Volume 1 of Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san, (犬神さんと猫山さん) introduced us to the animal-themed cast of a “typical” Japanese high school. Inugami Hachiyo who likes cats and Nekoyama-san and Nekoyama Suzu, who likes dogs, but maybe not Inugami-san, their classmates Ushiwaka (“ushi” means cow, so she is big-breasted, har har), teeny little Nezu Mikine (“nezumi” means mouse) and their zookeeper, Inugami’s friend Aki (whose name means “autumn” and is wholly unrelated to animals.)
In Volume 2, we add a monkey and a bird to the menagerie. The bird is sickly, ghostly, flightly Torikai Hibari, the monkey is class rep Sarutobi Sora. It is with perpetually irritable Sarutobi (who does not get along with Inugami-san, despite her most puppy-like attempts at friendship) that we encounter the one genuinely laugh-out-loud gag of the book.
Sarutobi really cannot stand when people ascribe the characteristics of her animal name to herself. So she says, quite seriously to our resident mouse (who is, apparently, the most worldly of the bunch and the most likely to use sex appeal to get her way.) Quite seriously, Sarutobi explains that their names are just their names and really, people should stop saying she’s like a monkey, she insists as she picks up her schoolbag and pulls out a banana. I laughed as Nezu-san calmly pointed out that that would have been a lot more more convincing without the banana.
I’m struck again at how bananas are intrinsically the funniest of fruits.
Anyway, we do get a shocking amount of Yuri in between the excruciating gags and Kuzushiro’s typical fake-y Yuri. Nekoyama hallucinates (she thinks, she hopes) that Inugami-san kisses her while feverish and we’re told that Nezu and Ushiwaka are an item. And, as unsubtle as Inugami-san is, she’s going to have to be less subtle than this to get her actual interest across.
Art – 7
Story – 6 Slice of life
Character – 6
FanService – 6
Yuri – 7 Slightly more in the real world-ish
Overall – 7
The Sarutobi gag all by itself notched this up a point.