Here we are at Volume 3 of Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san (犬神さんと猫山さん) and…I’m not tired of it yet. Why? I don’t know, but I’m not! There’s something about Kuzushiro’s characters that make them completely not-boring to me. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a gag comic this much since…well, ever really.
So here we are and Nekoyama is fully invested in being too interested in Inugami, with no real way to express herself, while Inugami wears her heart on her sleeve. We follow Aki for a good portion of the book and get a new seasonal addition with her Kendo sempai Touko (whose name is written with the character for “winter.”) Most of the other animals take a back seat to to Ryuuzaki and Torao. And we see that indeed, they are the couple they appear to be. In addition to Otome and Mari, we get to see Nekoyama’s older sister, Tamaki with her girlfriend. So the Yuri level is significantly higher than previous volumes.
For the rest, it’s basically a balanced mix of genuine emotion and excruciating jokes that I nonetheless laugh out loud at.
What is it about this comic that I like so much? It’s taken me a while to nail it down, but I think I’ve figured it out. Kuzushiro-sensei likes these character and as a result, so do I. ^_^ Despite the animal puns, there’s a sense of depth to all the characters (except Torikai). While we’re mostly seeing the silly side, every once in a while we see that depth – just a glimpse – and it convinces us that time spent in this boisterous crowd is time well spent.
Art – 7
Story – 7
Character – 7
FanService – 6
Yuri – 8
Overall – 7
Apparently the key to a good gag comic is not one loud joke-cracking annoying character, but about half a dozen of them all at once. ^_^
This volume is also available on Kindle for folks with Japanese IP addresses.