Chi’s Sweet Home 4 by Konami Kanata: B+

From the back cover:
Welcome to the neighborhood, Chi and family! Now in her new residence, Chi will be introduced to many friends of the furry and feathery kind. With so many fresh smells to investigate, endless adventures await. So settle in, because here pets will never be chased… unless they are chasing each other.

Chi’s Sweet Home is one of those series that goes to the top of the to-read pile whenever a new volume is released. It’s always a true pleasure to read, with colorful cuteness guaranteed on every page.

This volume focuses mostly on the Yamada family’s move to a new, pet-friendly apartment complex and Chi’s reactions to her new environment. I love that so much time is devoted to her acclimation, and how familiar smells gradually embolden her enough to rub herself all over all the new stuff and proclaim it to be hers, too. She also meets a few animals at the new place, though more of her interactions so far have been with a gregarious (but well-trained) dog named David than with snooty long-haired kitty, Alice.

As usual, mangaka Konami Kanata perfectly captures several moments that ought to be familiar to cat owners: the pitiful mewling and pawing at a door that separates the kitty from its people, the inability to fathom what a scratching post is for, and the perils of claw trimming. In fact, I think this last was actually understated; I’ve had cats practically all my life and I still feel unqualified to attempt this task!

It’s not all cuteness, though. Chi’s Sweet Home has occasionally had some bittersweet moments—early volumes contrasted Chi’s cozy new home to her fading memories of her mother and siblings—and this volume is no exception. It’s sad to see how much confusion human-induced change causes to poor Chi and how baffled she is by her friend Blackie’s abrupt departure. I don’t know whether to hope and/or expect that a reunion will be forthcoming or to admire this slightly darker streak in the story.

We’re getting close to being caught up with the series in Japan. The fifth volume is due in February and then, after being spoiled on a bimonthly release schedule, we will suddenly be called upon to wait much longer for our Chi fix. I guess we could always turn to Crunchyroll for solace.

Review copy provided by the publisher.

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  1. Yeah, it’s only released once a year in Japan. 🙁 But up through vol. 7 has been released and vol. 8 will probably be out in April (it has been April for the past several years), so they could still release a few more vols. in English before being really caught up.

    • I didn’t realize it was a yearly release. The same is true of REAL, evidently.

      And yeah, I knew there were seven so far, but it seems like Vertical is pacing itself ‘cos there’s a four-month gap between release dates for volumes five and six.

      • A lot of seinen series are yearly releases. They tend to have short chapters and only be published monthly (as opposed to something like Jump, which has short chapters but is published weekly, or most shoujo, which is monthly but has 30-40 page chapters).

        • Interesting. I think I recall reading that Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and xxxHOLiC began around the same time, but the former was weekly and shounen (and hence ended up with many more volumes) and the latter monthly and seinen.

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