- Mangaka : Yourei Ono
- Publisher : Yen Press
- Genre : Mystery, Seinen
- Published : May 2021
Cats, the interestingly sly animals that are often seen as cold and heartless. Even though they are pretty much domesticated in this day and age, cats still seem to think that they are on top of the food chain unlike their amicable furry counterparts – dogs. Even so, cats have this peculiar charm that captivates people’s hearts. Their sometimes liquidy body that could somehow fit in any shape and size also manage to squeeze in people’s veins and worm to their hearts. Well, that’s usually the case. Here’s a story of a mess a cat lover got himself into. No, this isn’t Junji Ito’s Cat Diary.
Set within a bar that takes pride in catering to a specific clientele, a cat-loving veteran detective stuck in a case from the past sets an interesting stage for various hardened men on a night they will soon find difficult to forget. We meet the cat-loving hitman who mourns the passing of his beloved Cheriko, he learns that his next target is another cat-lover. However, life within the underworld doesn’t wait for anybody, which results in a cat-lover’s corpse, a hunt for the hitman, and a possible set-up.
1. Cats, Cats, and Cats
Even though the story focuses on the mixup between the hitman, the victim, and the cop being strung in the victim’s scheme, our furry feline friends make enough appearances to satiate any cat-lover’s appetite. Although they only appear during weird circumstances, their cuteness is undeniable, especially Dandy. In fact, our favorite scene is when the bar closes and a literal clowder appears. Now, that’s what you call amazing.
2. Tough Men’s Soft Side
We don’t think we’ve stressed how much these men love cats. The victim, Onodera, is too much into cats that he’s known in the force as a sucker for cats. In fact, a cat has been used as a hostage to make him succumb to threat. It doesn’t end there too. When the cat’s cage gets accidentally thrown from the rooftop of a building, he straight out leaps to save it. Yes, from the rooftop and without any safety gear. Is that brave or stupid? We’ll let you decide.
1. Jumpy Timeline
The story starts by introducing the hitman and the victim. However, the timeline gets weird after that. It tends to give sudden flashbacks, which tends to be confusing. It will then go back into the present only to give another flashback. We understand that this may be the author’s style of revealing the information piece by piece, but it comes off as confusing. Of course, there’s always the option of going back and forth to digest it, but not everybody is up for that.
Hard-Boiled Stories from the Cat Bar delivers what the title suggests. It’s the mixing pot of multiple interconnected stories, and of course, the cats that are part of those stories. In terms of intrigue, it definitely caught our attention. For whether or not it lived up to the expectation, we’ll leave that for you to answer.