Two Purrfect Panels at Zenkaikon 2024

Two purrfect, or cat-themed, panels were hosted at Zenkaikon this year, titled “The Cat Lover’s Guide to Cat Manga” and “The Cat Lover’s Guide to Video Games”! As a cat enthusiast (just take a peek at all of my articles on Warriors), I was super happy to be able to attend both of them during the convention. The panels were hosted by Brand and CJ, who both showed pictures of their cute cats at the beginning to be their personas for the panels!

“The Cat Lover’s Guide to Cat Manga”

Zenkaikon listed this panel as the title shown above, though the title presented at the beginning was “The Cat Lovers Guide to Cat Manga II,” which I assume to mean this was the second iteration of the particular panel. It was hosted on Saturday, March 23rd from 6:00 to 7:00 PM. Twenty-six manga were discussed in their presentation, though at the end of the panel, they opened it up to recommendations from the audience, as well as discussing where to read or buy manga. What brought me to this panel originally was the description given in the Zenkaikon scheduling app:

“Do mew enjoy cats? Are mew easily amewsed by videos and imeowges of cute cats on the internyaat? Do mew need to pet every cat you nyotice? Well, now it’s time to meowge your love for cats with your love for manga! Learn about all the cat manga you didn’t even knyow existed and purrpare to waste your time on purr cuteness!”

The cheeky, pun-filled description made me laugh immediately, so much so that I read it out loud to my wife amid giggles. I am very happy this hooked me, as the panel ended up great overall. Both Brand and CJ were knowledgeable about cat manga, something I didn’t even realize was such a vast genre beforehand. They had good, clear voices and didn’t talk over each other. Something I find that makes panels awkward is when one panelist dominates over another; this is not an issue I found with theirs. The audience was also great, and every chair was filled with smiling, happy con-goers. A decent amount of them were also obviously cat fans, with cat ears and tails present.

The theme of this panel was cat manga, but they made it more enjoyable by including a rating system for each manga they talked about. This rating went by how “kitty” something was, and that is how authentically real “cat” the manga turned out. How much did the cat character/s act like a cat? It didn’t mean the manga was bad, but it allowed the audience to know exactly what type of kitty they were getting into. My favorite phrase that came up repeatedly through this panel was, “Is it kitty?”

Every manga had an initial slide with information and an additional slide of a couple of pages as an example. While this ended up being a little repetitive after a while, the differences in the manga made it interesting enough to hang on throughout the hour. Below, you’ll find the list of manga given during the presentation. Make sure you scroll down to hear about the second panel I attended!

  • The Story of How I Found My Cat by Terada Atarou
  • Nekoe Juubee Otogi Soushi by Maru Nagao
  • Cats of the Louvre by Taiyō Matsumoto
  • What’s Michael? by Makoto Kobayashi
  • With a Dog AND a Cat, Every Day is Fun by Hidekichi Matsumoto
  • I’m the Catlords’ Manservant by Rat Kitaguni
  • I am a Cat Barista by Hiro Maijima
  • Wonder Cat Kyuu-chan by Sasami Natori
  • Cat Massage Therapy by Haru Hisakawa
  • The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again Today by Hitsuzi Yamada
  • A Man and His Cat by Umi Sakurai
  • Creepy Cat by Cotton Valent
  • Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu by Junji Ito
  • The Walking Cat: A Cat’s-Eye-View of the Zombie Apocalypse by Tomo Kitaoka
  • Just for a Meowment by Kkanaria (Canaria)
  • Ex-Yakuza and Stray Kitten by Riddle Kamimura
  • My New Life as a Cat by Konomi Wagata
  • My Sister, the Cat by senko
  • Night of the Living Cat by Hawkman & Mecha-Roots
  • The Evil Secret Society of Cats by PANDANIA
  • Yokai Cats by PANDANIA
  • Soseki Natsume’s I Am a Cat by Soseki Natsume, Chiroru Kobato, Zack Davisson
  • Nyankees by Atsushi Okada
  • A Story of Seven Lives by Sirakawa Gin
  • Cat + Gamer by Wataru Nadatani
  • Cat on the Hero’s Lap by Kousuke Iijima

Some additional recommendations from the audience included: My Roommate is a Cat by Minatsuki and Asu Futatsuya, A Kiss with a Cat by Miko Senri, and Cat Paradise by Yuji Iwahara. Some places to read or buy manga were mentioned at the end: VizMangaDexRenta!BookWalker, and Azuki.

Perhaps the best part of going to this panel is how I’m beginning to notice the titles of these manga when I’m in bookstores, like A Story of Seven Lives. It made me more aware of the genre, and I hope to pick some up to read in the future.

“The Cat Lover’s Guide to Video Games”

When my initial plans to do a workshop fell through, I found this panel was the purrfect substitute. It was somewhat similar to the manga panel, except this one discussed over 30 video game titles. Brand and CJ were the panelists again, and this was their first time presenting this panel. The description wasn’t as punny, but it was just as hook-worthy:

“You have played Stray and fell in love with Cat the cat. What’s next? Are there more games with cats to play with and as? The answer is yes! Learn about all the cat video games from AAA to tiny indie titles you can your fix with! Mee-oow!”

Only this past year did I watch a streamer play Stray and yes, I absolutely fell in love with it and the idea of cat games. While I haven’t personally played Stray yet, I plan to. In the meantime, or perhaps at the same time, I was ecstatic to see how many more cat games there are to spend time on. Before the panel even began, they
an episode of the anime adaption of the
My Roommate is a Cat manga. It was an easy way to entertain and draw some “awws” from the spectators.

While the manga panel was more discussion-heavy, Brand and CJ took a bit of a backseat in this panel to be able to show the trailers for every game included. I also found that Brand had more to say about the games than CJ, which wasn’t an issue, just an observation. Similarly, it also became a bit repetitive and I found myself antsier when longer trailers were shown. I was hoping for a little more discussion on the games, but I was happy to enjoy videos with the expressive audience either way.

These games weren’t rated, but they were organized as adventure, action, role-playing, visual novel, puzzle, hidden object games, and games featuring cats.


  • Stray
  • Cats and the Other Lives
  • Gibbous – A Cthulhu Adventure
  • Cat Museum
  • Ghost Trick


  • Little Kitty, Big City *not yet released*
  • Catlateral Damage
  • Gato Roboto
  • KinnikuNeko SUPER MUSCLE CAT
  • Cat Quest, Cat Quest II, and Cat Quest III


  • Cattails
  • Cattails: Wildwood Story

Visual Novel

  • Purrfect Date


  • A Little to the Left
  • Cats Organized Neatly
  • Calico
  • Devcats Games
  • Cats Love Boxes
  • Sudocats
  • Zodiacats

Hidden Object Games

  • A Castle Full of Cats
  • An Arcade Full of Cats
  • Cats in Time
  • Hidden Cats in…
  • Kittenwood
  • And (so, so) more!

Games Featuring Cats

  • Boyfriend Dungeon
  • Yakuza 6
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon
  • Lost Judgment
  • Sims 4: Cats & Dogs

Also, for fun, I counted how many cat coat colors showed up as either the main character of the game or included a “multiple” option if the game had multiple coats. While I didn’t catch every game, here’s 27:

  • Multiple: 12
  • Ginger: 7
  • Black + White: 2
  • Calico: 2
  • White: 2
  • Black: 1
  • Ghost (literally): 1

Unsurprisingly, other than multiple coats in a game, ginger cats took the win! Ironically, I was cosplaying a ginger tabby cat, Firestar from Warriors, while attending the panel.

Like the cat manga panel, the cat video game panel opened a whole new world of video games to me. I was already aware of StrayA Little to the Left, and both Cattails and Cattails: Wildwood Story, but all others were new to me. I look forward to seeking them out on my available devices.

I want to thank Brand and CJ for the two panels, as well as for allowing me to take their picture at the end of the video game panel! Below the picture, you can find their socials.

Brand: Twitter/X, Bsky, My Anime List, website.

CJ: Twitter/X, Bsky, My Anime List

Images used were taken on an iPhone. Due to the glare of the projected screen, the images from the actual slideshow have been edited to show the words and images more clearly. The colors have been shadowed or enhanced so they are not true to the in-person presentation.

About Hailey Watkins

Hailey is a self-proclaimed bookworm and writer. While she loves to read fantasy or slice-of-life the most, their heart belongs truly to the Warrior cats book series. She has collected and read all of the books in the nearly 100-book-long (and counting) series. She's also a fan of reading Webtoons, graphic novels, and manga, as well as watching anime. When they're not writing about fandom, their day job is as a substitute teacher.

View all posts by Hailey Watkins

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