I have read at many places that Chii’s Sweet Home looks like or even actually is a kid’s show. After watching four episodes, I fully understand why one might easily fall under this assumption, but, ladies and gentlemen, it is wrong. Similar to the hideous Binchou-tan, Chii’s Sweet Home falls under the category iyashikei. Some of you might even remember MrMayat’s and my post about this particular genre.
Why? Because the manga “Chii’s Sweet Home” is serialized in the seinen magazine Morning. A list of major titles included in this magazine might make clearer what audience Chii’s Sweet Home is aiming at:
- Hataraki Man
- You’re Under Arrest
- What’s Michael? (Another cat series after all!)
- Piano no Mori
- Spirit of Wonder
- Eternal Sabbath
- Tetsuwan Girl
- Devilman Lady
- OL Shinkaron
- Say Hello to Black Jack
While Chii’s Sweet Home will probably never be published outside of Japan, the manga has a rather strong popularity among japanese readers. Maybe some japanese-literate person can confirm that this website tells us that the manga has sold over 700,000 times. While it is difficult for us outside the japanese market to assess what numbers should be considered a success, I guess it’s high enough to be mentioned in an advertising.
If you look at the (sometimes rather miserable) lives of japanese salarymen, it is not all too surprising that a simple story about a simply cute kitten could reach popularity. It exactly answers japanese people’s desires for calmness, serenity and an idyllic world.
It is entirely possible that the anime actually changes its audience and aims to reach children. However with the marketing around it and the fact that the anime follows the manga extremely closely and looks nearly the same, I highly doubt it.
What does that tell us? Even the blogosphere including hashihime and psgels who watch lots of shows and have deep insights in the japanese culture could make mistakes like these.
After these smart ass commentaries, I could go on ranting about how difficult it is to make yourself an accurate idea of japanese society but I think I’d rather give in to the temptations of sleep.