- Mangaka : Kitaoka, Tomo
- Publisher : Seven Seas
- Genre : Action, Horror, Slice of life, Seinen
- Published : October 26, 2021
The Walking Cat has the familiar setting of zombie apocalypse, complete with all of its despair and carnage, but this time, the story is told through the eyes of an ordinary cat who simply moves with the flow. It is only three volumes long, but for the English release, Seven Seas published it in a 3-in-1 omnibus volume to make it even more convenient for your evening reading session. Here’s our review!
The Walking Cat is a story of a white male cat named Yuki. Throughout the story, Yuki meets, travels, and lives with different people. One of them is a man who's desperate to find his missing wife. There's also a girl who lives in a small colony and tries to find the courage to stand on her own feet. And finally, there’s a boy who's bitten by a zombie and has to survive the undead apocalypse with one arm.
These are interconnected tales with Yuki being the center of the story. Yuki needs them as much as these people rely on him; not only for their physical safety, but to comfort their exhausted hearts as well.
1. Intriguing Premise
Zombie apocalypse stories have been around for decades. Countless movies, novels, and even manga have used this concept before. That's why audiences have become highly familiar with this genre. The Walking Cat, however, adds some novel concepts into this saturated genre, and that is what makes the premise so intriguing.
A zombie apocalypse through the eyes of a cat. That sentence alone should be enough to hook potential readers into at least reading early chapters of this manga. This combination of novelty and familiarity is the main reason why this manga could attract the attention of new readers, especially those who love zombies and/or cats.
2. A Collage of Emotions
Just like any other zombie stories, the main goal of the characters in The Walking Cat is to survive. But in their attempt to do so, there will be unimaginable hardship, fear, disappointment, courage, fondness, sadness, and everything else in the spectrum of human emotions.
The lonely and desperate characters consider Yuki the cat to be their trusted companion, one who won't do anything bad to them and will always listen to everything that they have to say. That's why they're willing to let out a whole collage of emotions in front of Yuki's curious eyes.
The man tells Yuki how much he worries about the fate of his missing wife. The girl tells the white cat how she is so disappointed in her mother for seeking the protection of another man, instead of standing together with her daughter. Yuki is the mirror that allows the characters to reflect their deepest emotions without worry of being judged.
3. Three-Dimensional Characters
By letting the characters express their thoughts and feelings to Yuki, Kitaoka-sensei manages to craft three-dimensional characters who are not there just for the sake of being there. They have pasts that they need to reconcile and they need to survive in the present even though the future looks so grim to them.
The past, present, and future are some of the most fundamental elements of what makes a three-dimensional character. Kitaoka-sensei shows the readers how the man and his wife led their life prior to the crisis and how they are separated. You see how hard he tries to keep on living now and it's all for the sake of a future where he can be together with his wife.
Granted, not every character is explored in this manner. But every main character that interacts with Yuki has this sense of reason, motivation, and purpose weaved into their story. And that is how the author manages to develop the characters even in such a limited amount of pages.
1. A Slow Burning Drama
The one thing that might turn you off of this manga is the pace. Being exposed to so many zombie stories, you might come to expect a fast-moving story. But, unfortunately, that is not what you'll get here. Just like a real life cat, this manga takes its time to do what it wants.
There are chapters filled with uneventful things, like the characters just walking and talking to Yuki amidst abandoned cars, ruined buildings, and overgrown trees. If this kind of slow burn drama is not to your liking, then The Walking Cat will only grind your gears.
On the surface, The Walking Cat is an interesting take on the familiar zombie apocalypse story. But, if you let the story soak in for a while, you'll see well-crafted human drama and a wholesome tale of how an unsuspecting cat can be the source of courage and comfort to the people around him.
Some of you might hesitate to pick up this manga due to its slow pace, but Kitaoka-sensei purposefully makes each chapter short so you can get to the end of the journey rather quickly. Besides, it is a 3-in-1 omnibus, so you'd be sure to finish it in one sitting.
So what do you think? Would you add The Walking Cat onto your next reading list? Or maybe you have read this manga already? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.