License request day: Chi’s Sweet Home

startled

chi1So apparently someone has decided that the internet needs “A Day Without Cats” next Tuesday. It’s some kind of National Day of Silence where everyone agrees not to tell cute cat stories or post cute cat pictures or video, and I’m not really clear why it’s necessary. I mean, there are lots of other things I’d like to see the internet go a day without, you know?

But far be it from me to be purposely contrarian. On Tuesday, Sept. 9, I will continue my fairly impressive track record of not telling cute cat stories or posting cute cat pictures. Well, it was a fairly impressive track record until today, when I beg some publisher to bring English-reading audiences what appears to be the cutest cat manga ever.

pleasedOf course I’m talking about Chi’s Sweet Home, written and illustrated Konami Kanata and serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Morning magazine. Here’s the sometimes-reliable Wikipedia’s description of the series:

“A gray and white kitten with black stripes wanders away from her mother and siblings one day while enjoying a walk outside with her family. Lost in her surroundings, the kitten struggles to find her family and instead is found by a young boy, Youhei, and his mother. They take the kitten home, but as pets are not allowed in their housing complex, they try to find her a new home. chi2This proves to be difficult, and the family decides to keep the kitten. While being housebroken, she mistakenly answers to ‘Chi,’ (the Japanese word for ‘small’, can also be ‘pee’) and this becomes her name. Chi then has a splendid time living with her new family, learning about different things and meeting new people and animals.”

careerOkay, so it sounds like it’s Yotsuba with a kitten instead of a green-haired pre-schooler. I don’t see a down side to this, but I’m a cat person. (Before anyone gets their hackles up, I’m also a dog person. There appear to be six collected volumes available, which is not at all unreasonable, though it’s ongoing, so who knows how many there’ll eventually be? I don’t really care, because CUTE KITTENS DOING CUTE THINGS.

chi5Morning is in the seinen category, but I’ve always gotten the impression that it’s more for people who like great comics than 20-something men who like fanservice and weaponry, though I’m sure it’s perfectly capable of delivering those qualities with brio. Morning has been home to manga by Fumi Yoshinaga, Moyoco Anno, and Fuyumi Soryo, along with Planetes and Vagabond, so it seems as though the manga must only be made of freshly minted win to have a place in the roster.

Chi’s Sweet Home seems to have that feline je ne sais quoi that could fill a niche in the existing market. Sure, predicting what Kodansha will do has proven to be impossible, but when it comes down to cute kitten manga, the request must be made. And when Tuesday comes and you’re feeling that withdrawal, know that at least a few cute kitten pictures are here for you.

Update: Commenter Althalus notes that Ediciones Glénat will be is publishing the book in Spanish.

romping

18 Responses to License request day: Chi’s Sweet Home

  1. Brack says:

    This is on the top of my dream license list. The manga’s 80% understandable from the just the art anyway, and it’s cats, so huge crossover potential.

    And that art is great. Captures the real movement and behaviour of cats incredibly well, while still giving Chi a huge range of comedic, cartoony facial expressions.

  2. Ed Sizemore says:

    David,

    It is truly heartbreaking that Chi has not been licensed. Thank you for bringing this travesty to light. Hopefully one day, small children in the US will be able to bask in the cuteness of Chi without resorting to harmful illegal downloads.

    For any US publisher reading this, I publicly promise to buy every Chi book you translate. I will even buy copies for my local library.

    By the way, I will be posting and enjoying cat photos next Tuesday. I’m boycotting the boycott. When cuteness is banned, only criminals will have cuteness. Keep cuteness free and safe for all.

  3. [...] Apparently believing that there are not enough cat manga in the U.S., David Welsh asks publishers to please license Chi’s Sweet Home. [...]

  4. Khursten says:

    I remember asking Ed of Mangacast why they haven’t licensed Chi’s Sweet Home. I reckon him telling that usually, editors in Japan will push non-popular yet critically acclaimed titles first because locally, titles like Chi are selling like hotcakes anyway. It’s their way of selling these stories to different market, I suppose. I think the other title we were talking about was another Morning title, Heugemono.

    Still, like you, I’d also like to see this title licensed. It’s cute to have a an energetic kitty in our bookshelves. <3

  5. davidpwelsh says:

    That makes sense, Khursten. For them. It does not feed my need for palate-cleansing manga adorableness, but I can see the logic of it. ;-)

  6. animemiz says:

    Yes.. I would sooo love it if this manga is translated.. love the anime series and been purchasing plushies like mad. More neko love!

  7. Tony Salvaggio says:

    Chi’s sweet home is awesome. My wife and I LOVE the anime we’ve seen on the net! I wish I could get the manga and anime here in the US. Although, I am a softy and always am sad he hasn’t found his mom. I just want him to be happy!

  8. Ed Sizemore says:

    Plushies would be tempting, but if my cats found I was giving affection to another feline, stuffed or otherwise, that would just be inviting trouble.

  9. Althalus says:

    Getting the Spanish edition of this. Would love to see it in English, French or German, though. http://www.edicionesglenat.es/asp/serie.asp?pSer=691

  10. [...] this is not really news, I want to give this request lots of support.  David Welsh in his Friday License Request Day has recognized a title I would LOVE to see licensed here in the US.  Chi’s Sweet Home.  [...]

  11. Althalus says:

    Re: Update
    Rather “Ediciones Glénat is publishing”. Volumes 1 and 2 are already out, 3 is coming in October.

  12. I have vol.1 of this title.

    The cartooning is incredibly solid. I think Konami Kanata’s work here should be studied.

    The down side that I can see, which may not apply to any English language translations, is that the collected comic is in full color. Making the book more expensive than the rest of the manga on the shelves.

    Knowing how much American readers get gouged on full color comics, I can’t imagine Chi’s Sweet Home being affordable for the kids that would definitely want to buy it.

  13. drow says:

    chi now!

  14. [...] comes via Brigid Alverson on Twitter that Vertical has acquired the license for Chi’s Sweet Home. Can I pre-order it yet? Also, Vertical earns the distinction of being the first publisher to [...]

  15. [...] long as contrarian reality allows. This would make a certain publisher the fulfiller of two of my license requests, not to mention the only publisher to fulfill any at all. It’s a good thing I don’t [...]

  16. [...] charming adventures of an orphaned kitten, has a special place in my heart. It was the first of my license requests to be fulfilled by a publisher. The thought of that lifts my spirits in these dark and contracting [...]

  17. genetnet says:

    I’m so happy to see Chi licensed. I just bought the first volume and it was simply wonderful!

    I’m also pretty upset that people are continuing to scanlate the series, even though it’s NOW AVAILABLE IN THE US.

  18. [...] if responding to recent request, Amazon.ca delivers what will undoubtedly be exciting news to hopeful fans: Vertical appears to now [...]

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