‘Wata no Kokusei’ by Yumiko Oshima

Mar 19, 2012 / Topics

Tags: book

‘Wata no Kokusei’ Volumes 1-4 by Yumiko Oshima(Published by Hakusensha Bunko) 620 yen per volume amazon.co.jp

Yumiko Oshima’s manga titled ‘Wata no Kokusei’ was published semi-regularly in ‘LaLa’ between 1978 and 1987. Moreover, the series was eventually animated in 1984. The main character is a cat named Chibi, who is cared for by a boy named Tokio and his kindly family, the Suwanos. Chibi says, “Because I think that I’m human, I appear in this human form.” In fact, all of the other cats in the manga also appear as humans. Though they can understand human language, they can only reply by meowing. Moreover, though Chibi undoubtably believes that he will “one day become a human,” he occasionally sees the illusion of a silver cat named Raphael, who tells the story of ‘Wata no Kuni’ (‘The Land of Cotton’), “a place that cats visit as cats.” The manga involves many other plot lines. These include Tokio’s mother’s struggles with cat allergies, a snobby Siamese cat that lives with a wealthy family, a group of stray cats that always sticks together, and of course, Chibi’s perspectives on the human world. Anyone who has ever owned a cat will be able to identify with the stories. Bouncing between cat-consciousness and human society, you’ll be drawn into Yumiko Oshima’s fantastic world.