Book review: Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu

Junji Ito's Cat Diary: Yon & MuJunji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu by Junji Ito
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If there’s anything the manga-reading public can agree on, it’s that Junji Ito is one fucked-up dude. He’s a writer of horror manga, and is probably most famous for Uzumaki, a spiral-obsessed mind-fuck of popped eyeballs and extreme scoliosis. (I reviewed its three volumes here, here and here, if you’re still unsure about his oddity.)

His work is normally known for extreme violence and inventive ick and squick, so when I found out he’d written a series about cats – yep, cats – I figured I had to give it a go.

Happily, the volume is a happy union between his super-tense, imp-of-the-perverse style, and the sheer love of cats. As you can probably see from this example.

It goes on like this, as you’d expect.

It’s a real-life story, too: Ito appears in its pages with his wife, A-ko. The strip details how Ito, a dog person, becomes a cat person after his wife brings her cat to their new house. They eventually adopt another cat, and the bulk of the story revolves around J-kun’s transformation into a cat person, recounted with the mania that typifies his work.

(It’s worth mentioning that his wife is portrayed as a creepily-smiling ghoul, with no pupils for most of the run. It’s also worth mentioning that the only criticism she made about her depiction was that she didn’t own any striped pants.)

This work (which you can read online here) is worth a look whether you know Ito’s work or not – as long as you have a viewpoint on cats. Haters will share his initial horror at the feline incursion, and lovers will relish both the developing love for the furry jerks, and the joy that both A-ko and J-kun get from their feline friends.

Because let’s face it, there’s no cat owner alive that hasn’t lived it.
My Goodreads reviews are here.

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