A Man & His Cat Volume 7 Review • Anime UK News


“I would like to…study the piano with you. Geoffroy Lambert in Fuyuki Kanda.

Fuyuki Kanda – retired concert pianist – has had his life as a lonely widower turned upside down since becoming the owner of Fukumaru, an Exotic Shorthair cat and feline energy ball. Currently cat-sitting Marin while her owner, rival pianist/friend Hibino is on tour, Kanda is surprised to receive a phone call from another younger concert pianist, the handsome Geoffroy Lambert who – so far – l treated with hostility and disdain. Kind-hearted Kanda agrees to Geoffroy’s request to study with him, though he is confused by this change in attitude and can only wonder what caused it. Geoffroy is the son of another renowned concert pianist, Gustave Lambert who, although Kanda’s eldest, always held the Japanese musician in high esteem – which may have caused resentment from the young man. (Or are they perhaps admiration?) Geoffroy has convinced himself that the only way to advance (and earn his father’s admiration) is to “become Kanda”.

After arriving from Europe, Geoffroy is on his way – despite the rain – to Kanda’s house when he hears a pitiful meow and sees a cardboard box containing five tiny kittens. So when Kanda opens the door for Geoffrey, he sees he has an armful of wet furry creatures just as Geoffrey blurts out, “Can these kittens stay here? I promise to adopt them!! After a moment of utter amazement, Kanda cracks a big smile and says, “It’ll be fine!” You leave me the kittens!

Kanda has little time to remain surprised by Geoffroy’s drastic change in attitude as he is concerned about the condition of the abandoned kittens and takes them to the vet without further delay, where the vet confirms that the fate of the most smallest and weakest of the range hangs in the balance.

When they are back at Kanda’s, however, the next question that arises is how Fukumaru (and Marin) will react to the sudden arrival of these five furry little intruders? Will Fukumaru tolerate the presence of strange cats invading his territory? And even if they have been rescued, who will take care of the kittens? If Geoffroy wants to keep them, he cannot send all five of them back to Europe together. Will he be able to find a home for all of them in Japan?

Another warm volume of cat-themed chapters from Umi Sakurai confirms that his blend of human interest and pet-related stories still has the ability to stir up readers’ emotions – if anything, they made us even more attached to the kindness of Mr. Kanda and the fiery Fukumaru. Some of the flashbacks are illuminating and touching: Fuyuki Kanda wondering what his late wife would have done; Geoffroy remembering that he had never been able to bear the idea of ​​having a pet and becoming attached to it because he was going to die before him.

Sakurai’s insights into the lives of performing musicians – in this case spotlighting Geoffroy and how he views his relationship with his audience – are equally compelling and realistic. But it is above all a volume that focuses on the relationship between parents and their children; there is a chasm between Geoffroy and his father – is there a way to bridge it?

On the feline side of the story, watching the older cats react to the sudden arrival of five kittens is both fun and touching. The brief 4-koma sketches that come at the end of most chapters continue to show snapshots of daily life with a cat in the most realistic way, including Fukumaru’s tendency to do a lot of loud scribbling in his bin. to litter at all hours of the day. and the night.

The Square Enix Manga translation is again by Taylor Engel and, aided by Lys Blakeslee’s lettering, skillfully conveys all the different voices (both feline and human). Volume 7 has four glossy color pages, two on the front and two on the back. The mangaka’s afterword mainly deals with his reactions to filming the manga as a live-action television drama and his excitement at meeting the cast and pianist.

The volume ends with another unexpected arrival: a somewhat disheveled and strange young woman. Who is she and what does she want?

Read a free preview on the Square Enix Manga website here.