Love is in the ears
Story: Miyuki Nakayama
Art: Miyuki Nakayama
Translation: Leighann Harvey
What they say
When the evil spirit that entered Neneko’s body mysteriously disappears, Chiya seems more than a little frustrated. What could she be hiding? Meanwhile, Miya finds herself in an embarrassing situation when a panty thief strikes! And after Shichikage saves Neneko once again, the two become closer than ever before…?!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Love is in the air with volume 5 of Spirits & Cat Ears! Of course, before we get to the love, first we should talk about the young woman who might become either a friend or a foe to Neneko and Shichikage. Chiya was introduced in earlier volumes, but she didn’t really play much of a role. We meet her again in this volume when she is wandering around the city. Neneko tried to convince Chiya to stop eating spirits and hurting people before, and in this volume, we learn a bit more about Chiya, though it’s not much.
Right now, the only thing we know about Chiya is that she’s a priestess and belongs to a rich and powerful family. We also learned that the rich and powerful family is the same one that’s trying to convince Yukari Waka, the landlady of Neneko’s residence and a fellow priestess, to marry into the family. We don’t know why Chiya’s family is trying to make priestesses join them yet. All we know is that it has something to do with her grandmother, who is giving me really bad vibes. While there’s no telling what will happen between Chiya and Neneko yet, part of me hopes she comes to the good side, while the other is just hoping I get surprised by whatever outcome happens.
Onto more pleasant matters, it seems Yukari has found some vacation tickets and intends to take everyone on a vacation. Apparently, she won a giveaway some time ago but forgot. Oddly enough, we’re never told where they go, but it looks like a beachside resort town if the artwork is anything to go by. While it seems like the group is here for some fun and relaxation, all is not peaceful, especially when they try to visit the shrine and Neneko gets sick. It seems she can’t visit shrines thanks to the Kuda possessing her. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding the thing inside of her, which even now Shichikage is keeping imprisoned with his chains. The manga does a great job of never giving away too many details. That said, there will be a problem if Miyuki Nakayama plays things too close to the vest. Mysteries are fine, but only if they get solved. Nobody wants to sit on a mystery for an endless number of volumes.
Of more importance is the massive amount of romance to be found in this volume. One of the things Miyuki Nakayama does right is romance. Each couple within this series is so cute and lovable that you can’t help but want to cheer for them, and this volume is chalk full of romantic moments between the two main couples so far (Neneko and Shichikage; Miya and Shingetsu). The romance to be found within this series is a little naughty, a little humorous, and very heartfelt. While some small part of me finds Shichikage’s binding fetish a bit creepy, I know it’s the result of him being a chain yokai. Ultimately, I really enjoyed seeing the progress these four made in their relationships.
Having finished this volume, I can say that Spirits & Cat Ears is definitely one of the funnest, underrated series of our time. All of the characters are fun to follow, and they’re likable to boot. I find myself rooting for Neneko and Shichikage, I want Miya to confess her love to Shingetsu more clearly, and I’m even hoping Chiya experiences true friendship with Neneko despite the fact that it looks like she might be a villain. This volume was cute, funny, romantic, and just a bit naughty—all things that make a great anime.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: April 10, 2017