Story/Art: Atsushi Okada
Translation: Caleb D. Cook
Lettering: Rochelle Gancio
What They Say:
Nekonaki’s ultimate duo—Taiga and Raiga—is back and ready to rumble!
As Ryuusei and the town’s brawniest thugs rush to capture the infiltrators, sly cats and traitors emerge from the rubble…
…and to top it all off, they’ve got a ferocious weapon on their side—cat chow.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After three volumes of mostly great, or at least funny and highly entertaining, material, volume four just seems to be yet another confusing escalation in the scope and stakes of the entire manga. I still find it entertaining and funny, because it’s yanki cats and the juxtaposition of the drawings, oscillating between cat and human, is still very good. But the once just cute manga about yanki cats has perhaps overstayed its welcome, or needs to get on track sooner than later.
But maybe the best part about this manga is that most of these thoughts are after I finished the volume. While I read, I do highly enjoy every page and turn of the action and story. It’s just that I’m left with more questions than answers yet again, and I’m annoyed by that. I’m annoyed because I want this to be better and more entertaining, but villains without a great antagonist, and having two-thirds of the seeming group of antagonists (Mugen, Hyouma, and Moke) start to fight on the side of Ryuusei and his buds just becomes confusing.
I don’t know what’s going on, who’s pulling these strings, and why they’re doing it. And that bugs me. It seems once friend-now enemy Mugen is either a pawn or high-level individual against Ryuusei, but why?
This is why I really emphasize that need for scale and knowing where this story is going to go. Maybe Okada really does have these answers (there ARE two more books sitting at my desk that might have them), but I couldn’t imagine waiting for them. I’m still optimistic about this series being at the very least generally entertaining by the end, and it has been to this point, but it’s becoming more and more cautious as the wheels and gears turn, without knowledge on who specifically is doing the turning. It feels more like twists for twist’s sake.
Also, the translation notes are around page 70 instead of in the far back of the book, which is weird. Like, either the beginning or the end would make sense, preferably the end. But the middle makes no sense. But whatever.
Ryuusei and the cuteness of the cats still carry this volume and the series as a whole. I like the comedy of Ryuusei being this musclehead who doesn’t really have the smarts to do much else, and his interplay with everyone else continues to be pretty good. That he helped Taiga and Raiga make up by just wanting to fight was pretty good, as was his reaction (immortalized on the back of the book for easy finding) to eating a cat treat is priceless. But I want so much more.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: November 12, 2019