Inubaka Vol. #03 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 216
  • ISBN: 1-4215-1151-7
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Inubaka

Inubaka Vol. #03

By Ben Leary     July 25, 2007
Release Date: June 30, 2007

Inubaka Vol.#03
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Yukiya Sakuragi
Translated by:Hidemi Hacitori
Adapted by:Ian Reid and John Werry

What They Say
Could Suguri's Lupin really share a psychic bond with the pet store manager?! Suguri gets a second job at night, and her work performance at the pet store starts to suffer due to her lack of sleep. Then she and her coworker Chizuru come across a shady pet shop with a lot of sick dogs, and they're determined to find out what's going on!

The Review
This volume of Inubaka shows improvement all across the board. The plots not only keep from going off into la-la land but even get more serious and real. There was one instance which I thought was drivel--until I got blindsided by the punchline and realized it had all been setup, so it gets a couple of extra marks for being able to surprise me. Another plus is that we spend most of the time away from the pet shop. A pet shop is a place that an animal lover has a hard time approving of; we saw a few of the reasons for that in the last volume, and we'll see some more in this. I still have no idea why this gets such a harsh age rating. There is a full-page panty shot that really has no place in something like this, but I've seen worse in 13+ titles. Apart from that, the only possibly objectionable material is a couple of scenes in a hostess club, but nothing untoward seems to be going on. This isn't qute as squeaky-clean as the last volume, but 16+ is way, way off.

Of course we begin with Kim breaking in his new puppy. I knew this was going to involve house-training, and sure enough, we get to see every mess the dog makes. This is an aspect of the series I'm already tired of. I can see it's in keeping with the naturalistic treatment of the dogs, but if you've got to put poop in a story, just plant it at the beginning and then forget about it for a while. The credit side of this approach, though, is that we do get a lot of stress on the responsible and informed treatment of dogs, as opposed to a brainless drooling over their real or imagined cuteness. The one time in this book that the brainless drooling does occur, it is justly made an object of ridicule. Though it could be argued that this approach goes a little too far at times--do we really need a poodle breeding chart? (And it's not an extra, either.) But all in all I like this way of doing things.

Those poodles in the breeding chart occupy the last two-thirds of the book, in a story longer and more complex than any we've seen yet. It deals with one of the less savory pet store owners and how Teppei and Suguri handle the situation (Suguri in a good-hearted and hare-brained way, Teppei in a good-hearted and sensible way.) Without going into too much detail and spoiling it, the maturity of the resolution impressed me. There weren't any easy answers or pat solutions. We get to see both sides of the story, and realize that any way of addressing the problem is going to take some work.

I can only hope the extra depth and weight bode well for the series from here on out. Hitting the halfway mark seems to have done this series some good. If you've read the first two volumes, then by all means give this one a look. I predict it will be your favorite of the three.


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