A horror manga artist, J, has recently moved into a new home with his fiancee, A-ko. The artist can see a rosy new life opening up before him—until A-ko asks him the fateful question: “Are you a dog person… or a cat person?” Thus begins J’s life with two fractious cats, Yon and Mu. Yon is A-ko’s quirky childhood cat, and Mu is a Norwegian Forest kitten, adopted as a companion In a series of biographical vignettes, Ito chronicles J and A-ko’s life with their exasperating but beloved felines.
Ito is best known for his horror manga, and it is a stroke of genius to bring a creepy element to this sleepy slice-of-life comic. Ito creates a sense of dread, both with the atmosphere and the illustration. This is beautifully juxtaposed with the humorous tone, and the everyday plot of human/cat interaction. It makes for a very surreal and entertaining story. In addition, Cat Diary perfectly captures the joys and frustrations of living with cats. Ito’s love for his fur babies shines through, making the manga adorable and touching.
Admittedly, this is a weird book, and it might not be for everyone. However, if you have had surreal experiences with cats of your own, you will enjoy Junji Ito’s Cat Diary.