration provided by Tomo Tran of Vertical Comics. Available in stores May 28th.