Story/Art: Atsushi Okada
Translation: Caleb D. Cook
Lettering: Rochelle Gancio
What They Say:
A catty free-for-all explodes in a warehouse on the outskirts of Nekonaki, thanks to the town’s shady intel collector, Madara!
Does the cornered Ryuusei have what it takes to survive Madara’s clawful trap?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I’ve been wondering, wondering, wondering what the heck is going on with this fight for like three volumes now. Why are they fighting? Why are these randos invading? For what reason has this entire event happened?
The answer turns out to be…kind of disappointing.
I don’t recall Madara being in any volume prior to this, but my memory is bad enough, and my reviews aren’t thorough enough, for me to have written anything about him beforehand. Of course some cat is behind the whole mess, but the reasoning why is much more interesting than the how—which has and remains entertaining!
But Madara’s whole reasoning is that he’s pouty about how there are societies with friendships and he wants to break that up. At least, that’s all we get for now. It’s how he previously broke up the friendship between Ryuusei and Gekka (old friend, but new to us), and it’s what he’s doing to Nekonaki. He’s an agent of chaos, which would be a better narrative if there was a character named Chaos with a grander plan.
For the dnd terminology, chaotic evil for the sake of chaotic evil isn’t really compelling. It’s always the why behind what villains are doing that makes them evil. It’s because, to go back to a Naruto reference, Sasuke wants to take revenge for his family that was killed at the hands of Itachi that makes him a compelling antagonist. And it’s because of the myriad reasons Itachi actually killed his family that makes him a compelling antagonist. But neither of them are being evil or antagonizing to the main characters for its own sake.
There are still good moments in Nyankees. I still like it when the cats and humans are drawn interspersed so we can see both something that makes a little more sense from a human point of view, but also these cute cats fighting. Like when Madara lures Ryuusei into this whole field of toys, and he keeps getting beat because he’s distracted by toys…that’s very funny and good! I basically want this comic to just be cute cat fights.
Only one volume of Nyankees left, and I’m kind of glad for it. It might have been better served as a three or four-volume series with a much smaller scale, and having the main story be, say, returning Mocchi to his owner. But I suppose this is a yanki manga about stray cats, so it must have a tougher antagonist.
Content Grade: C+
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: January 21, 2020