I Am a Cat Barista Volume 2
Hiro Maijima’s I Am a Cat Barista volume 2 manages to improve on the first volume through adding another character: a dog patissier.
I loved the idea of a magical cafe where a humanoid cat gave you just the treat you needed to make you feel better. With a similar humanoid dog making dessert, the shop got even better! Particularly since the dog likes to get pets from the customers.
The first story had a useful lesson, too. A school athlete keeps working out, but he’s not improving, while the younger guys get stronger. He needs to hear that, instead of comparing himself to others to measure success, he needs to set his own goals. I can learn from that. Also, he gets served a BLT with runny egg, which sounds delicious.
A couple of the chapters in this volume are a bit odd. One has a man who loves cats but is allergic geeking out at the sight of the cat barista, who teases him with cute poses. A two-part story tells how the cat came to run the cafe, involving a beloved master passing away, a cat left in the rain, and magical reincarnation. Personally, I didn’t need an explanation, let alone such a tragic one. I’d rather read chapters such as the one where the treat is hot chocolate, for a girl with cold hands who needs to know that for someone, her hands will feel good to them.
But overall, a frequent customer sums up the appeal of these stories:
Master always makes just what you need, doesn’t he? Something to warm you up and untangle all the unhappy knots in your heart. No matter what the problem is, this place is always here for you.
Reading this book gives me that same feeling. It’s heart-warming. The series feels like a reassuring hug.