Pulling Free Collars Kingdom Volume 2 off my shelf actually got me interested in reading it again for the hundredth time. This series may not have the popularity of some other manga such as Negima, Naruto etc etc, but to me… it is just so kawaii! Putting the cuteness factor to the side for the moment, how does it rank overall?
Storyline/Characters: I want to see how my reviews go chapter by chapter….
- Chapter 6 – Cat Ear Report: Taken from the eyes of Scottie, it tells of a normal night for her, as well as her biggest fear (Her ears pointing upwards). The storyline I must admit is weak, but I personally think the intention of this chapter was to be cute. It really shows how the life of a cat in Ikebukuro can be interesting in this world, with them running night stalls for example. Instead of what we associate pets with in reality.
- Chapter 7 – Ikebukuro Driven: This storyline is rather well planned out, with the whole hostage situation and a happy resolution that can all fit within a little over 20 pages. It focuses around the intellectual character Rat, who has finally finished his car (Yes… cats do have cars), only to have it stolen from him by the Free Collars enemy Siam. Both Rat and Cyan driving the car together was a bit overboard, but it was still rather good to read. Wouldn’t like to be a human along the street seeing the stolen car chasing a small model-like car. The last few pages were a clear indication of how gullible Cyan really is.
- Chapter 8 – Siamese Cat Boogie: Both groups fighting whilst a manga signing takes place…. nothing really special in my opinion.
- Chapter 9 – Nice, Guy: Cyan goes pervert in his dreams, Cyan and Scottie get catnapped by a cat-addict and forced to endure their embarassment whilst their temporary stay living with each other. Both a comedic, but also serious chapter.
- Chapter 10 – Round & Round, Fate Goes Around: The title of this chapter makes reference to the sushi train restraunts, where both the Free Collars and the Siam Army decide to go to. Includes some fighting, but also some of the members being made into sushi….. a rather interesting chapter.
- Chapter 11 – An injection for a Certain Someone Special: Introduces the new character Minky and her stuffed animal Churakichi, which she claims is delicious for some reason (It can also break the barrier of perspective). Overall, shows the dedication that Scottie, Minky and Cyan have towards their masters. I think this is the most comedic chapter out of the whole manga.
- Chapter 12 – Collar of Love: With Minky now living in Nyan-Man, Char is starting to feel less commitment towards the Free Collars and starts taking out her anger on Cyan and Scottie, since all three of them are either not over their masters or have a master at the moment. Quite a good chapter in my opinion.
- Overall: I do feel that this is more just character building than anything else in this volume, with nothing having as great an impact on the storyline as Volumes 1 & 3 do. This isn’t to say it is a bad volume, however with three volumes in this series, some of the chapters could have been better used.
Artwork: I do really like Takuya Fujima’s art style, with everything being well detailed, a wide array of emotions portrayed and the overall cutesy character design. It is interesting to see a world where all pets actually wear clothes. Different, but it does look better when you consider that they constantly switch from Cat appearances to Catboy/Catgirl appearances, something which is not usually covered in a manga (A good example is in Chapter 6 where Scottie’s appearance changes from Human View to Cat View rather often). I do find that the character designs of the female cats are of a greater quality than the male characters, but that is to be expected, with the personalities of the characters.
Extras: The following extras are provided in this volume:
- Two Bonus Side Stories (Titled Cat-Ear Jobs and Best Summer Vacation)
- Honorifics Explained
- Authors Note (With a picture of his Scotty)
- Cultural Notes
- High Quality artwork in each Chapter Introduction Page
- Free Collars Love Theatre 2
- Translation Notes
- Preview of Volume 3
- No Advertising!
A great lot of extras, and with no advertising, it means extra pages for bonus content!
Personal Opinion: I can just say this… if you have read the first volume and loved it, then pick up this volume and you will love it just the same, if not more.
Personal Opinion: 4.5
Overall: 4.3 (A)