Inukami 4

September 24, 2009

Mari Matsuzawa / Mamizu Arisawa – Seven Seas – 2009 – 6 volumes

I have no idea if this series is still running, but volume 6 came out in 2007, so it’s either over or on hiatus.  Just so you know.  I always like to know how many volumes long something is when I’m reading it.

Anyway.  I last checked in with volume one, and I have to admit, I do like things a bit better after volume four.  There are a few things this series does that are kind of interesting.  The cases seem to deal with older people, and the main character himself is an adult.  The case this time around is also kind of interesting, and without preamble or any amateur stuff, Keita jumps right in and tries to beat death and stop him from killing a young heiress.  Apparently her grandfather made a deal with the devil, and ever since then the family members have died young.  The heiress is the only family member left, and her butler is the only person left to take care of her.  Every year, on her birthday, something terrible happens, and the grim reaper has warned her that she and anyone with her will die on her 20th birthday.  So, then we have Keita and his inukami.  They decide to… uh, challenge the grim reaper to a boxing match, which is actually goofy and pretty cool.  The plot to this sub-story is okay, but there wasn’t anything terribly gripping or compelling about it aside from the fact we won’t get to see the conclusion next volume.

There are still things I dislike about Inukami, though.  The main character is sort of a lech, which is a boring anime joke.  The thing is, I can’t tell if he actually is or if he is just accused of it by his inukami all the time.  It might be a little bit of both.  This isn’t really a joke I like in any context.  There are a lot of other jokes, and while they weren’t as terrible as the pervert jokes, I still wasn’t really all that into the sense of humor here.  There’s an omake chapter in the back of the volume that features the characters at an all-girls school with Keita as a teacher (who is, of course, a lech for real in this chapter), but I kind of wished the main story from this volume had finished instead of being served that blatant fanservice.  The other problem is that, despite the fact that everyone except Keita’s inukami is an adult, they still all look like 10-year-old kids.  These are pretty significant hurdles, and given the fact that the rest of what was going on was only okay, it sort of makes Inugami appeal mostly to an extreme niche.

Despite all that, I did like what was going on.  Even though he is portrayed as a pervert, unusually, my favorite thing about the volume was Keita’s skills and his attitude about doing his job.  It made up for a lot of the other strangeness.  It’s definitely still an acquired taste, and it’s more of a light read than anything substantial.  It’s not really for me, but I’m sure there’s an audience out there for it.

This was a review copy provided by Seven Seas.

Inukami 1

November 24, 2008

Hmm.  This is one of those middle-of-the-road series that has a lot of fanservice and a pretty predictable story progression.  I don’t normally go for these, but I actually kind of liked the plot to this one.

A boy is a member of a family who is famous for taming Inukami, or dog spirits that seem to take the shape of women.  The boy failed the first time he tried to summon, but when he is given a second chance, he has delusions of basically making the good-looking girl he imagines will be his partner into a type of slave.  Things don’t work out this way, and while the boy occasionally has pervy, fanservice-y fantasies and moments, the inukami spirit winds up being the jealous, vengeful type of girl that zaps him for bad behavior.

The characters really aren’t too good at this point.  What I like about it is the plot, which is basically about the boy and the inukami spirit going out and solving supernatural problems.  They both have things they can do along the lines of strengths and weaknesses, and they actually work together pretty well when solving these mysteries.  The mysteries themselves are pretty good, too, and while there are a number of fairly stereotypical anime-type humor scenes (the boy peeking into the hotspring, the boy being greedy about money and a reward, etc), the problems themselves, as well as the solutions, are kind of unique.  I’m thinking of one in particular where the pair is forced to go up into the mountains to solve a problem that eventually involves ghosts, a wandering cat, and a buried fortune and possibly jilted land owners.  There were some expected things mixed in there, but overall I liked it.

I’m curious to see if the series improves on its strengths and the characters perhaps develop better, more unique personalities as the series continues.  It could be pretty fun if things settle down in subsequent volumes, and I like the pair of the main character and his inukami and the way they work together, too, so there are many directions for this to go that would make it into a pretty nice story.  Of course, it could just stall around in fanservice territory forever too, but I’d be willing to give it a few more volumes to see where it goes.

This was a review copy provided by Seven Seas.