Final Review: Apocalypse Meow

Apocalypse meow final

-Apocalypse Meow (otherwise known as ‘Cat Shit One’)

                -Motofumi Kobayashi

                                -ADV Manga

 

Apocalypse Meow is short three volume series featuring anthropomorphic animals who add the perfect amount of humour to an often very serious storyline. The series follows an American recon, group through several missions during the Vietnam War. Sergeant Perkins, Sergeant White (Rats), and Botasky (Bota) make up the recon team ‘Cat Shit One’ who undertake different missions in each chapter. From gaining reconnaissance of the enemy’s movements to rescue missions and ambushes, the reader is taken on a journey showing a lot of the stories which have been left untold by official sources.

 

Each of the missions in the series depicts a different element of the Vietnam War. The mangaka does a fantastic job of presenting a large array of perspectives of the war, from the perspective of the American soldiers themselves, the people of South Vietnam as well as those protesting against the war in America. In one of my favourite chapters of the series Rats returns home for a short leave and is bombarded with the extent of the anti-war demonstrations. Despite several attempts to defend himself and the actions of his comrades he fails to persuade anyone to change their opinion. In the end he decides to end his leave early in order to escape the protests and return to help his friends who he feels he abandoned back in Vietnam. Other elements of the untold stories also make an appearance in the series such as the presence of Japanese soldiers to carry out ‘training exercises’ as well as confrontations between American and Russian soldiers.

 

The artwork in throughout the series in very well done and captures and holds the attention of its readers. The use of anthropomorphic animals for the series is very well done as it largely removes the human element of the story while at the same time telling the story that the mangaka wants to get across. In a short sub story at the end of volume one called ‘Dog Shit One’ the characters are depicted as humans. It is a much harder read because we are presented with the fact that humans kill each other which had somehow been lost while reading a story with animal characters. The writer also uses the presence of animals to add some humour to the story when it gets too heavy. In volume three one of the characters makes an observation that none of them are actually wearing any trousers. Beyond the animal characters the visuals of explosions and emotions are delivered perfectly to hold the serious tone of the story as a whole.

 

Overall, the series is a really interesting read, both in terms of a manga and as an account of the Vietnam War. The books are fairly hard to come by and can be quite pricy. However, I would recommend to anyone that if you do see the series in a shop or selling online for a decent price, buy it. Apocalypse Meow is a really good read which as soon as I finished one volume I was ready to start the next right away.

 

Turtle

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Reflection: Apocalypse Meow vol. 2

Manga: Apocalypse Meow, volume 2
Story/Illustration: Motofumi Kobayashi
Publisher: ADV Manga

apocalypse meow 2

Motofumi Kobayashi has really developed an all round brilliant overview of the Vietnam War with Apocalypse Meow. The deep and often dark stories told in the series and weighed fantastically with the light hearted illustrations of the animals fighting the war.

The second volume of the series really depicts some of the untold stories of the war that we rarely hear about from main stream films and books about the conflict. The first chapter sees several Japanese sent out of recon with Cat Shit One to gain experience. The Japanese in this chapter explain about how the Japanese constitution prevents them from having an army and going to war. We see some of the ways in which the Japanese attempted to use the Vietnam War to covertly gain experience in reconnaissance as they would be unable to under the terms of their constitution.

Later in the volume we see one of the characters return home to America on R&R to be declared a ‘baby killer’ and see the extent of the anti-war movement. Unable to take the abuse and knowing that he can’t leave his friends he returns to Vietnam. However, once returned he is informed that the rest of his recon team have been captured. Here we again see more of the dark sides of the war. With the lack of a declaration of War ever coming from the Americans, the Chinese and North Vietnamese declare that they are not covered by the Geneva Convention. The captured Americans are subducted to torture and interrogation by their captives.

The volume ends with a fantastically overly American rescue mission through the jungle. Ever as a non-American all I could think of was Team America “AMERICA!! Fuck Ya!!!” It’s very Rambo and heroic and full of explosions and glory. It is fairly epic.

One volume left and I think I will be quite disappointed when it comes to an end. As a manga I would highly recommend Apocalypse Meow, but also if you want to get some sort of a background of the Vietnam War then this a fantastic story of the horrors of the war.

Turtle

Reflection: Apocalypse Meow volume 1

I have always been interested in military history. My dad was in the army when I was growing up and we used to watch war movies, especially film about Vietnam. As the first manga that I have read which focuses on a real war, I must say apocalypse meow is all round a good read.

The series follows an American recn group known as ‘Cat Shit One’ through their time fighting in the Vietnamese jungle. Oh, and they are depicted as bunnys. All of the characters in the three volume series are depicted as different animals. Americans are bunnys, Vietnamese are cats, Russians bears, Koreans dogs, japanese monkeys and the french are pigs. The volume sees Cat Shit One undertake numerous missions ranging from recons to rescue missions. Near the end of the volume the attempt to hold back an ambush from Vietcon and North Vietnam Army before a rather eventful R&R in Saigon.

After just one volume I really risk saying that this is one of my favorite manga series. Not only is it a good war manga, but it gives very detailed history of the Vietnam War. At a couple points we are taken away from the main story and the author includes a short history lesson to give some background to was happening. I really appreciated these breaks as they show that the mangaka actually knows what they are talking about.

Overall I am excited to read the next two volumes. The storyis really interesting and the artwork is also very good. Admittedly the detail in the explosions are not overly realistic, but in fairness its a manga about bunnys fighting a war against cats.
The reflection for volume two will be available soon, with the series review not long after that.

Let me know what you think of the series in the comment section if you’ve read it or is you are interested in reading Apocalypse Meow.

Talk to you again soon

Turtle

First Impression: Apocalypse Meow

Apocalypse meow

I just finished reading the first two missions in Apocalypse Meow, and I am really enjoying it. The series follows three American soldiers in recon team ‘Cat Shit One’ during the Vietnam War. Oh, and did I mention that they are rabbits. All the human characters in this series have been replaced with animals depending on their nationality. For example, Americans are Rabbits and Vietnamese are cats.

The first chapter really drops the reader in on the story and provides no background, which I kind of like. The dialogue also contains a lot of the slang that the American G.I.’s would have used during the Vietnam campaign. The illustrations are quite sketchy with only a little detail, but I think it really suits the story that goes along with it. The only issue I have so far is that the chapters are very short and end before any sort of suspense is built up.

Looking forward to reading some more, so expect the first reflection to be posted within the next couple of days.

Turtle