Crazy for dogs light novel

            The pet store Woofles has three employees: Teppei, the twenty-six-year-old manager; Kentaro, his scruffy slacker friend from high school; and Suguri, a naive eighteen-year-old girl from the countryside who loves dogs (she even wears a collar around her neck). Suguri’s natural affinity for canines shines in these light episodic dramas about dogs and their owners. Despite being published in the sometimes spicy men’s magazine Young Jump, Inubaka has relatively little romance or cheesecake. Instead there’s plenty of dog poop and pee jokes, and lots of practical pet care information. The art is polished but generic: cute girls and cute dogs who look traced from photos.  Gakusen toshi asterisk

            Below-average Takahashi is still better than most artists’ best work, but Inuyasha explores well-trodden territory: cute, cleanly drawn heroes follow long story arcs of no clear termination and fight grotesque monsters-of-the-week. Kagome, a junior-high girl, travels back through time to feudal Japan, where she is taken for the reincarnation of a great priestess and becomes the master of Inuyasha, a surly dog-eared half-demon boy. When the magic Shikon Jewel—a demonic artifact—is shattered into a conveniently indefinite number of pieces, she and Inuyasha must travel across Japan to keep the fragments out of the hands of evil demons, and later hunt for Naraku, a spider-like evil manipulator with ties to Inuyasha and Kagome’s previous incarnation. Of course, these are only the basics of an enormous cast of characters and demons, introduced in what feels like a make-it-up-as-she-goes-along fashion. Takahashi’s only major non-romantic-comedy series (although there’s a little of that, too) combines creepy folklore-horror with fight scenes: the heroes stumble upon a mysterious monster or legend, invariably escape death, and then Inuyasha cuts the monsters to pieces. The creatures are inventive, but it’s obvious when the story is spinning its wheels; the best moments are when the character relationships assert themselves, but these moments are buried among thousands of pages of future TV-show episodes. Takahashi’s art is simplified, and the story reads quickly.
            Yuri (lesbian) romantic comedy. Iono, the queen of a faraway country, comes to Japan in search of beautiful dark-haired women for her harem of attendants.