Dec 6, 2009
If the 00s was the era of visual and light novel adaptations, then the 10s looks like it could be the era of the webcomic adaptation. Buzzer Beater (2005 & 2007), Hyakko (2008), Hetalia: Axis Powers (2008 & 2009) Uchi no 3 Shimai (2008), Nyan Koi! (2009) all started life on the web and Kuruneko marks a significant advance in the production of such material.
Yamato Kuruneko’s cat manga blog is a huge success both online and in printed collections, and her use of the web means she breaks out of the restrictions of the traditional 4 panel gag manga, using as many panels as she feels necessary while maintaining that down the page rhythm. And she doesn’t shy away from some of the more unsavoury aspects of cat ownership (illnesses, vet visits, odd unwanted gifts).
So it’s great that the anime version is overseen by someone who knows how to adapt that sort of material well. Namely, Akitaro Daichi. Is there anyone who knows how to adapt gag manga better?
The animation is handled by Rie Ooshima, who works with Daichi on the long running Ojarumaru. Combined with actress Satomi Kobayashi performing all the roles AND the sound effects, it lends the animation the same handmade feel that Kuruneko’s comic panels have. It’s incredibly refreshing to have a simple little cartoon that doesn’t feel like you’re watching something assembled on a production line.
Disappointingly this didn’t get streamed anywhere this year, despite the similar Chi’s New Address and Kaasan – Mom’s Life getting the streaming treatment. It’s a shame, Kuruneko’s dose of feline ownership reality would go well with Chi’s cat’s eye view of the world.