With a Dog AND a Cat, Every Day is Fun is a pet memoir manga where the creator writes about her own life with her pets, Inu-kun the dog and Neko-sama the cat. Their honorifics alone show the relationship mangaka Hidekichi Matsumoto has with her animals, and they show a general pattern: the close, familial use of “kun” and the lordly, so-important use of “sama.”
The manga is set up with very short chapters exploring the antics of the frolicking, happy dog and the moody, bossy cat. There’s no plot or character development here — it’s just a slice of life story for animal lovers. There are many antics to make you smile, a few to make you laugh out loud. There are even a few melancholy, sad scenes, as Matsumoto reminisces and misses former pets who have passed away. Anyone who’s owned, loved, and lost a pet can understand this.
That said, while there are very few sad moments, most of the manga is silly and sweet. The art isn’t as refined as manga art usually is, and has a sketchy, slightly messy look. But Matsumoto can still get the humor across with this style, and a few more detailed panels show she can draw in a more sophisticated style if she wants to. There are also multiple photographs throughout the book that show what the real Inu and Neko look like.
She goes into the origin stories of how she got these pets, including getting Inu from a pet store and saving Neko on the streets. Matsumoto acknowledges she used to only know about pet stores as a place to get pets, but she encourages people to check out animal rescues, adoption fairs and things like that. This manga is a fun read for people who love dogs and cats and want a light, entertaining manga.
Story & Art: Hidekichi Matsumoto
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.