The Yamada family returns along with their cute kitten Chi in Chi’s Sweet Home Vol. 4 by Konami Kanata thanks to the publisher Vertical.
Volume 4 of Chi’s Sweet Home sees the Yamada family packing up and moving to a new apartment complex where they are allowed to keep animals. Their previous apartment didn’t allow pets so they had to watch out for Chi to make sure they weren’t caught.
The early part of the graphic novel is mainly the family packing and Chi in a panic trying to figure out what all the noise is. Once moved in though the story goes into meeting some new characters, such as David, the playful dog next door, and Alice, a very fancy and well-spoken cat. While they don’t get much time in volume 4 it is likely that they will have more time in future volumes.
For the most part the story doesn’t progress much aside from the move as the rest of the time is spent with Chi exploring her new surroundings and meeting the new neighbors. Some of the daily life activities are entertaining though, the part where the family attempts to trim Chi’s claws for the first time was especially funny as it reminded this reviewer of the first time he trimmed his dog’s claws.
The graphic novel itself isn’t very long at only 168 pages, but they are bright, full color and very well drawn. Konami’s ability to portray the character’s emotions with expressions instead of words is extremely good and it is sure to help capture the attention of younger readers while there are just enough words to keep them reading and interested. The translations are also done well and while at times they may seem a bit too cute, with words like “Pwaces”, they do fit the overall feeling of the story.
At the end of the book there is also a short comic called “Two Funny Felines: Chi and Kuro”, a collaboration between Konami and fellow artist Risa Ito, where you get to learn a little bit about the two artists, who knew each other in school. This was actually a fun little story to read and it was nice to see each of the characters drawn by the other artist.
All-in-all Chi’s Sweet Home Vol. 4 was an entertaining read and many of the everyday life events that took place were both entertaining and pretty true to what would really happen. While this reviewer doesn’t have children he would still recommend this series as something for parents of younger readers who may want to encourage them to explore the world of manga. The only problem you may have is explaining the word “pissed” to them when it comes up in the story, only once.
Chi’s Sweet Home Vol. 4
Published by: Vertical
Created by: Konami Kanata
Pages: 168 (Full Color)
Age Rating: All Ages
Release Date: December 21st, 2010
(A review copy of Chi’s Sweet Home Vol.4 was provided by Vertical.)