The release of I’m the Catlords’ Manservant, by Rat Kitaguni, kind of snuck up on me. I don’t remember hearing about it getting licensed and I didn’t have it on my monthly list of manga to buy; I only found out about its existence when it showed up at my local comic book shop. Despite knowing next to nothing about it, after seeing those fluffy-wuffy cats on the cover, I didn’t hesitate to buy it.
Losing his parents in a tragic accident was devastating enough, but that’s just the beginning of Izumi’s misfortunes. After the funeral, Izumi discovers that his father was seriously in debt and that he’s being evicted from the building he and his family were living in! With no where left to go, Izumi pins all of his hopes on a note from his late father, which instructs him to go to a specific address if he’s ever in trouble. But when Izumi arrives at the house in question, he’s greeted by a group of mysterious men, who aren’t too happy to have a strange teen showing up unannounced. Turns out, these men have a secret to protect – they’re Bakeneko, cat spirits with the power to transform into humans! Normally, they wouldn’t want a liability like Izumi hanging around, but, since they were all friends with Izumi’s cat-loving father, they agree to let Izumi stay with them. They even offer to help him with clearing up his father’s debt, on one condition: he must take care of them from this day forward as their loyal manservant!
So, turns out, Izumi’s father was pretty terrible. The house these kitty-cat monsters all live in was a gift to them from Izumi’s dad, which is why he was in so much debt! I guess he was so obsessed with cats that he didn’t care about the well-being of his own family?! Maybe, Izumi’s better off living with the cats! I mean waiting hand-and-foot on a group of finicky felines doesn’t sound that different from just being a regular pet owner. Except these cats can talk and hold down jobs that help pay the bills. Actually, this sounds like a pretty good arrangement to me!
Izumi’s five new masters/pets are all different breeds of adorable! Some of the bakenekos are aloof or temperamental, and others are hyper and demand constant attention. Izumi spends most of this volume bonding with Akira and Susumu, who both impersonate human teens in order to attend the high school that Izumi winds up enrolling at. This leads to a lot of amusing hijinks, as neither of them seem to fully grasp human social norms, and Izumi winds up running around after them, trying to keep them from blowing their cover. Even when their trying to be friendly, they inevitably wind up causing Izumi a ton of stress!
Watching Izumi trying desperately to safeguard the bakenekos’ secret, while they prance around, chasing after birds and jumping off buildings, is hilarious! He’s a serious and responsible kid, and trying to rein in the energetic Akira and wild Susumu usually leaves him a total nervous wreck. He needn’t be so worried. Turns out, the kids at school are more then willing to overlook a few eccentricities in their attractive classmates.
Despite how crazy they make him, Izumi is able to feel empathy for the bakeneko, who struggle to understand humans and have plenty of justification for being skittish around them. Izumi becomes determined to try and connect with his new housemates and it’s really cute to see him start to bond with the needy Akira and the scrappy former street cat, Susumu. I’m sure he’ll continue to win over the other bakenekos in future installments in the series, and I look forward to them all becoming better friends.
I’m the Catlords’ Manservant is a sweet, fantastical and humorous manga, with a little bit of mystery thrown in, as a shadowy figure has been lurking around the bakeneko house. This is a good series to pick up if you’re looking for a laugh and I’d say it’s a must read for cat lovers.
Final Score: 8 out of 10.
For more information on this manga, visit Yen Press’ website.
What did you think of this manga? Who’s you’re favourite cat? Miyako is mine, he’s such a pretty kitty.
If you enjoy reading my reviews, please consider supporting me through Kofi.