by Yukiya Sakuragi; adapted by Ian Reid
published by Viz; $9.99 US
In this book, Suguri, her dog Lupin, and her boss Teppei have left the Woofles pet shop for a field trip. They’re visiting the ranch of the shop’s owner, where he raises the puppies they sell. That provides plenty of opportunity for lots of wonderful drawings of various dog breeds — Corgis, a husky, Labradors, and Bernese Mountain Dogs, the breed Suguri calls “stuffed animals” because they’re so cute and fluffy.
That’s what keeps bringing me back to these books, in spite of the occasional fan-service panty shots and the moronic behavior of the lead character. It doesn’t aim to be more than light entertainment, and I find looking at the adorable, well-drawn dogs fully satisfying in that regard.
This would be a good starting point for someone new to the series, since Teppei and the owner spend time early on talking about Suguri’s unique abilities, at the same time demonstrating how much she has to learn. All she has are her instincts and her supernatural rapport with the animals; there’s a lot of knowledge she lacks that would help her make better choices.
That’s why she winds up apprenticing at the ranch for a while. The natural setting provides some variation, as well as an excuse for another character to soapbox about how dogs, especially large ones, don’t belong in a city. Mostly, though, she’s learning about the proper raising of puppies, including how to handle unhappy responsibilities. Be aware: That leads to a pretty rough chapter that illustrates how baby dogs are born, which helps explain the book’s Older Teen rating.
I last talked about Book 7.