ICv2 Stars: 4 (out of 5)
Posted by Brigid Alverson on January 23, 2019 @ 5:24 pm CT
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: January 9, 2019
Author: Atsushi Okada
Format: 176 pgs., B&W, 5"x7.5", Trade Paperback
Age Rating: Teen
ICv2 Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
The title "Nyankees" is a portmanteau of "nyan," the Japanese equivalent of "meow," and "yankees," or juvenile delinquents. The manga itself is a similar combo, with rival street gangs brawling over turf, then scattering when a little girl spots them ("Kitties!") or just chilling out in a cardboard box. Although we see them as human most of the time, these tough guys are actually street cats.
It’s a crazy premise for a manga, but it works, because Okada is a really good artist. The cats are convincing (and surprisingly adorable). Their human versions look like characters from any gang manga, with bulging muscles, crazy eyes, and preposterous hairstyles. And although the humans don’t look particularly feline, when the view shifts from one form to the other, it’s immediately obvious who is who.
The story is fast and violent, with lots of blood-spattering fights, but there is a plot. Ryusei is searching for a mysterious male calico, the neighboring gang is trying to take over, and of course there’s a pretty girl who is tough but perhaps secretly vulnerable as well. Part of Okada’s artistry is that Nyankees is, in fact, a pretty good street-fighting manga, so when Ryusei climbs into his box, or a group of cats are suddenly distracted by a lizard, the break with reality makes it really funny.
With its violent fight scenes and a touch of sexual innuendo, this one is not for the kiddies, but it’s a good pick for anyone who likes action manga, cat manga, and especially, action manga about cats.
Week of March 26, 2019
March 24, 2019
This week’s home entertainment offerings include the highest-grossing film in the DC Extended Universe, Barry Jenkins’ follow-up to his Oscar-winning Moonlight, an underrated biographical film about the greatest comedy duo in screen history, plus a powerful Oscar-nominated film about a young boy mired in the slums of Beirut, and an anime superhero film along with a full slate of anime offerings.
March 18, 2019
VIZ Media will launch a new line of original graphic novels by "manga-inspired" creators.