At the beginning of the volume, FukuFuku's owner (whose name is never mentioned) is sitting with her adult cat, FukuFuku, and looking through old pictures of FukuFuku as a kitten. After those first couple pages, the entire series basically becomes a flashback to FukuFuku's kitten days: adjusting to her new home, dealing with her first bath, napping with her owner, learning to use a scratching post, meeting other cats, etc.
I've read and adored Kanata's Chi's Sweet Home. FukuFuku: Kitten Tales was very similar in a lot of ways. The most noticeable differences: Chi's Sweet Home was in color while FukuFuku: Kitten Tales featured black and white artwork, and Chi's owners were a married couple and their young song while FukuFuku's owner was an older woman who lived alone. Also, Chi's thoughts and dialogue were translated for readers, whereas FukuFuku just meowed and purred. I don't think the two series crossover at all, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn I was wrong.
I don't have a lot to say about this volume that I haven't already said about Chi's Sweet Home. It was very warm, sweet, and comforting, and I particularly liked the chapters devoted to FukuFuku and her owner sleeping together. FukuFuku napping inside the jack-o'-lantern was nice too. The one part that was a bit off was FukuFuku's Alice in Wonderland-inspired dream.
I plan to read more of this, although it's not the instant favorite that Chi's Sweet Home was. While I liked that readers had to rely entirely on FukuFuku's facial expressions, body language, and situation to figure out what she was thinking and feeling, this series felt a little less lively and fun than Chi's Sweet Home. Maybe it was because this volume was almost entirely focused on FukuFuku and her owner? If her owner has any family or friends, we haven't seen them yet, and FukuFuku has only briefly met a few other animals - one black and white cat made a repeat appearance, but not enough of one to get a feel for its personality.
And speaking of personality, I'd say FukuFuku was possibly a little more standoffish than Chi (it took her a bit to learn to enjoy being petted, for example), but otherwise she came across as very similar to Chi. I hope the differences in her personality start to stand out more as the series progresses.
All in all, so far I prefer Chi's Sweet Home, but FukuFuku: Kitten Tales is very nice and hits a lot of the same "warm fuzzies" emotional notes. Looks like I have another cat manga to work my way through.
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)