Lovefool 11.04.12 | Slice of Nine Lives

The recently decasesd learn lessons on life and love when they’re reincarnated as cats in Risa Motoyama’s unique new slice of life series, Start With a Happy Ending.


I think I like slice of life comics so much because, the older I get, the more I realize that…well, that’s what we get. We get what we get and then it’s over. I am never going to look good in a catsuit, I’m way too short. I’m never going to be actually psychic but will have to continue to count on people being ridiculously easy to read. The chance of me becoming fabulously rich and famous is pretty slim, at this point, what with the current state of cube dwelling and all. But slice of life stuff has things I can recognize.
Take Start With a Happy Ending, Risa Motoyama’s debut work. It’s a charming tale of a second chance at life, only it’s a cat’s life and it’s for a week and then you go off into your next life, as a cat or a child or whatever. One of the recently deceased given this opportunity spends part of her seven days freaking out about a shipment she had started right before her death getting out the door. So. Yeah. That speaks to me more than even my beloved Pepper’s exploits these days. I want to read about things I know right now, as the days get shorter and the world gets colder, and I feel like this book is a wakeup call to mind those things we already know and sometimes forget. Because the days aren’t the only span of time that’s actually pretty short, as it turns out.
Of course, what most of these stories are about is love. It does, after all, make the world go ’round. These tales are about not realizing that you have it or that you need it or what it needs to have to grow. One clock-watching kitten finds out that her husband was fired from his job and really wants to open a cafe but hasn’t because he’s been trying so hard to live the life she wants so she can show up her high school friends. At the end of her seven days, when given her choice, she decides to be reborn as a kitten and finds her way to his cafe, where she spends her cat life hanging out on the counter watching her former husband be happy. And maybe that’s the very essence of love right there: to understand when it seems like someone has gone off the rails and give them a chance to be who they’re going to be. Another gets the chance to inspire a former flame of his to take better care of herself and get out of the house and pursue her interests. I know, simple stuff, right? But how many times have I sworn I was going to take that Bollywood dance class only to bail because I’m feeling lazy or stressed out about work? Bollywood dance classes aren’t going to be around forever, you know, there’s only so much mileage in something like that.
There are a few stories in here that aren’t about love and some about other kinds of love than the ooshy gooshy stuff. Some of them are about being good to your friends, being good to yourself, loving your parents. Love the people in your life, the things you do, yourself—these are all reminders I feel like I can use right now, anyway, especially if they’re being administered by adorable little kittens, which is Motoyama’s preferred method of delivery. Frankly, I’m down for adorable little kittens all the time, even if they kind of do want me to get to the gym and be nicer to my parents. I know I tell you this all the time, nerdlings, but go do something nice for someone you love. I, in the meantime, will stop pouting about DST and go research dance classes. Also, seriously, kittens are magical. Do what the kittens tell you. | Erin Jameson
Click here for a preview of Start With a Happy Ending, courtesy of Digital Manga Publishing and!

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