by Yukiya Sakuragi; adapted by Ian Reid
published by Viz; $9.99 US
Before the main story in this book, about a big-box store competitor opening across the street from the friendly pet shop Suguri works for, there are two shorter pieces.
I wished the first one, only two chapters, was much longer. It features fanboy Hiroshi and his French bulldog Zidane, who’s become overweight. Through trying to keep his beloved dog healthy, Hiroshi learns the right way to reduce a pet’s weight. I liked the concept, but I thought there was a lot of potential that was ignored. The premise isn’t ever actually shown to be resolved, and the bigger conflict, that of Hiroshi’s own unhealthy lifestyle, is only hinted at. I wanted to see more self-awareness come to him, with more resolution to the issue for both him and his dog.
Perhaps that storyline was abbreviated to make room for chapter 100, a stand-alone where everyone and their dogs sit around talking about what it means to be purebred, which leads into Suguri flashing back to why her hero dog is named Lupin. (It’s after the anime series, but there’s more to it than that.) As always, a significant draw of this series for me are the pictures of the adorable dogs — puppy Lupin is sooooo cute.
After that comes the next big struggle. The competitor checks out the store, analyzing Suguri’s supernatural skills with the animals before sending in a spy to find out more about their business model. The setup leads to predictable comedy and suspense scenes. It’s a shame that the story looks to continue into the next book, because it wasn’t keeping my attention as much as I’d have liked. The most interesting elements to me were the handful of statements about what makes a good pet shop philosophy.
I previously covered Book 9.