TITLE: She and Her Cat
YEAR: August 2017 (US Release)
COMPANY: Vertical Comics
Written by Makoto Shinkai
Art by Tsubasa Yamaguchi
Just the mere mention of Makoto Shinkai’s name and fans of his work go crazy.
The former Falcom graphic designer, who took the anime industry by storm back in 2001 when he released his anime OVA titled “Voices of a Distant Star”, which he created on his Power Mac G4 and using several software and voice acted by he and his wife Miko and music provided by his friend Tenmon.
The OVA inspired many for the fact it was independent, created on a small budget but looked significantly better than some major anime series by well-known animation studios.
Suffice to say, the person who grew up inspired by Miyazaki films was now given a chance to create more animated films and he would eventually achieve success with “The Place Promised in Our Early Days” (2004), “5 Centimeters Per Second” (2007) and in 2011, he directed, wrote and produced “Children Who Chase Lost Voices (“Hoshi o Ou Kodomo”), “The Garden of Words” (2013) and his most successful and critically acclaimed work, “Your Name” (2016) which became the fourth highest grossing film of all time in Japan and the highest-grossing anime film of all time, surpassing Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 film, “Spirited Away”.
But before Makoto Shinkai created these critically acclaimed works, he would create shorts and in 1999, he created the short “Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko” (She and Her Cat).
The short would receive a four-episode anime adaptation in 2016 as well as a one-shot manga adaptation by Tsubasa Yamaguchi.
And now that manga adaptation has been released in the United States courtesy of Vertical Comics.
The manga series revolves around a cat named Chobi (and viewed through Chobi’s perspective), brought in to the home of his female owner and the cat looks as the owner as kind, caring and beautiful.
While Chobi would find a female cat named Mimi that loves him, Chobi refuses to be with Mimi because he likes his human owner. And through Chobi’s perspective, we see the emotional moments which his owner goes through.
From having struggles with her job, having troubles in the dating scene, the feelings of loneliness and going through sad emotions and even bouts with depression.
Chobi doesn’t know what is wrong with his human owner but he wants to stand by her and comfort her during her time of need.
Are you a caring pet owner? And do you know how that feeling that whether your sad, depressed, angry or whatever, that loving pet just wants to be near you, no matter how you feel, during the good times and the bad times.
What if there was a story of your pet and their perspective of you as you go through your emotional up and downs?
This is a slice-of-life storyline presented by Makoto Shinkai of a cat named Chobi who is taken in by his human owner, so caring and cheerful. But within a year, like every human that goes through ups and downs, Chobi observes that and sees his owner going through the rough work week, depression, the feeling of loneliness and wanting to be loved.
He doesn’t understand her but he knows that he just wants to be by her side to support her.
And if anything, for any caring pet owner, that’s why we love having pets. That no matter what we are feeling, they are by our side.
And as a pet owner who has had several dogs (not cats) that lived long lives but we treated each with love and affection, I can easily say that each pet I have had, they were like family members. I’ve taken care of these dogs since they were small and was there to see them through the end of their lives and many times when I have went through tough times, got angry, got sad, got depressed, those dogs were always there for me.
And that’s why I feel that “She and Her Cat” will resonate for many manga readers who own pets. It’s a simple and enjoyable story that people of all ages can enjoy. And it’s a manga that I can easily recommend!