Illustration: Puyo, namo, Fly
Translation: Amanda Haley
What They Say:
Return to Japari Park and the lovable world of Kemono Friends in this manga anthology! Kaban, Serval, and the rest of the Friends are having a wonderful time!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Kemono Friends a la Carte is a manga anthology which means that each chapter is written and drawn by different authors. Personally, I love anthologies like this. It’s a good way to see different art styles and learn about new authors I’m probably not familiar with. Most importantly, you always know that they’re going to be passionate fans of the series. Thus, their stories are filled with a lot of passion and you can see the love they put onto each page. I am a fan!
Most of the stories revolve around the everyday lives of the Friends. Sometimes things are peaceful, other times they get into adorably hilarious antics. As you would expect, Kaban and Serval are in a lot of them. The first story involves Kaban having a cold and Serval trying to make her get better. Serval takes too long getting water and Kaban’s fever gets worse. She starts shivering so Serval decides to give her warmth by hugging her. Alpaca also joins in on the hugging. Adorable. Kaban is certainly warm now! Oh no, but she’s still sweating profusely. That’s okay, Serval gets the ingenious idea to lick the sweat off. Oh my! Naturally, this embarrasses her and she can’t help but blush. Haha, I don’t think any of this is helping her that much but at least she’s not alone. Another fun Serval and Kaban story revolves around a swing. Kaban is proud of the swing she built and Serval can’t wait to ride it. She’s never ridden one before and she falls off. That doesn’t deter her though as she keeps riding it over and over again. She keeps falling off and injuring herself. Kaban suggests she stop pushing herself but Serval still won’t give up. She exudes a determined aura that’s straight outta Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Bonus points for the Jojo reference. Serval sure is a glutton for punishment, huh? At least she was having fun!
Alpaca is another Friend that is featured in quite a few stories. I forgot how popular she was. And you know what? I can certainly see why so many people love her. She’s just so darn adorable! Most of her stories deal with Japari Cafe and how she wants to improve it. She practices her greetings every day. She’s prepared for customers at any time. She’s always redecorating the cafe to make it look presentable. She constantly adds new items to the menu. She’s giving it her all! You’ve got to admire that. Also, she’s always so happy whenever a customer comes in. Her smile is genuinely heartwarming. I wish more Friends would stop by the cafe. There were times when no one was there and it made me really sad. Don’t leave poor Alpaca all alone! Yikes, I’m getting too emotional.
Of course, other Friends get their time to shine as well. There’s a funny story where Beaver complains about Prairie Dog doing her business in their tunnel. That certainly sounds like a crappy situation. See what I did there? I crack myself up sometimes. Anyway, they randomly come across a toilet. After some hilarious trial and error, Prairie Dog learns how to use the toilet. Success! Another fun story involves Serval asking Silver Fox advice for staying warm while it’s snowing in the savannah!? That’s some freak weather right there. She tries a whole bunch of suggestions but none of them are keeping her warm for long. In the end, they discover that the answer was simple all along – just wear a coat. I admit that made me chuckle quite a bit. The PPP get their own chapter and Emperor Penguin makes a lot of puns in it. I guess she’s what you would a call a Punguin? I’m sorry, I just had to make that joke. Moving along, Tibet Sandy and Shoebill have an intense staredown in one chapter. Crested Ibis graces everyone with her singing in another. Honestly, all the stories are great. You’re bound to find one you’ll really enjoy. Although, I have the feeling that any true fan of Kemono Friends will enjoy them all!
This is a fun anthology with adorable stories and beautiful artwork. I loved seeing each author’s interpretation of the series. If you’re a fan of the Kemono Friends anime, you will most likely enjoy reading this. Also, I think this manga has turned me into an Alpaca fan. She’s just so precious. Protect that smile! I regret nothing.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: T
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: November 19th, 2019
MSRP: $13.00 (US), $17.00 (CAN)