The first volume in the Usagi series is a collection of short pieces that introduce the principle characters and establish the setting and premise. Stan Sakai's art has evolved considerably over the last couple of decades and these early versions of the characters are more self-consciously cute than what would come later. Sakai walks a fine line between realistic and cute, and is not afraid to be cute, but is never gratuitous about the cuteness. I would define an Ewok from Star Wars as gratuitously cute whereas Gizmo from Gremlins is justifiably cute. Rein Poortvliet's Gnomes are on about the same point of the cute spectrum as Sakai's animal characters.