Cat + Gamer explores how video games teach you how to care for your pet

Cat + Gamer
(Image credit: Wataru Nadantani (Shogakukan))

Are you a cat person who likes games? We have good news for you. The manga series Neko Gurashi Gamer-san by writer/artist Wataru Nadantani is finally coming out in English, beginning this spring as Cat + Gamer from Dark Horse Comics.

Cat + Gamer centers on a 29-year-old woman named Riko who lives and breathes video games (She probably reads GamesRadar!) When she's not at work, she's home playing video games - much to the puzzlement of her co-workers . A chance meeting with a stray cat opens the door for her to learn how to befriend and care for a cat despite never having a pet before. How does she do it? By using everything she knows from video games. 

(Image credit: Wataru Nadantani (Dark Horse Comics))

Nadantani's Cat + Gamer is being translated by Zack Davisson, one of the preeminent English translators of manga - and also, not-so coincidently, author of the upcoming non-fiction book The Supernatural Cats of Japan. He has translated popular manga such as Kitaro, Captain Harlock, Cutie Honey, Devil Man, and Showa: A History of Japan. (And if you're wondering, he has two cats of his own - Bagheera and Sheer Khan.)

"When Dark Horse editor Philip Simon contacted me about Cat + Gamer I had no idea what to expect," Davisson tells Newsarama. "Philip and I bonded over our shared love of cats (Cats rule!) and I had recently written the introduction for What’s Michael?. So, I was in the mood for some comic kitties.  Anytime you sign a contract to translate a comic you’ve never read before it's always nervous; what if it's terrible? Fortunately, not the case here! Cat + Gamer is an absolute delight!"

Davisson reveals to us that he was the one who helped decide on the English-language title of this volume.

"The Japanese title is something like 'Gamer who lives with a cat,' which doesn't exactly leap off the shelves," the writer explains. "I brainstormed a bunch of ideas, including Nine Lives and Ready Player Cat. But none of them really sparked. Then I thought of keeping it simple, and just Cat + Gamer with the plus sign being a controller dpad. That was the clear winner." 

Cat + Gamer was launched back in November 2018 in the Japanese manga anthology Shōnen Sunday S from the publisher Shogakukan, with six collections worth of stories so far. New chapters are still being released in Shōnen Sunday S, so if this English translation works we could be in for a long run of this series.

"The comic is what the title says. It's about a gamer living with a cat. A real gamer. A real cat. Just… living together," says Davisson. "It's not a magic cat. It’s not secretly running its own Twitch stream. It’s just a cat. And the cat does all those things cats do. Which is absolutely delightful."

Cat + Gamer Vol. 1 goes on sale on March 2, 2022 in comic shops, and then arrives in bookstores on March 15.

Are cats and games your thing? Check out our list of the best cat games to play.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)