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Kemono Friends à la Carte Vol. #02 Manga Review

5 min read
Every day's a blast for Kaban, Serval, and the rest of the Friends in Japari Park!

Creative Staff
Story: Various
Art: Various
Illustration: Various
Translation: Amanda Haley
Lettering: Rochelle Gancio

What They Say:
Every day’s a blast for Kaban, Serval, and the rest of the Friends in Japari Park! Whether they’re playing together, trying out new recipes, pranking one another, or working out, these cute critters are always getting into new and exciting adventures!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
What shenanigans are Kaban and Friends up to this time around? Games, pranks, cooking, exercising, and more! First up, games. Kaban finds a children’s illustrated encyclopedia of games. Serval is super excited about being able to try out all these new games. What should they play first!? They decide to play tag. Always a classic! Kaban gets stuck being “it” and she already knows she’s at a major disadvantage. Serval is really fast! Kaban chases after Serval but can never catch up to her. She’ll have to find some other way to catch her. Kaban gets the ingenious idea to put her hat on Lucky to serve as a decoy. Serval falls for it and Kaban manages to tag her! Serval is shocked. How did she catch her!? Well, it doesn’t matter. She had fun and that’s what really counts.

Do you know who loves pranks? Grey Wolf. In particular, she loves scaring other Friends! Why? For the sake of her manga, of course! You can never have enough good material. And what’s better than seeing all the different expressions Friends make when they’re scared? The first unfortunate victim of Grey Wolf’s pranks is Porcupine. Grey Wolf tells her that there’s Yellow Ceruleans going around eating Friends. Porcupine is absolutely terrified! That’s one expression down. The next unsuspecting victim is White Rhino. She doesn’t believe the Cerulean story. Oh yeah? Well, Grey Wolf tells her about something that actually happened. Just the other day…she got a papercut while reading manga! Okay? That’s inconvenient but not really scary. Although, for some reason, it does spook White Rhino, haha. She must not be a fan of blood. Another expression obtained! And then Grey Wolf faces her greatest challenge, Shoebill. Her stern expression never changes! Grey Wolf throws joke after joke at her but nothing works. Shoebill’s poker face is just too good. Moose stops by and remarks that she’s never seen Shoebill in such a good mood. How the heck can she tell that!? Moose explains that it’s all about the eyelashes. When Shoebill’s eyelashes open up, it means she’s in a good mood! Huh, I’ll have to remember that. I guess Grey Wolf did manage to get a different expression out of her, kind of.

Anyone else hungry? I know I could use a bite to eat! But before that, how about quenching your thirst at Alpaca’s café? She’s trying to come up with a new drink for the menu. Lately, Friends have been complaining that her café is lacking in variety. It feels too samey. It’s making Alpaca a bit sad. How dare anyone make her feel sad!?!? She’s so adorably sweet! You must protect her smile! Anyway, the others start suggesting new drinks but they’re just not any good. One example being Serval’s Japari bun drink. It sounds delicious, but it just doesn’t work. Unsurprisingly, Kaban comes up with a refreshing drink called Forest Fruit Tea. This motivates Serval to try again. This time, she puts everything she loves into her Japari Park drink. Needless to say, her heart was in the right place but the drink doesn’t look like it would taste good. In fact, something is moving around in it! Alpaca, being the nice Friend that she is, tries Serval’s drink and immediately spits it out. Also, we never see her again. Rest in peace, Alpaca. They should have just stopped at Kaban’s drink! As for food, Kaban has been learning how to cook lately. She learns how to make pasta and natto which are big hits! Moose, Lion, and Brown Bear have a cooking competition with each other. After an intense battle, it ends in a draw! It’s fine though. All three had a fun time cooking!

Now that your tummy is full, you’ve got to work off those calories! Aurochs has got you covered. She wants to improve her fabulous muscles. I must admit, they are pretty fabulous. Arabian Oryx mentions a triathlon and hypes it up as a race for only the most muscular. Naturally, Aurochs is down for the challenge! And of course, she drags Arabian Oryx with her. Oryx is barely able to keep up with her. She’s just so darn fast! After swimming and climbing the mountain, they take a short rest to admire the view. Just there’s so much beauty in the world, you know? Enough rest! Time to head for the finish line. Muscle! Hustle! By the way, where’s the finish line exactly? Yeah, they got lost in the jungle, haha.

There are just too many adorable stories in this anthology! I don’t have time to go over each one. Some of my favorites include the Professor and her assistant becoming obsessed with a hug pillow. Capybara never wanting to leave the hot springs, and Panther Chameleon being a sneaky ninja. Trust me, all of these stories are great!

In Summary:
This was another fun installment to the Kemono Friends à la Carte anthology series. It’s always a treat getting to see various authors’ interpretation of the series. The artwork is varied and beautiful. Each page is filled with the passion of the artist. What I liked the most about this second volume is that they focused on different characters from the first one. Granted, Serval and Kaban were still featured the most but not as much as in the first volume. It was nice to see Friends like Grey Wolf, Moose, Capybara, and Aurochs get their time to shine. There’s just so many Friends out there and they each have a story to tell! And lastly, I’m still a big Alpaca fan. Protect that smile!

Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating: T
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: February 25th, 2020
MSRP: $13.00 (US), $17.00 (CAN)

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