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The story centers around Keito Aoyama, a former famous child actor. Due to a childhood incident, she retired from her career early and withdrew from normal society. Now 16, she passes her days in boredom and without purpose. But one day she runs into a stranger who takes her to El Liston--a free school for high school students like herself, who don't have a place where they belong. Though hesitant at first, Keito decides to enter El Liston and subsequently, she begins a new stage in her life. With the help of her only remaining childhood friend, Taiyou, and her new classmates Rei, Momiji, and Kouichi, Keito slowly finds the courage to open up to others and to accept their support. Will Keito return to acting? Will she find true friends? Love?
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Believe the hype
I have been putting off this manga for a very long time since I first wanted to read it. Not because I think it is uninteresting, but on the contrary, I was afraid that after I read it I would have a very hard time finding another series to top it off. Needless to say I had a very high expectations before reading this. And they were, all in all, surpassed.
First of all: the characters. They were all generally quite unique. I don't see anyone of them being a carbon copy of manga stereotypes - they each had a defining thing in them that sets them apart from typical shoujo characters. Each character is well developed, and the characters' interaction with each other and, consequently, growth throughout the series are a pleasure to read.
The plot. Well, the plot has a special place in my heart because I was, at some point in my life, in a somewhat similar situation with Keito: locking myself in my house and refusing to see the world out there. El Liston is also - and some of you may find it quite hard to believe - a realistic place. Schools like that really do exist. But I don't know if you'd find it as wonderful as Keito did...or meet people as nice as Kouichi, Rei and Momiji (they're wonderful friends! I wish I have friends like them!) None of the plot really stood out as being unrealistic, unlike most mangas. Some, I find, would be a rather bizarre thing to have happened but it's not quite impossible. All in all, nothing makes me want to smack my head out of the sheer ridiculousness of it, which seems to be a common problem for shojou mangas out there, even mainstream ones such as skip beat. In fact, I find that the emotions in this manga are very sincere and easily relatable
The romance. Wellll...as some of you would have read from other reviews, the romance isn't too predictable. It's not like you see the guy and would immediately know he's going to end up with Keito. I was not disappointed by the romance. I find it realistic and natural. (I was rooting for the guy she ends up with anyway...I kind of saw the possibility of it and hoped it would come true. To the guy who shall not be named: I love youuuu~!!) They had a real connection and really helped each other to grow. What a wonderful dynamics these two have. They're not a "hot" couple, so to speak. (Not one of those "sensual" couples), but definitely a sweet couple. xD Definitely a plus for me.
Go read it now! It's really good!! But it might leave you wanting more when it ends... The ending itself is great. It wraps things up nicely without feeling overdone. One of, if not the best shoujo manga I've ever had the pleasure of reading!
... Last updated on May 29th, 2010, 2:11am
"Because we're all like... stray cats."
I love this story, it gives me so much inspiration, and has so much meaning. I could just huggle this series for forever. But.. there was something bugging me for a while, besides all the neat little hints, there always seemed like the manga lacked something, but towards it's end seemed to start to gain, but not completely.
... Last updated on December 14th, 2008, 10:04pm
An outstanding read
Cat Street is one of the few great mangas out there. Many are good, but they all usually lack something to be great. Cat Street does not.
Of all the aspects in Cat Street, it is its characters that shine the most: their interactions with each other and their evolution as time goes on are simply one of its kind. Cat Street succeeds in telling a 'touching story' while never becoming an 'over dramatic story'.
From a male perspective, Cat Street is one of the few drama/romance mangas that succeeds in conveying its story in a realistic manner. What separates it from the rest, however, is that Cat Street is not only reasonable and realistic, but it is also spectacularly touching and endearing.
... Last updated on December 15th, 2008, 8:51pm
great if you like shoujo then read this :]
I have to agree with jhalf everytime I see a release my heart ~w~ This has to be one of the best shoujo manga I have read. The characters are interesting, the plot is great and the art is beautiful. I'm not sure if I want to compare HYD and Cat Street but I think Cat Street has a stronger plot. ~ Okay after finishing this I have to say the ending is a little weak. I think that Kamio needs to work on closing her stories :/
... Last updated on November 4th, 2008, 1:08pm
I´m a Cat Street
I love it. The art reminds me of Hana Yori Dango, so I like it
It´s very realistic. I really identify myself with this manga. Even though I don´t have a traumatic experience, I got an experience which changed my life and my point of view, I traveled to another country, which language I didn´t know and had to learned there, all this in my adolescence.
The way I was before the trip and the way I was after the trip were totally different. I became anti social, I glare at people (just like Kouichi do hahaha), I didn´t smile and I didn´t talk to anyone. Inside my house I was still the same girl, but outside I became anti social. And so I came to question the relationships between people, the so called friendship, and how I could get back to being how I was before the trip. And so I know how hard it is to not have someone to talk to, someone who will understand you and give you advices.
I also liked how Keito faced her fears, how she became more understanding as she faced life. And also there a part in the last chapter that remind me of the ¨Myth of the Cave¨ (Allegory of the Cave) of Platon.
I also like how the mangaka showed that life, as it can become meaningless in no time, it also can become the most wonderful experience in no time. But, of course, with the right guidance to show the right path and with the right friends beside you.
OMG..I LOVE THIS MANAGA!!!!!!!!!!...its not like the typical shoujo manga..its much much MORE!!..you guys should read it..definitely won't be dissapointed
... Last updated on December 6th, 2008, 8:58pm
Not only good plot...but more
The sole reason that I start read this manga is only because of successful of "Hana yori Dango". After I finished this manga, I am so impressive cause this one is better than I expected. Good plot Good Storyline Good Characters : Not only face but behavior,vision,decision etc. Good Theme and Surely Good Ending
Used "Hikikomori Syndrome" (see : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hikikomori ) as plot device so story reflect some part of reality. Readers not only get fun but knowledge too,we learn about psychological issue,how to control your emotion,how to deal with others,what is called responsibility, etc. For me the most important thing is not only get own happiness by others but build it by own self.
The story is good from start to end. All character had its own dimension, nice created.Even I feel it's lack of romantic moments but it's good after all.
I really enjoyed this manga (which was a surprise), mostly because it was so different from other shoujo mangas I've read. For one, Keito doesn't end up with the first boy she crushes on (a very realistic scenario). Also, for the most part, the manga isn't overly dramatic and soap opera-like (unlike Hana Yori Dango, which I hated). It's a very character-driven story. Teens grow up, fall in and out of love and find out who they are.
To my surprise, I also really liked Keito. She didn't seem to be a very interesting character at first, but perhaps that's what I enjoyed. Not especially smart, beautiful, witty or the typical shoujo "I'm such a compassionate, sweet girl" type, she's very real in her flaws.
Although there were some exaggerated plot twists at the end--for example, she and the guy she likes don't speak for 2.5 years just because she assumes he's taken when he's not and he is lied to by her sister that Keito "never wants to see him again" (as if Keito would ever say that)--I still think that overall the manga is a 10/10 for me. It doesn't hurt that Keito ended up with the guy I'd been rooting for since the beginning
A new classic
A superb shoujo manga worth anyone's time. Like others have pointed out already, this is destined to be a classic.
It begins with an unique premise as it follows the lifes of four emotionally damaged kids as they struggle to slowly overcome their particular circumstances. Heroine Keito is by far the most scarred, but all for main characters are wonderfully pleasant to follow as they move up and down, discover and learn about love, and find out how to play with the hands they've been dealt.
This manga brought to me so much joy (er, even its darkest parts - they are so well written) that I constantly found myself going back to re-read the last few chapters whenever a new one was released. Very few mangas ever managed that feat.
My only complain is that the whole story feels too short by way of being kinda rushed around the third quarter of the tale. That is, the first half is awesome and unique and the ending is great and very satisfying, but the couple of volumes that bridge those two parts feel rushed, jumping around too much for my tastes.
Even that is a minor complain - I'm still giving this series 10/10, on account of everything else being so good. If it wasn't for this minor flaw, I'd have to give it an 11/10, which would be troublesome.
If you enjoy reading about genuine characters that go beyond the usual stereotypes, and if you like stories that bridge the distance between classic shoujo tropes and more adult josei-like stories - and if you don't mind enjoying some of the most beautiful character renditions ever, then Cat Street is definitely for you.
Good Story... Slow Releases...
Started reading this series, kinda got a bad feeling about it by the end of volume 1, so I stopped reading it. Then after a few months I decided to give it another try. I got past volume 1, continued on to volume 2, then 3, then 4, and to my surprise I liked it. However I must inform you that this series hasn't been translated past volume 4... and hasn’t been for the past few months, (and counting...) even though there are supposedly two groups working on it . So overall this is a great story… only if you can handle really, REALLY, slow releases
**Edit* Yay! A group called 'A Willful Muse' has picked up the series and is making it into a weekly release!! I have no further complaints about this series! =p*