MANGA: Wandering Cat's Cage Chapter 01, by Akane Torikai
This week, we're giving everyone a free preview of the first chapter of our latest MSX manga series, Wandering Cat’s Cage by Akane Torikai.
[DEB:] MSX: Mangasplaining Extra, in partnership with Fantagraphics Books, is proud to present Wandering Cat’s Cage (a.k.a. マンダリン・ジプシーキャットの籠城 / Mandarin Gypsy Cat no Roujou) by Akane Torikai. I’m the editor for this one, and I’m SO EXCITED to give you a look at this very special manga series from the creator of Sensei’s Pious Lie.
Beginning this week, we will publish new chapters of this manga bi-weekly on the Mangasplaining Extra newsletter (alternating with another new work, Search and Destroy by Atsushi Kaneko. The prelude and first chapter of Search and Destroy are available for everyone to read now – go check it out!)
Wandering Cat’s Cage was originally published as 2 volumes with 13 chapters, so between volumes (after Chapter 7) we’ll take a break and publish some original one-shot manga/comics stories and other behind-the-scenes articles on MSX, so you’ll always have something fun and interesting to read in your inbox every week.
This first chapter is free to read for all subscribers. Future chapters will only be available to paid subscribers of our newsletter. Paid subscribers can also find downloadable .pdf and .cbz files at the end of this email, so you can read it on your favorite eBook reader if you prefer.
If you’re new to MSX or currently have a free subscription, there’s no time like now to bump up to the next level – we’ve got lots more in store for you, so give it a try!
The print edition of Wandering Cat’s Cage will be released as a single omnibus volume in Fall 2024 from Fantagraphics. We’ll post a pre-order link when it gets posted on the Fantagraphics website. :-)
Here at Team MSX, we’re huge fans of Akane Torikai! While we haven’t picked one of her books for Chip to read yet, we have talked about her other published work in English, Sensei’s Pious Lie (available as 4 omnibus volumes from Kodansha) on our podcast.
Like Wandering Cat’s Cage, Sensei’s Pious Lie explores grown-up relationships and power dynamics between men and women in society with provocative, intensely real storytelling that’s rarely seen in comics. If you’re curious about this story, go check out the free preview chapter of Sensei’s Pious Lie that’s posted on Kodansha’s website.
Kodansha also posted an interview with Akane Torikai on their YouTube channel that’s worth a watch:
In this interview, I asked her about Wandering Cat’s Cage. Here’s a bit of what she had to say about it:
I wrote that book five years ago. Up until then, all the manga I had been doing had been based in reality, because I felt, I believed, that I just can't do fantasy.
But then there was this new magazine (Da Vinci, a literary magazine) that offered me a new series to work on. I wanted to do something new, take on a new challenge and show a new part of myself and my work. So I decided that I’d try something new - I’d try drawing a story that had elements of science fiction and fantasy, two genres that had been totally off-limits for me in the past.
- Akane Torikai, from part 2 of her MSX interview
Wandering Cat’s Cage is a special story in a lot of ways, but it’s unique in her oeuvre in that unlike the contemporary, modern day settings of her other series, Wandering Cat’s Cage is a science fiction story set in a vaguely Asian dystopian world where women are in charge and men of all ages, young or old, are rarely seen. As this story unfolds, you’ll see a lot of the themes about male/female relationships that she has explored in her other stories, but pushed a little farther and deeper into new territories.
Translator (and manga truffle hunter) Jocelyne Allen has been a longtime champion of Akane Torikai’s manga. She wrote about Wandering Cat’s Cage when it was published in Japanese on her blog, Brain vs Book. Go check it out, and see if her write-ups will help you discover your next favorite read.
We’ll also have more to say about Wandering Cat’s Cage and Akane Torikai in the weeks to come! But in the meantime, Torikai-sensei wanted to share this special message to readers here on MSX:
I’ve been eagerly awaiting the day when people in North America could read this. I’ve loved North American culture–movies, TV shows, music, and so I wanted to return the favor, if I could. Please feel free to reach out to me on social media and tell me what you think. It’s honestly incredible for us how connected the world is nowadays. I hope you enjoy the manga!
Akane Torikai, creator, Wandering Cat’s Cage
You can connect with Akane Torikai via Twitter (I will NEVER call it X) at @torikaiakane! Do let her know what you think of her manga, and especially if you’ve enjoyed this first chapter of Wandering Cat’s Cage.
We’d like to thank Akane Torikai, DaVinci Magazine, and Kadokawa for allowing us to release this incredible story this way. We’d also like to thank our translator and go-to-pal-in-Japan Jocelyne Allen, our ‘fixer’ Aki Yanagi, and Fantagraphics’ Eric Reynolds for their help in licensing this title. We also want to shout out Chip Zdarsky, David Brothers, and Erik Ko for their ongoing support. Thanks to Ryan Holmberg for a wonderful dinner date back in the day that helped a bunch with this project. Also, big thanks to Nick Spencer and Substack for helping to make this whole MSX manga publishing thing possible.
Besides Jocelyne’s awesome translation, we are honored to have the help of ace lettering talent Sara Linsley to present Torikai-sensei’s work with the kind of craftsmanship and care that it deserves. You can see more of Sara’s work (including some of the cool fonts she has created) at sara.pizza.
Speaking of, this manga also looks great on the MSX website and in the Substack mobile app.
Finally, our thanks to you, our readers/subscribers, for your support that’s made releasing this one-of-a-kind story in English possible.
Without further ado, it’s time to enter the world of Wandering Cat’s Cage!
WANDERING CAT’S CAGE
originally published as
MANDARIN・GYPSY CAT NO ROJO
©Akane Torikai 2018
First published in Japan in 2018 by KADOKAWA CORPORATION, Tokyo. English translation rights arranged with KADOKAWA CORPORATION, Tokyo through MSX: Mangasplaining Extra.
Please do not distribute, share, reproduce, or pirate this work.
Thanks for reading this week’s installment of Wandering Cat’s Cage!
Paid subscribers get access to not just these images, but downloadable .pdf and .cbz versions of each chapter. The links are posted just after the cut at the end of this email.
If you’re new to Mangasplaining Extra, please consider subscribing to our MSX newsletter. For only $5/month or $50/year, your paid MSX subscription will bring new chapters of manga in your inbox each week, plus lots of bonus articles and fun extras you won’t see anywhere else. Your subscriptions support us in our mission to find and publish amazing comics, and write exclusive articles about manga too.
MSX - The Mangasplaining Extra Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Thanks for reading! Leave a comment below – we’d love to hear what you think!
Get ready for the latest chapter of Search and Destroy, and see you again in 2 weeks for the next chapter of Wandering Cat’s Cage.
Also, check out MSX’s first graphic novel print release, Okinawa by Susumu Higa, published with our partners at Fantagraphics. It’s now available as a chunky hardcover graphic novel from better comic shops and bookstores everywhere, and for purchase from Fantagraphics online store too.