I Am a Dancing Singing Cat (Wagahai wa Utatte Odoreru Neko de aru) book cover

(Wagahai wa Utatte Odoreru Neko de aru)
by 芹沢 政信 (Masanobu Serizawa)

Author: 芹沢 政信 (Masanobu Serizawa)
Japanese Level: JLPT N3~N2
Genre: Mythological, slice of life, drama, fantastical, romance(?)
Pages: 312

Amazon Japan Kindle: 吾輩は歌って踊れる猫である
Bookwalker Japan: 吾輩は歌って踊れる猫である


Japanese Summary





English Summary (translation by Japanese Talk Online)

“I was cursed.”
My childhood friend meowed.

In order to turn her back into a human
I have to help the slightly out of it bakemono
and make their cat dance succeed!

I’m a worthless good-for-nothing
and she’s a super star
in this young man x youkai story!


Why You Should Read 吾輩は歌って踊れる猫である

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but I was too distracted by the cute dancing girl and cat on the cover of this book to pay attention to them. After I got the book for my birthday, the concept of a girl who’s turned into a cat and needs to break the curse also intrigued me.

That said, this novel was not as good as I was hoping. It wasn’t bad, there were some really great moments, but it wasn’t amazing either.

The story is told from the perspective of 僕 (a nameless main character) who never went anywhere in life because no matter how hard he tried someone (normally his childhood friend) got in the way. Said childhood friend is now a successful musician buuut she’s also been turned into a cat and needs the protagonists help to break the curse.

I really liked the protagonist. He’s jaded and tsundere, but also down to earth and hard working. He actually has a personality and although he’s an ass to his best friend, she’s a massive pain in the butt so you can understand why he’s so terse with her. But he’d also move heaven and earth for her, and he has character growth through helping her.

Monika, the talented best friend, is selfish. She does what she wants whatever she wants without thinking about the consequences (which is why she was cursed in the first place.)

This story is very silly, and a lot of fun, but I also found myself putting it down and feeling no urge to pick it up again. I did finish it, but it was hard to motivate myself at times because there was just something about the novel that wasn’t as engaging as I would have liked. Perhaps I just wasn’t in the mood for it at the time?


Why Japanese Learners Should Read 吾輩は歌って踊れる猫である

This novel is easy in parts but difficult in others. There’s a lot of talk about Japanese youkai, dancing cats, kappa, tengu, and gods. It was hard at times to keep track of them all because of the unfamiliar terminology and ideas.

There are also a few characters (such as the tengu and cats) who speak in non-standardized Japanese. If you’ve read 吾輩は猫である (I Am a Cat), which the title of this novel takes from, there is one character who talks like the cat in that classic tail. (But that’s the only similarity between the two. This book is nothing like the original 吾輩は猫である.)

But despite the brief difficulty spikes the story wasn’t complicated and the Japanese wasn’t that hard. It’s overall easy to read.

I would say this book would be good with N2 level readers, or advanced N3 readers who have already read a couple of novels.

Read the first few pages here!



This novel was good, but not amazing. It was nice to have a protagonist who wasn’t a complete ass, and when he is, you know he’s just being tsundere and he’s actually a really nice person. This depth to the protagonist made me like the novel more.

The story is a little convoluted and I felt the ending wasn’t as strong as the start. How everything is resolved was a little silly, but this whole book is a little silly. (It reminded me a lot of 失恋の準備をお願いします.)

If you like cats, music, and youkai, then this might be a book for you!


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