Shibainuko-san seems pointless at times and its quips seize being funny by the midsection of the book.
Once in a while, you come across a writer labouring on a premise that doesn't leave much space for wriggle room. For example, there is a limit to which you can draw on, let's say, farting jokes until you run out of material. To have a level of interestingness in story writing, you need to be able to choose premises that allows you space to be flexible and play around with possibilities. This is the main issue I have with Shibainuko-san and my sadness at the futile efforts of the author at squeezing milk from a stone.
Shibainuko-san is a story about a dog, sorry…no. It’s about a doggish looking girl...sorry, not exactly, ...err ...a girl with a dog form? Yes, that's it. Now, this girl with a dog form, walks on two legs (paws), attends a school alongside other students who seem startled at her appearance at first, but afterwards accepts her looks and foibles so much that a fan club grew around her in a short span of time.
The graphic novel chronicles Shibainuko-san's adventures with her school friends. These include sleepovers, sports, trips, and other stuff. Most of the scenes featured in the book are gags about dogs and the awkwardness that can happen when a dog relates with human beings on the same level.
I wish I could say there is a big story, background or lesson behind Shibainuko-san. There isn't. The whole book seems pointless at times and its quips seize being funny by the midsection of the book.
One of the few positives is the art. Though the story lacks a plot or a direction, the art is detailed and tasteful. It’s not unique, but there is a level of care and detail shown on the pages that makes me wish the story is a bit more than what it is.
Shibainuko-san is a book of gags about what can happen when a person with a dog body lives amongst humans. Nothing more, nothing less. And with a premise like that, I doubt there is anything more the author can do. A disappointment.
Shibainuko-san is written by uzu and published by Takeshobo (September 01, 2015).
Many thanks to Takeshobo for review copy. All images are © to their respective owners.
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