Cinnamoroll is a cute, good-natured puppy with a very unusual background. His mother is the sky, his father is the sun, and all of his brothers and sisters are clouds – chatty, mischievous clouds who can’t understand why Cinnamoroll doesn’t look like them. More importantly, he can’t seem to fly like them, which makes things tough given that he lives in the sky. Stuck on his tiny floating cloud seat, Cinnamoroll can’t go with his siblings on their airborne adventures. He’s left to wonder why he’s so different – and what life would be like in the world below, where he sees lots of people (well, puppies) who look just like him.
Cinnamoroll gets a chance to find out when a spat between his siblings knocks him out of the sky. As he falls, the puppy makes a frantic attempt to fly – and finally does. (It turns out that flying works differently for him than for the cloud kids: rather than just float, Cinnamoroll must flap his long ears.) Overjoyed, he decides to go investigate the world below – specifically, Café Cinnamon, a sweet shop that is the hangout of all the neighborhood puppies. It is here that the cafe’s owner – the only human to appear in this volume – takes him in and gives him the name Cinnamoroll, inspired by his curly tail.
Things don’t fall into place quite as smoothly as Cinnamoroll had hoped. While his looks don’ t stand out among the puppies, his lack of experience with terrestrial manners does – and that’s before they find out he can fly. Luckily, the puppies are a friendly bunch, and quickly come to accept Cinnamoroll as a new pal.
Like Cinnamoroll, these pups talk and have distinct personalities: fashionable Mocha, artist and musician Espresso, sporty Chiffon, sleepy Cappuccino, and Milk, the baby of the group. Along with Cinnamoroll, they have lots of adventures – many short episodes are packed into this volume. We also meet Cornet, a sky-dwelling unicorn friend of Cinnamoroll’s, and Cavity, a nasty dark cloud who changes shape and uses magic to try and capture Cinnamoroll, whom he believes has special powers. (Well, he’s kind of right, isn’t he?)
The presence of more humans is implied – Espresso’s owner is mentioned briefly, and it’s to be assumed that all of the puppies have owners. Aside from the one short appearance of the cafe’s owner, though, no humans actually show their faces in this volume. The puppies are on their own for everything from baking to beach trips.
The backgrounds are drawn in skillfully cutesy style, the puppies themselves highly simplified. A character guide at the beginning of the volume not only offers a name and description next to a picture of each puppy, but suggests ways to tell them apart – while unnecessary for most readers, this could be useful to young or inexperienced readers of graphic novels who are still learning how to follow a story and consistently identify different characters. (In what might begin to be overkill, however, the puppies are often labeled with their names where they appear throughout the volume.) The character guide, and a few short adventures following it (seemingly pulled out as a sample; they do not fall clearly into the chronological order of the overall volume), are done in color, the rest of the volume in black and white.
The mini-plots of the various adventures are whimsical: talking trees, a scary trip to the basement that turns out not to be so bad, and saving Christmas for little Milk when it looks like Santa’s not going to reach Café Cinnamon this year. The rapid-fire episodes can feel a bit manic, but some are a bit longer for a nice variation in pace. Though the adventures, and most of the characters, are gentle, readers will empathize with Cinnamoroll’s real sadness at not fitting in with the cloud kids and his fear that the same will happen again with the puppies. The dialogue is mostly simple, and the puppies all behave like young children. Fluffy, Fluffy Cinnamoroll will probably appeal most to younger readers.
Fluffy, Fluffy Cinnamoroll, vol. 1
by Yumi Tsukirino and Chisato Seki
VIZ Kids, 2005
Publisher Age Rating: All Ages