Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Chi’s Sweet escape from reality

You would think that I’d been meaning to read Chi’s Sweet Home because I am a life long cat lover. But no, I decided to pick up Chi’s Sweet Home because I saw so many students reading it, including students who I really didn’t expect to read anything at all.

Spoiler: I quickly realized that there isn’t much actual reading involved in Chi’s Sweet Home. And that’s the last mean thing I will say about it.

Chi’s Sweet Home is a slice-of-life manga about a kitten who gets adopted by a family after she gets lost. It is so soft and gentle that it makes Ai Yori Aoshi look like Berserk. (Or if video game analogies are more your thing, it makes Animal Crossing look like Dark Souls)

The last cat-centric manga I read was A Man and His Cat, the story of a widower who adopts an unwanted cat and how they ease each other’s loneliness. I haven’t finished the first volume of that because it’s hard to read when you’re crying that hard. It’s beautiful but has serious feels.

I was worried that Chi’s Sweet Home would also be emotionally rough. However, at least in the first volume, it wasn’t nearly so traumatic. Yes, Chi gets lost from her mother and still dreams of her. However, the stories are more focused on sweet life moments.

Amusingly, Chi’s Sweet Home is Seinen, the young adult men genre. (Not porn but the next step up from Shonen) Because it is published in a Seinen magazine. While it is as child friendly as Bluey. Which is just further proof that genre categories are garbage.

That said, part of its strength is that it can be quite frank about daily life. Chi’s struggles getting litter box trained (she is a very young kitten) and her stress visiting the vet are clearly conveyed. As a pet owner and a parent, Chi’s Sweet Home rings true.

But the reason to read Chi’s Sweet Home is how it celebrates the quiet joys and tiny victories. It is a refuge from the big, scary world. And it’s a series I know I won’t binge but I will keep going back to.

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