Baron the Cat Returns
|This is the third volume in a somewhat-related series of acclaimed manga by Hiiragi Aoi, starting with "Mimi o Sumaseba" (English title: "Whispers of the Heart"), followed by "Shiawase na Jikan" (English title: "Happy Time) and now "Neko no Danshaku, Baron" (Literal translation "Baron the Cat Baron.") Whereas the first two books tell the coming-of-age love story between two Jr. High School students, Shizuku and Seiji, this third book makes a radical departure to a fantasy world, the home of Baron the Cat Baron, who is no more than a doll (although an important one!) in the first volumes.
In this story, a shy young girl named Haru ("Spring") is having a rough day; late to school, stepping in puddles and embarrassing herself in front of the boy she has a crush on. After this wretched day, she saves a cat from being hit by a car, using her lacrosse racket, which is broken in the rescue. Much to her shock and surprise, the earring-wearing cat then stands up, bows, and thanks her for her assistance. A sequence of cat-related incidents follow, until finally Haru follows the massively fat kitty Muta (returning from "Whispers of the Heat") into the home of Baron, a suave, adventuring cat of sophistication and style.
Baron's house leads to a Cat World, where Haru is quickly kidnapped to become the bride of the Cat Prince whom she saved. However, for this to work Haru must be transformed into a cat herself, a proposition which she does not like at all. Appealing to the Baron and Muta, Haru attempts to escape the Cat World and find her way back home.
"Baron: The Cat Returns" is a charming story in the Alice in Wonderland mode, with Haru very much the stranger in a strange land. Baron is a dashing character, a tuxedo-wearing swordfighter who is always willing to help a lady in distress. Muta is a perfect sidekick, rough and ready to scrap with anyone. A great comic for kids, it is a straight-forward fantasy adventure with enough surprises and delights to keep entertaining. Taken from Amazon
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