We venture back into Japari Park once more with the fourth volume of Kemono Friends à la Carte. This volume has stories based on the second season of the anime.
Five artists contribute illustrations (including the cover illustration), and there are twelve manga contributors.
A whole new journey begins, with plenty of boisterous Friends for Kyururu and Serval to meet and play with along the way! Fun times, chaotic adventures, laid-back lazy days – this volume’s chock-full of adorable antics!
First things first, if you don’t really follow Kemono Friends news all that closely, you’d probably be surprised to discover that Kyururu is, in fact, a boy. The second season did not reveal that information, and I had to search it up to verify. Doesn’t really change my opinion of the character though; Kaban is better in every way.
On that note, it is tough for me to feel as much enthusiasm for this volume as the previous ones. Kaban is absolutely nowhere to be seen. Kyururu features in most of the stories, and that lessened my enjoyment of them a bit.
There are at least a couple of enjoyable contributions in this volume, though. Most notably stuff that involves Red Panda and Giant Panda. A Bed Comes to Azua Park!! by Kana Nakachi is one such example, as is Shoma Keito’s Maternal Extinct Unleashed.
Another story that features Giant Panda is Tsugu Nikuru’s Arm Wrestling. That one might be the most fun contribution in this volume, and it ends with what can only be described as “lovey-dovey” Fennec and Raccoon.
Every other story is… honestly, a bit meh. I’d struggle to recall most of them from the top of my head, but perhaps my adoration of the first season of the Kemono Friends anime is affecting my judgement of this particular volume.
Kudos to the creators who clearly got more enjoyment out of the second season than I did. For me, though, this volume just couldn’t live up to what has come before.