Many horror fans know the books by legendary artist Junji Ito like “Uzumaki” and “Tomie” but  Kodansha Comics has his funny autobiographical 2009 manga “Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu” available for English readers to enjoy.

J-kun (Ito) recently moved into his new home with his fiancée A-ko (Ayako Ishiguro) and she asked if he was a dog or cat person. Jokingly answering her by saying he prefered hamsters though he liked dogs, she made him do strange preparations around the house for their new additions of their family. While he was fine with the young kitten Mu, he feared Yonsuke or “Yon” who lived with A-ko for a long time. The old cat creeped him out with his deep glare and the skull-like pattern on his back. J-kun was in preparations to settle down with his beloved A-ko, but now he must get used to raising two menacing cats.

“Cat Diary” goes back to Ito’s old roots of making gag comics by having a playful feel throughout the manga. For those that only know him of his darker titles, it may feel strange to see his iconic art style used for such a story but it helps bring out his fears and anxiety of becoming a cat parent. It also captures some the strange behaviors of cats which those who don’t own one might not know. Like Moyoco Anno’s “Insufficient Direction,” “Cat Diary” features a two people entering a new chapter in their relationship and how they adjust to each other’s lifestyles. Having a pet is quite a commitment and Ito was willing to accept two of them into his life as he was ready to share his with his wife.

Kodansha Comics included the couple’s contribution to the anthology “Maikeru Oshiete! Hisai Neko Ouen no Kyoukasho” (Teach Me, Michael! A Textbook in Support of Feline Disaster Victims in English.) It talked about their life before and right when the March 2011 Tohoku Earthquake along with the passing of Yon. It is very tragic content to have in the end of the manga but it brings more value to the early days of the small family.

For more information and to read a free online preview, visit Kodansha Comics’s website.

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