FREE COLLARS KINGDOM (????????????) • Takuya Fujima • Del Rey (2007) • Kodansha (Magazine Z, 2002-2004) • 3 volumes • Shônen Furry Adventure • 16+ (mild language, violence, infrequent nudity, sexual situations)
This slick but original manga is a sort of nerded-out version of Cats, based on the assumption that household felines see themselves as anthropomorphic cat-eared boys and girls. (We see them as cats in just a few panels.) When his master falls ill, Cyan, a young cat, is thrown out by his master’s family and must live with stray cats, the “Free Collars,” in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district. But the Free Collars fight endless turf wars with the sexy Siam and her feline minions, defeating each other with video-gamey “ultimate cat attacks” such as a deadly cat bell, or by scratching each other in just the right spots. Although the Ikebukuro-district otaku references are fairly irrelevant (turns out that cats are dojinshi-reading anime fans too), the catty details are charming and the silly, melodramatic story has a nice ending. Fujima’s slick, screentone-overload art is full of busty, big-eyed women and action poses.
I know, I know… Takuya Fujima wrote one of the worst manga I’ve ever read, “Deus Vitae.” And “Free Collars Kingdom” is a manga about catgirls and Akihabara. But despite these handicaps, it’s a really cute execution of a good concept, so I give it a thumb’s up.
Today’s winner is Raven J. of Texas! Congratulations, Raven! We also have a picture of one of our previous winners, Mona!
Mona, thank you for sending us a photo of yourself with “Chrono Crusade.” (No relation to “Chrono Trigger.”) I hope you will enjoy… THE REMAINING VOLUMES OF CHRONO CRUSADE WHICH I’LL BE SENDING TO YOU ASAP! Full of angel-devil-nun Gothy retro sci-fi action! I’m glad that this manga, like a kitten in a box, has found a good home. As for everyone else reading this, my “adopt-a-manga” service will pair you up with the manga of your dreams ASAP.