This book isn’t a fantasy or sci-fi novel, no. It is in fact a horror/comedy manga. If you didn’t know this about me, I am a huge otaku, meaning a person who likes Japanese things, one of them being a type of Japanese comics called manga.
I have various manga authors and writers like Naoko Takeuchi, the artist of the Sailor Moon manga series, and Hiroshi Takashige, the author of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica manga adaptation, but another author I like is the wildly popular horror manga creator Junji Ito, author of Yon and Mu.
Junji Ito’s works either terrify the living tawagoto out of me and make me want to cry under my sheets or leave me stunned about what I just read. It's a mixed bag. Despite my fear of Ito’s work, I always find myself attracted to it. I'll be standing in my local library or bookstore when a copy of Shiver or GYO pops out at me and my hand reaches out and picks it off the bookshelf. Even knowing the mistake I have made, I still open the book, revealing my easily terrified brain to whatever horrors Ito’s twisted brain spit up onto the pages. You can guess what follows.
Despite my fear of Junji Ito, I have grown to enjoy his art style and awesomely
terrifying stories. The case of what I now call “Itoitis” came over me when I found myself at my local library in the comic section dismayed at all 33 of my holds being canceled.
There are three places that you can find manga and comics at my library.
You can find your Pokémon and Hardy Boys Comics in the children’s section, your Black Butler and Wonder Woman in the teen’s section, and your Deadpool and Attack on Titan in the section plainly labeled “Comics” near the holds. I was pondering the “Comics” section to look if they had new Saga, and when I came up empty handed, I turned to the adult manga. Here is where you find the blood, boobs, and horror manga. You can also find Spice and Wolf and Food Wars, which makes no sense.
I check it out and find this: Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon and Mu. It was then that the Itoitis kicked in and I checked it out. I was helpless.
When I checked out Yon and Mu, I was expecting a creepy manga about cats.
I got a creepy manga about cats.
But I'm overexaggerating. The story is about the not entirely true story of Junji Ito and his fiancé and their two cats, the creepy, cold Yon, and the cute, sweet Mu tormenting Ito as he and his fiancé battle is an inside war of who the cats like better. The manga is drawn in Junji Ito’s signature creepily realistic style, but the scariest part of this manga is some overly-dramatic parts and some almost disgusting facial expressions, but both features only add to the manga’s best part. Humor.
It's hard to believe, but this manga is very funny. The whole book is just about Ito’s life and experience with these wildly different cats, and the scary parts are only used to further make this book funny.
Cats drawn by Ito before has been very scary, so having an entire book about cats by him you would think be terrifying. Surprisingly, it’s not. The cats in this book are actually cute, even Yon, who’s supposed to be the scary cat. I think this is the only Junji Ito book I feel safe to place in my home without me feeling like I have to lock it inside of a metal box, inside of a bigger metal box, and then place that in the backyard, deep inside a 50 foot deep hole.
So yeah, Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon and Mu is a good manga. It's short for sure, it took me only 15 minutes to finish it all. But I think it’s good if you like slightly scary manga like me. On the spoop meter I would put this right above Soul Eater but not as high as Tokyo Ghoul.
I hope you don’t mind me doing something a little different than usual, and if you're interested in a little adventure (and something different), you should check it out!