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Manga / A Man and His Cat

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A Man and His Cat (Ojisama to Neko, lit. "Old Man and Cat") is a manga by Umi Sakurai. It began serialization in the magazines Monthly Shonen Gangan and Gangan Pixiv in 2017, though it was originally self-published by Sakurai on her Twitter and Pixiv accounts. It was later adapted into a live action drama in 2021, and will receive an animated adaptation in 2022.

A lonely, exotic cat yearns to be loved and spends every day watching other kittens get adopted before him. One day, an equally lonely old man named Kanda Fuyuki decides to adopt him and names him Fukumaru. Together, Kanda and Fukumaru begin living together.

A Man and His Cat contains the following tropes:

  • Abandoned Pet in a Box: The five kittens are found by Geoffrey in one in the middle of a massive rainstorm.
  • Anger Born of Worry: The moment where Fukumaru tries climbing a bookshelf during Kanda's piano practice. He at first thinks that "Daddy" will get mad when seeing the CDs damaged. Nope; Kanda is more worried that Fukumaru might have gotten badly injured. He cuddles him on seeing that his cat wasn't even scratched. He also does this to a sick Moriyama when he comes over and Moriyama is trying to clean his apartment to where he yells at him to open the door.
  • Call-Back: When helping Geoffrey find new homes for the kittens, Kanda draws upon the skills he learned when Fukumaru went missing to help spread the word.
  • Chick Magnet: Kanda is very charming, even in his old age; as a result, a lot of his female colleagues are attached to him. They get worried when he seems to be obsessed over a new girl, but he explains he adopted a cat and shows photos. They are more than relieved.
  • Cool Old Guy: Kanda. He's a kind-hearted, caring, and talented pianist and music teacher with an adorable cat. More than one character remarks on how handsome he is, too.
  • Crying Critters: All of the cats. Fukumaru is even acknowledged to cry in-universe; Sato notices him tearing up when she's discouraged from buying him, and weeping with joy as Kanda holds him for the first time. Even though she understands that shorthairs leak tears and get runny eyes because of their face shape, she knows the real reason why, and is happy for him.
  • Cute Kitten: Fukumaru gets jealous when Kanda says that he saw cute kittens on the train to work. Then Kanda says that no cat is cuter than his.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Downplayed with Kanda, who is a Nice Guy but his backstory explains he didn't want to give pets to any animals. His mother pushed him into a piano career and isolated him from people and strays, saying his body was too "precious" to associate with them. Kanda first held a pet when he met Fukumaru at the pet shop, and was worried that he wasn't good enough.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: Fukumaru spent a very long time in the pet shop, watching younger kittens get adopted while he languished alone. As a result, he's happy for anyone to give him the time of day.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: The sight of Kanda walking down the street in a fashionable suit is enough to prompt Moriyama to dub him a "dreamboat" and "so freakin' handsome". Also, in their first encounter, Moriyama comments on how good Kanda smells and how his heart is beating around Kanda.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Kanade Hibino, a former rival of Kanda’s, is disgusted with his mother pawning off her unwanted cat Marin onto him, telling her she should never take responsibility for a living thing again if she can't commit to caring for it. He remembers how his mother once took in a dog he liked and then sent it back because she quickly got bored of it. Still, because he remembers how his mother is and because he does feel bad for the cat, he takes her in and even calls his mother to learn Marin's name.
  • First Pet Story:
    • Kanda has never taken care of a pet before. Fukumaru is his first pet and he’s learning how to raise a cat for the first time.
    • Downplayed with Hibino. He has taken care of a dog when he was a kid before his mother sent it back to the store. He is learning to take care of a cat for the first time, but he seems to be a fast learner.
    • Geoffroy ends up this to five kittens after he finds them abandoned in a box during a heavy storm and had no prior experience with pets due to his lingering trauma over his mother passing away in his childhood.
  • Gonk:
    • Fukumaru goes un-adopted for so long because he's seen as fat and ugly. One visitor even calls him "snotface". Kanda on the other hand believes Fukumaru is adorable.
    • Hibino briefly thought Fukumaru’s sister Marin looked ugly when he first took her in due to her flat face. He quickly gets beyond thinking her features her are ugly and starts considering everything about her is adorable.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Fukumaru hates the piano. He thinks that it takes "Daddy's" attention from him. Sitting on top of it gives him power and vindication.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover:
    • Kanda loves cats and is very kind to Fukumaru.
    • Kanda's beloved late wife, who adored cats and inspired her husband to adopt one.
  • Irony: Fukumaru getting lost results in two different cats being able to return home (Moja because of Fukumaru running away leading to Kanda finding him and reuniting him with his family and Lunlun being convinced to return home after initially believing his family had forgotten and replaced him).
  • Meaningful Name: "Fuku" means luck/happiness, and the old man names the cat accordingly because meeting him has given him happiness.
  • Mister Muffykins: A case where it is a positive example. Kanda spoils Fukumaru rotten and lets him have the run of the house. He only sets boundaries about the piano, that he has to practice and get up for work. Fukumaru is, fortunately, an indoor cat, and he makes it clear that only "Daddy" can hold and cuddle him. This arrangement suits them.
  • The Mourning After: Kanda had a lovely wife, but after her death and the kids moving out he's become depressed and lonely. Fukumaru coming into his life changed that; now while he doesn't think to move on with another woman, he has a fulfilled love in taking care of the big cat.
  • One Degree of Separation: While at the vet, Fukumaru meets a senior dog there for his weekly vet visit with his elderly human. It turns out said old man is the owner of Byako, Fukumaru's older brother and said dog saw Byako in Fukumaru, although neither party are aware of the actual connection.
  • Parental Neglect: Downplayed. Geoffroy's father Lambert unwittingly neglected his son emotionally growing up after losing his wife to focus on the piano, which was not helped by both him and his son being reserved and emotionally closed off people. Lambert deeply regrets allowing such a distance between his son to form that he doesn't know what to do to reach him to where he's happy to help his son being able to keep all five kittens as the first time his son has ever wanted something.
  • Parental Substitute: Fukumaru thinks of the old man as his father, with the English translation having Fukumaru calling Kanda "Daddy". The five kittens likewise calls Geoffroy "Meowmama".
  • Parting-Words Regret: The reason why Kanda got a cat is that his wife always wanted one. He had to go on tour and promised her that when he came back, they would adopt a cat for her. She then died while he was on tour, and Kanda to honor her memory adopted a cat, which was Fukumaru.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The events of Volume 5 begin when Fukumaru sees Moja from the pet store looking worst for wear at the window. Moja, not recognizing Fukumaru, runs off thinking he was trying to tell him to go away. In reality, Fukumaru was asking if he was okay and if he needed help, even suggesting he stay until Kanda could return home to help him. Because of Moja running away, Fukumaru becomes desperate enough to run out of the house to find Moja, unaware Moja had collapsed not far away.
  • Posthumous Character: Kanda's wife had been dead for a while but it was her suggestion that lead to Kanda adopting Fukumaru.
  • Pun: Anytime the story focuses on Fukumaru, he says certain words with a cat-related pun. For example, he’ll say “mew” instead of “you” or “pawsitive” instead of “positive”. This also applies to other kittens
  • Slice of Life: The series centers around Kanda and his cat Fukumaru and the wacky day-to-day experiences they have.
  • Silver Fox: Kanda's still a pretty good looking guy and his younger female colleagues fawn over him, despite his age.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Sakuma posting the video of Kanda performing with Moriyama online is what begins Geoffrey's introduction arc as the video ends up becoming viral to where Gustave learns about the video and talks to his son about it, sparking Geoffrey's long-term envy and resentment of Kanda to decide to copy Kanda's style, so he calls Kanda to stay with him for that purpose when he needs to visit Japan on business, which leads to him being at the right place and time to find the kittens in the box during a rainstorm.
  • Strong Family Resemblance:
    • Fukumaru and his sister Marin bear a striking resemblance to each other and their mother despite the difference in fur colors and patterns. Their older brother Byako also is essentially a white-furred version of them both.
    • Hoshinari is a spitting image of his father Kanda in his youth. Sorako likewise heavily resembles her mother.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: This manga is slice-of-cat-life and very reassuring. Fukumaru brightens Kanda's day and helps him cope with his tragic past, while Kanda reassures Fukumaru he is the best cat.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Kanda ends up stepping in to salvage Moriyama's concert after his bandmates bail on him. Because Kanda was famous in his heyday as one of the top four pianists in the world and still is a respected and admired figure even after he was forced to retire from performing, when a video of him playing ends up online, it quickly becomes viral with many looking at the video because of Kanda's presence.
    • Geoffroy initially is against adopting the five kittens because laws in his home country state that he cannot bring kittens younger than three months old from another country and even then, he could only bring either one three month old kitten or three six month old kittens at a time, and either result would mean Geoffrey would have to stay in Japan for an extended period of time to that make that impractical. Gustave makes a request to Kanda for his son to stay at his house for the time being to accomplish this.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Geoffroy Lambert is one toward his father, one of the four famous pianists in the world, as he's never been acknowledged (in his mind) by him growing up to the point he even decides to copy Kanda because he's been the only person his father has ever recognized.
  • You Are Not Alone: One of the main themes of the series, with both Kanda and Fukumaru coming to this realization through their days together. This also applies to other characters in the story that indirectly also are helped because of them.

Alternative Title(s): Ojisama To Neko