Friday Reads: Cat + Gamer by Wataru Nadatani

I am a gamer, and I have had cats as pets for almost my entire life. So, obviously, I had to read this book.

Cat + Gamer is the first volume of the English translation of the Japanese manga, written and illustrated by Wataru Nadatani. Dark Horse Comics is releasing the collected volumes in North America. So far three volumes are available, with five more to come.

The manga tells the story of Riko, an incredibly efficient office worker. She always goes above and beyond when it comes to her job, and leaves work promptly at 5pm every day. Her co-workers try to invite her to join them for after work hours socializing, but she’s never available. Some of them think she’s anti-social, others say she’s just a very private person.

But, they are all curious – what is her secret life? Well, Riko has a passion for video games! All of her free time is spent playing video games, researching all of the side quests and boss fights, making sure she doesn’t miss a thing. As far as she’s concerned, it’s the most fun and rewarding thing to do.

Until one day her life changes forever. A stray kitten is found in the parking lot of her office building, and for reasons she doesn’t understand, she agrees to take it home.

The book alternates between her viewpoint and the cat’s viewpoint, as they both learn about each other. Riko uses her gaming skills to raise the kitten, ‘leveling up’ the tiny animal, vowing to ‘max out this cat!’.

Cat + Gamer is a story that will obviously appeal to gamers and cat owners. But, anyone looking for a fun, quirky read will appreciate it, too. And don’t worry, the gaming parts of the book are described in a way that I think anyone can understand.

I’ve only read the first volume so far, but I enjoyed it so much, I’m definitely going to be picking up the others.

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