Shazza Maddog's Reviews > Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo, Volume 1

Pet Shop of Horrors by Matsuri Akino
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Sep 28, 11


** spoiler alert ** This is a continuation of Akino's Pet Shop of Horrors storyline, with Count D moving his? her? pet shop out of the United States and into Japan. This is actually explained a little more in one of the author's notes, rather than bogging down one of the chapters in the manga. Count D, for those of you who haven't read the first series, runs a pet shop. Androgynous Count D sells 'normal' animals, such as cats, dogs, birds and fish, but also has the truly exotic for those who are willing to purchase such things. Each chapter of the manga reads as its own separate story with just a little hint of the ongoing mystery that is Count D.

The stories are written rather in the style of O. Henry or perhaps The Twilight Zone. There is always some sort of a twist, which, of course, after you read the first one, you come to expect. The pets that are bought are magical creatures and though they may appear to be human from one angle, they are all, in one way or another, somewhat monstrous. This does not mean the pets are not good - it just may be that they are alien and their style and means of thinking things through is different.

There are four chapters in this manga. The first deals with a woman who is being haunted by her dreams - not to mention the reality - of her estranged, violent boyfriend, with whom she had a son. She is hiding out from him, though dreams of him finding her every night. The pet she acquires appears to be a child, a lovely boy who seems just a bit older than her own son. The boy, Chiimu, helps take care of her son, Shingo, as well as helps around the house until Miki realizes that her purchase (which she originally was going to turn in for human trafficking) is well worth the money she paid. Chiimu even helps settle her dreams, allowing Miki to actually sleep during the night. The ending of this short story is delightfully creepy, setting the reader up for the stories to follow.

The second story deals with a writer who has lost her edge. While she wrote a novel at the age of thirteen, she has had nothing published since then and feels trapped in her job and her life. She asks Count D for the ugliest pet he has, and is sold a lizard-y thing that is certainly ugly. The next morning, she finds a young boy in the lizard-thing's place. His appearance marks a turn around in her life and ends in the now-expected twist.

The second story is a tale that's gone to the dogs, literally, when a young man who is part of the yakuza tries to return a dog that was bought from Count D's shop. It seems the girl (the boss' latest fling) the dog was bought for is upset that the dog prefers the young man, who is ordered to take care of the dog. The dog, not surprising, is not quite what she seems (and I couldn't help but be amused by the breed of dog and her name, which did play a part in the story). This chapter is somewhat of a romance but also has some silly stuff in it, too - the owner of the building where Count D's shop is located thinks that D is running a brothel at night and attempts to trick D into selling one of his lackies a magical animal.

The final story is both historical and fantastical and centers around Eva Braun and her fanatic love for Adolph Hitler. This story is probably the creepiest yet but not for the reasons you might think. The pet involved is a beautiful blond boy...that, of course, isn't.

I very much enjoyed this series the first time around and am looking forward to reading more. The art is lovely and easy to follow; the translations are well done. There sound effects remain untranslated but also don't appear very often in the story, so that's not a major turn off for me.

If you're looking for a fun, creepy read, you could try out Count D and his horrific little pet shop.
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