MOONLIGHT MEOW VOL. 1

Posted On September - 1 - 2007
  RELEASED BY:   SEVEN SEAS
  AUTHOR / ART:  

BAMBI ELORIAGA / ROLAND AMGO

  FORMAT:   JAPANESE / BW
  PAGES:   192
  RATING:   T
  RELEASE DATE:   07/05/2007
  REVIEW DATE:   09/01/2007
  REVIEWED BY:   HOLLY ELLINGWOOD

Shape shifters and a British cad with an unusual nighttime habit make up the fun fantasy tale of Moonlight Meow. Meet Gabriel Solo, a British curry shop owner and notorious womanizing cad. However, after a fateful trip to Katmandu, at night he now turns into a black cat. Soon he is about to discover that he isn’t the only one. Gabe is about to wake up to a hidden life within that of humanity involving a shape shifting race, bounty hunters, and secret agents!

This new title from Seven Seas’ ever growing impressive line of original English language manga titles is high entertainment. It’s feisty fun.  Gabe is a clueless and self-centered cad who has never had to work hard to get what he wants. However, he believes himself cursed by the Indian goddess Shasti when he spurned her, not wanting to tie himself down to one woman. Now he turns into a cat at night. Every night. And what a cute and adorable little cat he is (props to the character design for the sweet kitty)! But what he believes is put into question when a secret agent reveals himself to Gabe, telling him he is one of the Theriotypes, a secret race that can change into different animals. In other words there are cat Therians, dog Therians, bear Therians, etc. The agent tries to induct Gabe into the ways of the Therians because they have rules that must be followed…or else! One of them is not to reveal your secret to anyone. This could be trouble for Gabe who is being hounded by an eager photojournalist named Danny who wants to prove Therians exist. The Therians think Gabe’s Shasti story is rubbish, Gabe isn’t so sure. Either way, now he has to contend with an overly enthusiastic reporter on his tail, secret agents in the shadows, and Therian bounty hunters lurking in the wings!

Exciting and fun, and by gosh, it’s funny, Moonlight Meow’s high energy and fast paced entertainment make for a fast and enjoyable read. There’s also a quickly growing cast of characters to the story. Aside from Gabe, there’s the secret agent assigned to him, Danny the reporter, but also Gabe’s female chef named Megan. She’s a fiery one with a no-nonsense attitude who may be a possible love interest for Gabe. There’s even a hunky looking bounty hunter decked out with leather, chains and a motorcycle who seems to have taken a surprising crush on Gabe. That makes it a lot harder to shoot Gabe. It doesn’t stop him from trying though. The end of this volume sees Gabe wounded in his cat form and falling into the hands of a female he knows.

The art style is solid, very decent and Gabe’s black cat form as mentioned is super cute and funny. What I like so much about this manga is that it takes the usually tragic story of shape shifters, commonly riddled with angst, and turns it into something super fun and equally funny. Instead of becoming a cool or menacing creature like a wolf or panther, Gabe is turned into a cute wittle kitty witty. So much for the coolness factor usually associated with such preternatural creatures! Instead the story turns it all round to have fun with the characters and make for an energetic and entertaining story.

Manga extras include omake art, character sketch art gallery, and comedic comic strips.

IN SUMMARY:
Moonlight Meow is crazy cat-shifting fun with a handsome British cad with a secret life, bumbling secret agents, a secret race of shape-shifters, a reporter trying to uncover their secret, and even a bounty hunter with a secret crush. It’s feisty fun indeed!

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