Time for yet another return to Japari Park, with the third volume of Kemono Friends à la Carte. Plenty of Friends to meet here, both new and old.
This volume contains stories by fourteen different contributors, as well as illustrations from a few artists.
What are the Friends up to today? Are they hunting treasure and getting into playground games? Maybe they’re discovering what it means to be an adult and the true meaning of Christmas, or finding fashionable kitchenware and losing their marbles! Come on down to Japari Park and get a glimpse of their chaotic, delightful world!
With any anthology type manga, I tend to pick out a few stories that really stood out to me. I’m struggling to do that with the third volume of Kemono Friends à la Carte, as every contribution here is just fantastic.
The blurb gives a pretty good idea of what to expect from this specific collection, and everyone who has contributed to the anthology clearly holds a lot of passion for Kemono Friends.
Unlike previous volumes, this one doesn’t feel particularly weighted towards the Japari Café. In fact, Alpaca Suri only gets relatively small appearances. Crested Ibis does get a bit more time to shine, but not as much as previously.
Also, it has only be three volumes, but we finally get stories that focus on Racoon and Fennec. I’m honestly surprised that it took this long for that to happen. The stories that they do features in are pretty cute, too.
There are so many great contributions to this anthology. We have hot springs, obstacle courses, food, playground games and so many other things for the Friends to experience.
We also have colour illustrations from Shimeji, Nylon and KOTATU. Shimeji’s picture of Serval and Kaban just manages to edge out the others as my favourite, but they are all great.
This volume also introduces a few Friends that I’m not too familiar with. Friends like Geoffroy’s Cat, Domestic Cat and White Tiger for example. I’ll let you in on a secret: it is no coincidence that I’m choosing to highlight the feline Friends…
Not that the non-feline Friends should be counted out, either.
Of course, we have the presence of more familiar Friends. Kaban and Serval are as present as ever, of course. Tsuchinoko and Shoebill get a fun and adorable chapter respectively. There are some great Shoebill expressions in Asato Arato’s contribution – and I do mean actual expressions, no jokes about Shoebill just staring here.
Also, apparently all the members of PPP find Serval enchanting – Souta Wakui’s Let’s Play the Games of the Past!! is a really fun story.
There is just so much great Kemono Friends content in this anthology – heck, that applies to Kemono Friends à la Carte as a whole. Whether it is following the adventures of familiar faces or introducing new Friends, Kemono Friends à la Carte is a delight.