Long time reader and commenter here on MangaKast, AuntyA, has suggested that she thinks my library must be magical.
I have to agree that it is pretty amazing the number and variety of manga I have checked-out from Ramsey County Library. In fact, just last week, I picked up this–one I’d never see there before: Gakuen Sōsei Nekoten! / Cat Paradise. (I was also able to snag a half-dozen random first volumes of manga they were weeding out of the collection in their Friends of the Library sale, so you’re going to see some odd titles come through here in the next several weeks.)
The back cover copy of Cat Paradise reads:
At Matabi Academy, students are allowed to bring their pet cats to the dorms. For Yumi Hayakawa, whose favorite hobby is making clothes for her kitty Kansuke, Matabi seems like a sure bet. After all, nothing can possibly go wrong with her best friend at her side! But on the first day of school, the two find themselves face-to-face with a murderous demonic minion on campus! Will Yumi and Kansuke be able to defend themselves and their school against an ancient cat demon’s thirst for vengeance?
Yeah, that’s pretty much it.
There were several things I liked about this story, though. At the beginning of the manga, Yumi talks to her cat, Kansuke, and he talks back, but it becomes clear very quickly that Yumi doesn’t understand him. It’s cute, because it goes against expectation (even though they are able to understand each other later, thanks to a magical encounter with a pair of guardian spirits.)
There’s, of course, a whole cadre of special students, who have gained the ability to not only talk to their cats, but to have some kind of companion powers with them. (Kansuke develops the ability to jump into Yumi’s ugly knitted sweaters and become human temporarily.) All the special students have been chosen by the guardian spirit because, buried deep under campus, is a bound evil cat spirit that they are one day expecting to have to fight.
Surprise, surprise, the time is now.
The evil cat spirit’s minion shows up and causes trouble (later possessing the body of the vice-principal). I found the design of the minion to be creepy-cool:
I actually found a couple other volumes of this at the Friends’ sale, so I may continue to read this. I’m not super sold on this (I mean, it’s got action, but nothing about this set-up stands out to me particularly), but it’s complete at five volumes, which has a certain appeal. Plus, I’m enough of a straight-up shounen fan that I find an easy sort of pleasure in finding out what the superpower cat & human combos are of the various members of the student council (our secret cabal of guardians.)
And, you know, I like cats.
I mean, my heartstrings were pulled when I found out the reason that Kansuke fights so hard to protect Yumi: