Chi finally figures out how the doggy door works and gets to really explore the neighborhood in Chi's Sweet Home Volume 5.
Chi's Sweet Home Volume 5 is, of course, the sequel to Chi's Sweet Home Volume 4. The review of Chi's Sweet Home Volume 1 is here and the review of Chi's Sweet Home Volume 4 is here. Otherwise, read on!
And what a neighborhood it is! There's everything an exploratory kitty could ever want within a pretty quick meander from her back yard. Even when you take into account the obligatory chasing of butterflies, it's hard to get too lost within the few blocks near the apartment complex. Of course, Chi manages to get rather turned around on her first few trips out, though.
The Yamada's play much more of a background role in this volume, as Chi learns about the world of cats outside of her home. She still sees herself as a Yamada instead of a cat, per se, but she gets to meet a calico who takes her under her wing a bit. And Barks unwitting comes to Chi's rescue when she gets lost by herself.
The Yamadas are still around in the background, of course. Youhei isn't always the best at staying focused while cleaning (what preschooler is?), but when Chi decides to help out, it only makes things worse.
As we get to watch Chi interact with more cats, it's interesting to see her grow up and make friends of her own. The calico seems to remember Chi from before she was a Yamada, and we see a few other hints that perhaps someone else remembers a grey stripey kitten with a white blaze as well.
This is probably the most confusing, fast-paced book in the series so far. Chi is running in five different directions at once most of the time, and she's taking us along for the ride. The map of the neighborhood at the end is greatly appreciated, and will certainly come in handy for her jaunts later on. A nice volume to help bridge the past and the present that perhaps leaves more questions open than it answers.
Highs: Meeting friends, both old and new
Lows: I like seeing more of the sibling relationship between Chi and Youhei than we get here
Verdict: Not necessarily the best volume, but perhaps the most plot development so far