Vertical Comics recently brought the manga adaptation of Makoto Shinkai’s 1999 short animation “She and Her Cat” drawn by Tsubasa Yamaguchi to the English audience.

The manga has a very unique narrator, Chobi the Cat. The former stray now lives with the young office lady Miyu who has a quiet life in her apartment. Though he may spend some time wandering outside, he tends to wait for the kind smile Miyu still has after work. Their days together seem pretty easy-going but Chobi doesn’t know all that his owner does but he notices the tiny changes in her mood.  He might not know what caused them but he understands he’ll need to stay by her side.

Yamaguchi’s expressions captured the emotions of the story. Even the slightest change in the eyes held the heaviness of Miyu’s sorrow. The story had a realistic representation of depression and anxiety caused by stress and shown from a bystander’s point of view. It felt like she did not want to lose her composure while she was in her own private residence because she was still sharing the space with Chobi. Life always brought everyone their own set of problems and obstacles, but sometimes leaving some to accumulate might make them greater of a hassle than they originally were. “She and Her Cat” showed that there was always someone willing to help whether it was an old friend or a beloved pet.

Studio LIDEN FILMS made their own adaptation of Shinkai’s short in the form of a four-part OVA series called “She and Her Cat -Everything Flows-.” They released it in Spring 2016, around the same time that the manga was in Kodansha’s anthology magazine “Monthly Afternoon.” It is unknown if Shinkai had any part in the OVA’s production but one might think that it brought additional background history about Miyu. Though there was is a slight difference between the story line regarding Miyu’s mother, it seemed that the manga brought both animated stories together.

Vertical Comics printed the manga with a full-color holographic with a couple of colored interior pages. The tale of humanity deserved the treatment and any fan of Shinkai will enjoy this adaptation of his original animation. For those interested in seeing the OVA adaptation, “She and Her Cat -Everything Flows-” is available on Crunchyroll. No official English release of Shinkai’s original short has been made, but several fans created their own dubbing of it online. For more information on the manga and to read a preview, visit Vertical Comics’s website.

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