The 9-Lives are cat-like aliens, banished to Earth by their planet’s elders and barred from returning home until they have sacrificed eight of their lives for a human. 9-Lives are required by law to have a human owner, but Conri is determined not to relinquish his freedom. After getting caught stealing a bit of leftover food from a restaurant, he is rescued from his pursuers by Adrian, a human who claims he doesn’t want a pet and allows Conri to stay in his apartment.
The first chapter is simple set-up and is enjoyable enough, in an utterly fluffy way. After that, though, the story becomes a real mess and seems incapable of settling on any one tone. For example, in the beginning of the second chapter, Conri spots a mouse and engages in a “comedic” chase, causing lots of “hilarious” damage to Adrian’s possessions in the process. By the end of that same chapter, he’s slitting his wrists. As if this weren’t enough, in chapter three, he’s fallen into the clutches of the mafia.
The art is competent though quite generic, and panels of humans walking down the street with their 9-Lives remind me of similar panels from Chobits, since the 9-Lives’ ears look very similar to a persocom’s. Also, I’m annoyed that Conri is described and depicted as “a calico male.” Okay, I suppose such a thing could be commonplace on the alien planet, but it really just seems to me that the creators didn’t bother to research calicos at all. If they had, they’d know that 99.9% of them are female.
The teen rating is entirely appropriate for The 9 Lives, meaning nothing truly creepy happens. Adrian does, however, have a perverted neighbor who’s obsessed with the possibility that Conri might have eight nipples.
Verdict: A tiny bit creepy. Mostly just bad.
Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.