Lenni Reviews: “I Am a Cat Barista” Vol. 2, by Hiro Maijima

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This volume is more tales of Hachi and his café as he helps people with what ails them. This time, we meet a new character, Tama; an anthropomorphic dog who is a friend and comes to work with Hachi. While they dole out advice and comfort to their customers, Hachi shares his backstory and how he came to own a café in the first place.

This is a quick read and very touching. Someone was definitely cutting onions around me while I was reading because I’ll admit, I got teary-eyed. This is a series where everything is dreamlike and kind, leaving you feeling pleasantly at ease. I know this won’t be the type to have many volumes since there’s only so long you can keep this interesting, but I plan to enjoy it while it lasts. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “BEASTARS” Vol. 18, by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

This volume gives us some insight into Legoshi’s friendship with Jack and how it started when Legoshi starts at Cherryton Academy after his mother dies; explaining why Jack and other canine students are so close to Legoshi. In addition, Louis returns to the now abandoned market where he was sold to find his former cellmates; San and Kyu, are still alive and living in the Black Market.

Legoshi is still an idealistic beast who manages to impress the more disillusioned around him. He’s just so earnest about wanting a better future it makes badass  characters like Kyu ready to help him in the inevitable showdown with the psycho Melon. Much like with the Riz arch, the story is taking it’s time getting there. It doesn’t feel like an artificial build up or give a dragged out feeling. We’re just getting all the pieces in place. I still love this series. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “BEASTARS” Vol. 17, by Paru Itagaki

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* This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

In this volume, Legoshi and Louis go into a secret group called the Kopi Luwak, who researches mixed beasts in order to track down Melon. They don’t realize Melon is closer than they thought as he is one of Haru’s teachers in college.

The contrast between a mixed beast like Melon versus a much more sane Legoshi is blatantly obvious. It’s easier for Legoshi to blend in while Melon’s mixed characteristics need to be hidden for him to have that fake normalcy of his day job. As sad as his back story is, it’s clear it is NOT a good thing for Melon to take an interest in you. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “I Am a Cat Barista” Vol. 1, by Hiro Maijima

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Instead of a traditional cat café, this manga has a supernatural café run by an actual cat.

If you remember way… WAAAAAYY back with Pet Shop of Horrors, this has the same vibe of the owner having the ability to give his patrons exactly what they need. But this series isn’t a horror, it’s a light, slice of life, soothing read with some fantasy elements. If you’re looking for something breezy and positive with some beautiful looking food, this is a great read.

The thirst trap of the anthropomorphic cat at the end was confusing, though… 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol. 15, by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

In this volume, while we do get some wholesome moments where Legoshi meets Haru’s parents, we also get to know Melon; a gazelle/leopard hybrid who is a gleeful poacher. Yaha wants Legoshi to help hunt Melon down.

We also meet Utsugi, a jackal who refuses to eat meat and uses alcholo (and Eyes Wide Shut type parties) to supress her desires for meat.

If you’re underage, don’t watch that movie…

It’s cute to see how Legoshi is still so innocent that the mask sex drug parties embarrass him. I adore how this series keeps enough of this innocence without him being overly naive. He’s aware how serious things are around him and is trying to still be himself; not walking around with blinders on thinking everything is sunshine and roses.

Oh, and spoiler alert… Spoiler…

Still a spoiler…

We get to meet Legoshi’s mom.

4.9 out of 5. Almost perfect but I wanted more of Melon and the threat he poses.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” vol 14 by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Still living on his own, Legoshi is approached by the current Beastar, Yahya, to speak about crime after he busted some drug dealers. Yahya is intrigued by Legoshi and wants to see how much like his grandfather, Gosha, as a way to get revenge on his old friend for picking his family over Yahya when they were younger.

I’m so used to seeing Legoshi as this affable, idealistic guy that it’s shocking when he gets intense. I won’t spoil anything but it’s such a contrast to the heartwarming way he bonds with his canine friends. And we get a new villain that I can’t wait to see in the next volume. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol. 13, by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

After being arrested, Legoshi is no longer allowed to attend school. He finds a job in a noodle shop and is visited by his grandfather Gosha; a Komodo Dragon. There is also a new drug on the streets and Gosha has history with the current Beastar.

In this volume, we are also introduced to The Marines; water animals with even their own separate language and culture. Legoshi lives in the same apartment as a spotted seal who is trying to learn more about land animals. To be honest, I’d never given any thought to marine life. Incorporating them is cool and I like how Itagaki is using the fact Legoshi now lives on his own to introduce all these new concepts and characters. Legoshi’s neighbors are a trip. I love watching them interact and play off one another. And of course Legoshi is still the type to want to be a hero so he runs afoul of those drug dealers. I hope he never changes. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beast Complex” Vol. 1, by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Taking advantage of the wealth of stories this universe has to offer, Beast Complex is a collection of stories featuring various stories of different types of beasts.

We would want to assume that Legoshi is unique in his relation to herbivores in the main series, this collection really brings to light what a delicate balance is in place and how different types of beasts handle the need to be civilized when your instincts tell you otherwise. It was nice to live in this world for awhile without the threat of a murderer hiding in the wings; just normal day to day stories from kids as friends, to drama between hosts of a cooking show. If you’re even a casual fan of Beastars, this is worth checking out! 4.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol. 11, by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

I trust this isn’t spoilers for you at this point so, in this volume, Legoshi and Riz have their final showdown and Legoshi will have to pray the training he’s been though will help him stand up to a bear twice his size.

I like the way this panned out. It makes sense given the personalities and characters involved in all this mess. I also have to assume it’s not spoilery to say, it’s about damn TIME the police got involved. A student was murdered and eaten! I’m shocked Legoshi didn’t have regular run ins with a police investigation in progress. That would have made for some interesting conflict… But, as is, this was good. Great art in the fight scenes and even in battle, Legoshi is his goofy self. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol 10, by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

In this volume, we catch up with Louis, now with the Shishigumi for four months, follow up with Kibi, the anteater who was maimed in the previous volume, and Legoshi is trying to get more in tune with his carnivore nature. There are also some side stories to give more context to other characters like Pina and Gohin.

I still love how Legoshi has this grans mission he’s seriously training for yet still manages to be a goofball with high ideals but little experience (since these characters are still technically teenagers). I’d be disappointed with the time spent away from his story but the other characters are also interesting and unique. Still one of my favorite series I’m reading these days. 5 out of 5.

 

 

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