The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again, Today Volume 5

In Hitsuzi Yamada’s The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again, Today volume 5, the cat Yukichi meets Saku’s parents! Which is kind of appropriate, as he’s the perfect boyfriend, except for the whole being-a-human-sized-cat thing.

It’s New Year’s, and the parents have pulled out the guilt stops to get Saku to come visit, when all she wanted was a quiet holiday at home. That means plenty of favorite plot points, from a road trip to meeting former classmates to a shrine visit to sneaking Yukichi (in disguise) into the house. That makes for a lot of funny moments, hit briefly — I liked the way nothing was dragged out, moving quickly onto the next topic — but there’s an underlying, more emotional theme, where Saku realizes something important about her childhood. She thought she was looked down on and made fun of, until she’s told something else entirely. That was sweet, and a nice underpinning for the holiday timeline.

The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again, Today Volume 5

As always, the cat is nicely drawn as humanoid but still feline. My favorite moment was seeing him make little snowpeople — with cat ears. Eventually, the parents do meet him, a good idea, as storylines about hiding secrets from family should not, in my opinion, be dragged out.

Returning home means taking care of each other after a long trip (although of course, Saku isn’t as good at it as Yukichi is). We also get another flashback chapter about the younger cat, and how he became the caretaker he is today.

It’s been a while since I checked in with this series — I last reviewed volume 3 — and this was a nice little package of stories, easy to catch up with and heart-warming.

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