Caturday Special: Why you should read Cat Gamer by Wataru Nadatani

Happy Caturday everyone! Cat themed comics are one of my big weaknesses and I love finding all manner of stories dealing with cats or told by cats. This particular manga was recently released by Dark Horse and tells a really cute story of a fairly antisocial gamer connecting with a young cat as a first-time cat-owner. And honestly, who doesn’t love to see someone fumbling around learning how to raise a cat and how downright weird they can be? With this series you get the combined craziness of first-time cat ownership with the main character’s videogame-centric mind trying to make sense of everything. 

The back cover synopsis reads: Level up with a new feline friend! Riko, a twenty-nine-year-old office worker with an obsession for video games, finds her quiet life upended when she takes in a stray cat! Having no experience with pets, RIko uses lessons drawn from video games to guide her in cat care, while her cute companion tries to understand Riko’s behavior and personal obsessions through a cat’s worldview.

First question to ask yourself when reading a cat comic: is the cat cute? The answer here is unequivocally yes! Nadatani has a great art style throughout the comic, and that shows clearly in how our main furry protagonist is depicted. We get a ton of moments throughout the pages that really show how cute our little tuxedo boy is. From shots of his cute toe beans to close-ups of his furry face, I’m sure readers and cat fans will be satisfied! We even get a few short comics from the cat’s point of view, allowing us to see how he’s finding his new home and how he’s liking his new owner.

Second question to ask yourself: Is it funny, heartwarming, or both? Cat Gamer is a little bit of both, but tends towards the funny side. The story combines the chaotic elements of a crazy kitten with too much energy with the slightly disconnected logic of an antisocial gamer. Our main character, Riko, tries her best to raise this kitten, framing her efforts as a way to “max out this cat” from its weak level one status. We get a combo hit of humor with the switching of point of views between Riko and the kitten. I especially loved the chapter where she was trying to play a console game and he found the console so warm and comfy he wanted to make it his new favorite spot. Of course this came with the risk of him accidentally pressing the power button and losing Riko all of her progress in the game. 

Third question to ask yourself: Does it try to teach you something? With this one, the answer would be just barely. There are a few moments where I would say people who aren’t familiar with animals would pick something up. Like when Riko had to research fleas or when she had to pick out a new toy to keep him distracted. However, I think the main source of entertainment or content for this comic would be people who are already cat owners finding enjoyment and humor in watching someone else learn about cats for the first time. It boils down to seeing someone elses frustration and joy at something that has frustrated you or made you happy. 

If you’re a cat owner like me, video game fan, and manga fan, I highly suggest picking this volume up to try out. There’s only one volume out right now, but I can’t wait to read more! 

~~Thanks for Reading!~~

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