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Start With A Happy Ending vol 1

Start With A Happy Ending vol 1 back

Risa Motoyama



This book collects a series of short stories along the same theme: you die and are met by the Cat God who tells you that you are being granted 7 more days on earth. This might be because of some act of kindness you performed towards a cat in your lifetime, or it could be at the request of your childhood kitty who wants to pay you back for all your love and attention. You can spend these 7 days any way you like: visiting loved ones, tying up loose ends, taking a trip you always longed to take, whatever. Oh, also you have to do it as a cat. Off you go! Wait, what…?!

And so we get a series of simple tales with simple, human meanings at their heart. The high school girl who felt she had no friends gets to listen in on her classmates mourning her passing. The busy office worker who had no time for anyone else gets to see what a great bunch of people she actually worked with. Some people are happy to just be a cat, being petted and loved by the people they left behind while others find ways to carry on with their lives and work, fixing the things they think need fixing and often realising where they went wrong during their human lifetime.

In each story we are told what the person’s earthly problems were and then watch as they seek a solution in cat form. After their 7 days are up we then get to see them make a choice; to be reincarnated in cat or human form. Some of the outcomes come off as a bit trite but others are actually quite surprising and touching. Each chapter is short and follows the same formula so there is no real subtlety in the structure and, as each story has a similar path, it can feel quite repetitive if you read the entire book through in one go. However, if you dip in a chapter or two at a time, maybe on the bus or on a coffee break, you may well find yourself drifting off into the kitty world and wondering what you would do with your 7 days. There is also a lot of manga-kitteh cuteness which is never a bad thing.