Manga Review: Spirits & Cat Ears – Volume 2

I previously called the debut Spirits & Cat Ears manga “Charming, Lovable and a little bit ecchi” on our Instagram page but does this ring true for it’s second entry into the manga series by YenPress? Well let’s take a look in our latest manga review.

Title: Spirits & Cat Ears – Volume 2
Publisher: YenPress
Author Miyuki Nakayama
Illustrator Miyuki Nakayama
Pages 208
Language English

Synopsis:

In an effort to rid herself of the curse that gave her animal ears, Neneko is working as a priestess at a clinic that exorcises evil spirits. Thanks to the power of magic, Neneko manages to conceal her ears and go to school normally, but she’s still not used to people. There, she happens upon a girl who looks just like the priestess she encountered before, but the girl insists they’ve never met. However, something strange is happening to Neneko’s ears…!

Our View:

Every once in a while you will find a book that is hard to put down; in terms of fiction this for me would be the Gears of War novels by Karen Traviss but in terms of Manga then it would have to be Miyuki Nakayama’s Spirits & Cat Ears, and this statement continues to be true with this second volume released by YenPress into English speaking territories.

Taking place shortly after the events of the first volume, which saw the shy timid girl Neneko Iizuna and her familiar Shichikage Sagami leave the comforts of their home to study as a priestess in a clinic designed for people with potential, we find that Neneko is slowly becoming accustomed to her new lifestyle and starting to bond with those in the household; namely Miya Sounoichi and her familiar Shingetsu Saigami.

It’s a bond, or friendship if you prefer, which sees these two girls and their familiars pair up to go to school as well as take on the daily chores within the clinic; and it’s here where the stories of this second volume of Spirits and Cat Ears begin to take place with the group of four opting to follow another resident of the clinic.

It’s a story which introduces (or in this case re-introduces) Meme Tamayori and her familiar Enshi Mogami as Meme has, as of late, been neglecting her studies at school and work at the clinic in order to help an injured dog. Ironically this isn’t any ordinary dog and as such doesn’t require the attention one would imagine but it does highlight the importance of relying on others when in trouble. In the grand scheme of things it’s not that great of a story; but it does serve the purpose of introducing readers to the concept of spirit animals as well as the younger generation of priestesses in training at the clinic.

The second story on the on the other hand is where things begin to get interesting; as upon entering school in a panic state, as her close friend Miya had to attend class duties, Neneko encounters a familiar face – a girl she believes she met years prior– but during this encounter Neneko’s body reacts in an unnatural manner with her ears sprouting from her head and body aching in pain. It’s a pain which is unexplainable but as the story goes on we start to discover why this pain exists; and it relates to the girl that Neneko encountered.

This particular story, of which takes majority of this second volume as a two-part-chapter, puts some focus onto Neneko’s past but more importantly reveals the possible threat from a rogue priestess and her intention of causing harm and chaos amongst the city. This story arc also lays down the foundations of the final story within this second volume; a story which sees Miya doubt her own self worth and abilities after witnessing the power that is caged up inside Neneko. Jealously, Rivalry or friendship; that is a decision Miya will have to make but it seems like dark times lie ahead for those involved.

Each chapter, or story, within this second volume of Spirit’s & Cat Ears feels independent and stand-a-lone but an underlining aspect of each story does carry on to the next and as a result we can see a larger story being to develop. The introduction of a rouge priestess and the doubts within Miya’s mind will (I suspect) develop into deeper storylines; and the fact that Neneko is starting to grow stronger and open up to people demonstrates her willingness to help others; as seen from a rather emotional story featured within this volume.

Story contents aside for the time being this second volume of Spirits & Cat Ears, much like the previous volume, does include, what I would like to call, a bonus section whereby readers can see an additional story, a story which sees Shichikage fixing Neneko’s gym uniform and takes place between the first and second chapters of this volume, a selection of character bios for the characters featured within this volume, some ecchi ‘bondage stye’ artwork featuring two of the characters that relate to the final chapter of this book and a ‘next volume preview’ of what one can expect from the next chapter. This bonus segment of the book also features adverts for other YenPress titles – all of which are now available.

Featuring five different stories, as well as a bonus mini story that involves Shichikage fixing Neneko’s gym uniform, this second volume of Spirits and Cat Ears manages to continue the momentum brought over by the previous volume with stories that further expand and elaborate on this magical world filled with spirits and priestess, all the while delivering a story in its own unique, rather ecchi, fashion. It’s not all fun and games though as this second volume also delivers to possibility of an incoming threat in the form of a rogue priestess controlling evil spirits; so it will be interesting to see where the next volume takes us.

Spirits and Cat Ears Volume 2 is an entertaining read from start to finish and it tends to focus more on the supporting cast of characters than Neneko herself; all of which is presented beautifully through artwork in light drawn fashion, with a few colour pages at the end for dramatic effect, that’s filled with emotional banter. It’s ecchi, it’s fun and it’s setting itself up nicely for a great story to be told in future volumes. If you enjoyed the first volume then you’ll love where this second volume will take you and it comes highly recommended from us.

Score: review-stars-4

Spirits & Cat Ears – Volume 2 is now available within the UK and America via YenPress.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked on ZOMGPlay and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita or Xbox One.

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