Friday, December 5, 2014

MISC. MANGA, *Free Collar Kingdom

Similar to the Magical Meow Meow Taruto anime, Free Collar Kingdom takes common Japanese housecats and envisions them as catgirls and catboys. Author Takuya Fujima did this as he's an animal lover, and based it slightly on his own pets. The manga was picked up by Del Rey Publishing who did a fairly good English adaptation of it, although they did take some liberties with the script.

In modern day Japan, the manga positions average cats as small humans with cat ears and tails, they also wear cat-sized human clothing and are pictured by humans as cats playing dress up. Cyan is a rare shorthaired cat that gets abandoned by his owner's parents as they think their son won't live through the medical treatment he needs. Cyan teams up with a rogue gang of cats called the Free Collars who fiercely protect their domain, which is Nyan-Nyan's Mansion, Cyan's old apartment building that is the former stomping ground of a legendary stray cat named Nyan-Man. Cyan befriends the cute Scottie, whose master still lives in the same apartment building as a manga creator. The Free Collars' turf is constantly being invaded by the sexy Siam and her catgirl army, although Siam is a sympathetic villain in the spirit of Team Rocket. Siam's lieutenants each have their own unique quirks, but they all want to take over Nyan-Nyan's Mansion mostly to expand their territory, but to search for Nyan-Man's mythical lost collar which is like the alley cat's Holy Grail.

This works out as a pretty good manga trilogy, although they left room open for more at the end. The artwork is excellent, and the characters live up to their manga archetypes both physically and spiritually. This isn't one of those "furry" titles(not that there's anything wrong with that!), but it doesn't hurt if you have a thing for anime girls with fuzzy ears.

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