(Known as Gakuen Sousei Nekoten!
, literally Academy Genesis: Cat Heaven!
in Japan) is a shounen
manga created by Yuji Iwahara, author of King of Thorn
Yumi Hayakawa is just starting high school at Matabi Private Academy, a school where students are allowed to have cats on campus. Her only companion is her kitty Kansuke
, whom she loves to knit ridiculous outfits for in her spare time. On their first day at the academy, Yumi gets along pretty well with her fellow students, meanwhile Kansuke gets acquainted with the local cats, and it looks like things might just shape up to be a good year...
At least, for the first half of the first day.
Yumi and Kansuke quickly learn that the school is involved with an century-old grudge, involving Matabi Academy's founder and a group of creatures known as the Spirit Beasts; gods
of the animal world. Apparently the cat Spirit Beast, Kaen, is sealed beneath the campus under unknown circumstances, and now his followers are scheming to free him and exact their wrath on humanity. The academy's only means of protection are a magical barrier that inhibit the Spirit Beasts, and a group of chosen ones selected to combat any threat to the school or it's residents. And who just happen to be the student council and their cats.
In a quick succession of events, Yumi and Kansuke are inducted as a new pair of guardians to help keep the Spirit Beasts at bay, while the student council digs deeper into the mysteries surrounding the area that the academy was built on, and the true pretenses of why the Spirit Beasts want to destroy it so darn badly.
This series contains examples of:
- Mix-and-Match Critter: Rachi is supposed to emulate a spider primarily, but her true form has characteristics of other insects as well. Namely, wings, antennae, and an abdomen like a wasp, huge mandibles and a shell like a beetle, and sickle-like legs similar to those of a praying mantis. She still has the eight legs, eyes, and web-spinning ability of a spider, though.
- Morality Pet: Gekkou is one for Futaba, both figuratively and literally.
- Morph Weapon: Kaiya's board, which is a "macromolecular material" capable of changing shape.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Yumi's power is knitting. And yet, she can create practically indestructible structures out of it just be thinking, and can turn her cat into a lethal warrior with silly outfits. Suffice to say, it comes in handy quite often.
- Kotori's is cooking... special food that allows Musashimaru to grow to the size of a mountain.
- Sandou manages to defeat six of the seven pairs, and Kansuke in full Cat Boy form, with barbed wire. Magically enhanced barbed wire most likely, but still impressive.
- Orochi: Sakira.
- Out of Focus: Even the mangaka doesn't think that Yumi really did all that much...
- Out of every member of the student council, Kaiya probably gets the least development. He has no flashbacks to himself, and he doesn't really get much important focus, either. That is, until Fridge Logic kicks in and you realize that he's technically present whenever Kiba is, as well.
- And by association, Hisui is the least developed cat in the story. Even one-off cat Shinpachi ends up contributing more to the plot than she does.
- Panthera Awesome: Kaen, a nekomata whose about as big as a bus, and whose body is almost constantly engulfed in flames. There's also Shirayuki, and the dorm cats have their moments, too.
- Physical Gods: The Spirit Beasts.
- Petting Zoo People: Kiba's form while possessing Kaiya is basically just him, but humanoid. The same goes for Tsukomoisshu while possessing the academy's vice principal. Also, while not in the story itself, Iwahara mentions at the end of one volume that he'd planned to make Kansuke become a full-on anthropomorphic cat when utilizing Yumi's power. He changed it to a Cat Boy upon deciding that the design was too creepy.
- Playing with Fire: Again, Kaen. His name is literally "flame", and he owns up to it quite nicely. According to Tsubame, his flames are so potent that they can melt the earth itself, and trigger earthquakes and eruptions.
- Musashimaru can breathe fire after eating particularly spicy foods.
- Shirayuki did this while under Kaen's control.
- Power-Up Food: Kotori's power.
- Punch Clock Villain: Kiba. Although he's a Spirit Beast and one of Kaen's subordinates, he's much more calm and not nearly as hateful as the rest. Even in a fight where he could've easily killed all of the pairs, he chooses not to. His reasoning is that an all-war with humanity won't solve anything, and considering how his species evolved and now coexists peacefully with humans, he doesn't see any purpose in despising them. Kaiya picked up on this, willingly allowing Kiba to possess him earlier on, and he even teams up with the council after all of the Spirit Beasts are set free in the climax.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning:
- Downplayed with Futaba. They are red, and she is definitely not a people person, but she's still a good person in general.
- Kaen plays it straight even while inside Tsubame's body.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Princess Kirihime took it upon herself to personally watch over the barrier, anticipate any signs of it weakening, and await Kaen's return.
- Savage Wolves / Noble Wolf: Kiba is a complex example. On one hand, he's a villain, but on the other hand, it's of the punch clock variety and he notes how his species coexists with humans.
- Shock and Awe: Daraku can create huge thunderclouds in his likeness that have this effect.
- Single-Stroke Battle: Invoked by Shin, in that this is actually how his ability works. He can wield his sword normally for extended periods of time just fine, but he can only dish out one significantly strong blow at a time, and becomes fatigued if he has to do it more than once. Thus, most battles that he wins end like this.
- Sinister Scythe: Rachi can produce one.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: A lot of the characters aren't above using expletives, but Kansuke has to be the worst offender.
- Sixth Ranger: Technically, Yumi and Kansuke are this to the student council, despite being the main characters.
- Sky Surfing: Kaiya and Hisui's preferred method of transit.
- Space Master / Time Master: Tsukasa, who can alter time and space to trap people inside of Raimu's dreams, where he has absolute control over everything.
- The Stoic: Futaba and Gekkou.
- Not So Stoic: It's heavily implied that Futaba acts stoic because her father was stabbed to death after committing theft, while her mother took off with all of his savings. Consequently, she was ostracized by her schoolmates when word got out, and became detached from people in general. She took in Gekkou so she wouldn't feel lonely or have to worry about being abandoned again.
- Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: The ghost that helps Daraku capture the council members. She lost her feet in a car accident and later hung herself, but hopes to take some from one of the girls as replacements. Though it later turns out that she's not the ghost of a girl who lost her feet, but the ghost of the feet that were lost by the same girl in the accident.
- Sympathy for the Devil: The council kids can't help but feel bad after Kiba tells them the real story of how the Spirit Beasts were sealed away. However, Kiba warns them that feeling this way will more likely just get them killed.
- Take That: Hakubi gives one to Kiba, for being so loyal to humanity.
- Technicolor Fire: Kaen's flames are supposed to be blue, according to some comments in the story. However, if colored pages are to be believed, it's more likely that they're the normal orange-yellow color most of the time, and blue when he's sufficiently fired up.
- True Companions: The students and their cats, mostly.
- Believe it or not, Tsukomoisshu and Kaen are these. It's kind of jarring to see two giant, murderous demons shooting the breeze like old friends. Furthered when Tsukomo gets killed; Kaen is NOT pleased.
- Undying Loyalty: Tsukomoisshu feels that he owes his life to Kaen for saving his life some time in the past. It gets him killed.
- Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: This becomes Yumi's life shortly after she arrives at the academy. Of course, the student council has been doing it for a while now.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After Rachi is defeated and her body is destroyed, the implications are that she's Not Quite Dead; her soul, and thus her consciousness, can continue to exist within the barrier, even if she can't return to the world of the living. Since Sandou destroys the barrier in the climax, it's anyone's guess what becomes of her in the end, because we don't hear from her after she disappears.
- Willing Channeler: Kaiya allows Kiba to possess him because he's aware of Kiba's status as a Punch Clock Villain.