The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again, Today Volume 1
The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again, Today by Hitsuzi Yamada is a weird but strangely attractive fantasy.
Saku is an office woman who is terrible at taking care of herself. She lives alone with a cat, Yukichi, who is human-sized, walks on his back feet, and cooks and cleans for her. Yet he’s still entirely a cat, just a very large, housekeeping one.
He wakes her up and cleans her up and makes sure she gets to work on time. (We find out in a bonus chapter that he understands that she has to work to make money in order to buy cat food.) He’s firm with her, as she needs, but it’s all for her own good. As the author says, “I was absolutely exhausted, so I sketched out all the things I wanted and wished for.”
This is a darling dream of domesticity. I would love to be in Saku’s position, with a fluffy (if often grumpy) someone whose only purpose is to take care of you. And it’s funny when her co-workers see the delicious-looking lunches and homemade treats she brings to the office and assume she’s a gourmet chef, when she’s a wreck in the kitchen.
The art is amusing, particularly when Yukichi has to clean the bathroom. Like other cats, he hates water, so he covers himself from head to toe in order to do so. It’s rather like he’s investigating a crime scene.
He’s kind to their elderly neighbor and tries new recipes to keep Saku healthy. He does laundry and sews and goes to the market, where the clerk thinks he’s a weirdo in an animal suit, but the manager loves him, because people buy more when he’s around. The cat is also a huge fan of a “sea slug-themed idol group”, an interest he shares with Saku’s boss’ niece. The way the little girl accepts him and seeks him out is adorable.
The lightweight encounters and moments also make this something that the busy reader can relax with without paying a lot of attention, which is also comfortable.