Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon and Mu, Manga Review

Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon and Mu, written and illustrated by Junji Ito

Junji Ito is a horror manga artist known best for exceptionally creative and terrifying works such as Uzumaki and Tomie. I’ve read almost everything of his that has been released in America (still waiting for my husband to finish one anthology so he can lend it to me). His works are creepy, disturbing, spectacularly drawn, and always something I have never seen before. This book is no exception, just that it is also very funny.

Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon and Mu is the true enough story of what happened when Ito’s fiance moved into his house and brought two cats with her. Ito had never considered himself a cat person before and found her first cat to have a bad vibe about him.

pannel from junji ito's cat diary
specifically his accursed face

But he soon finds himself lured in by the cuteness and wants the cat to love him as much as it does his wife. He bounces between being afraid of the cat and having an uncontrollable urge to smother it with affection.

full page from junji ito's cat diary
I don’t have a scanner

Of course the cat needs a friend so they get a second cat and Ito does not think it has an accursed face and wants to love it more than the first one. The cats scratch things, make messes, bite, make him feel unworthy, all the things that cats do and he’s documented it here for our absolute enjoyment.

Ito captures that strange part of human nature where we will see something so cute that we just want to… destroy it. All those feelings of “I could just eat you up,” “you’re so adorable I want to squeeze you!” etc. If you’ve never said something like this you must not find animals half as enjoyable as I do.

This makes a story about living with cute cats somehow applicable to a dramatic and grotesque style of art.

This cat diary is drawn in his typical horror style and has similar pacing to a horror manga but it is laugh out loud hilarious. For anyone who’s ever owned a cat Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon and Mu will strike true. It’s a nice quick read and I strongly recommend it for cat lovers and haters alike.

5/5 cats 🐈🐈🐈🐈🐈

For more Junji Ito books check out Sensor

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Junji Ito has talked about his cats over and over again in interviews. People have really taken to this particular book of his because of its relatability. He claims that cats are hard to draw and bring out a different kind of creativity in him. He has such unusual perspectives and that is a huge part of what makes his works so intriguing.

Most of us see a cat and think, oh cute! He sees a cat and is angered by the secrets he knows they’re keeping. Reading his cat diary will likely change the way you interact with your own cat. They’re plotting behind your back.

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