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The 9 Lives: Volume 1    by Bayou & Rachel Manija Brown order for
9 Lives
by Bayou
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Cat-people and other animal-people are a popular item in fantasy manga. Bayou and Rachel Manija Brown are joining this craze with their new English-language manga, The 9 Lives.

Conri is an alien cat who has been sent to Earth with the rest of his race. However, unlike the other 9-Lives, Conri refuses to become a human's pet. While running from the law, Conri finds himself in Adrian's apartment. Adrian is willing to help Conri, but Conri is distrustful of the human. Adrian, for unknown reasons, tries to prove that he does not want Conri as a pet, as Conri works to pay off his debt to Adrian. Still unwilling to be a pet, Conri finds himself coming around when he witnesses how powerful the bond between a human and a 9-Life can be.

Unlike some animal-people manga which mainly are about attracting readers to the cuteness of the characters, The 9 Lives is heavily tied to its storyline. The story is not all fun and games, either it is a deep tale about equality and people needing people. This is not to say that Bayou's artwork is not cute, because it is, but the story that Bayou and Brown have created is the meat of this manga, and that pulls it above the rest.

If you like cute cat-boys, but also a good story, then The 9 Lives is the manga for you. I cannot wait to see where Bayou and Rachel Manija Brown take the story next and how Conri and Adrian's relationship develops.

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