It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed Kuzushiro’s zodiac animal-themed high school gag comic. It’s not because it isn’t good, or that it hasn’t been funny. It’s just that Volume 4 wasn’t all that Yuri. It’s not that we don’t have Yuri couples – Student Council President Torao Mari and her Vice President, Ryuuzaki Otome, and Nekoyama-san’s older sister Tamaki and her lover Hebizuka Sawako.
However, Volume 5 of Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san, (犬神さんと猫山さん) ratchets up the Yuri in a couple of places. Primarily the fraught relationship between Souma Sakura and Inori Mayo. Those two alternately fight verbally and physically throughout the volume, all the while skirting the very real attraction between them. By the end of the volume they have at least acknowledged their mutual attraction even if it’s still going to be rocky.
The titular characters, Inugami-san and Nekoyama-san also go on a date, to a cat cafe. Suzu finds herself having a lot more fun playing with the kittens than she expected and she and Yachiyo find themselves moving ever closer to an actual romance.
And even with all this going on, these two major shifts in dynamic are not the most interesting thing in the book.
I’ve referred to Aki as everyone’s keeper before and the splash page illustates this in a fairly servicey manner, with Aki in a sexualized pose and the rest of the cast in miniature draped around her. Throughout this series, she’s come off as grounded and slightly removed from everything. Not in this volume, where suddenly we see a bit deeper into Aki and it turns out she’s got very a pretty dark center. I like it on her. And, she casually mentions, in the course of nothing particular, that she’s bi. Aki takes the lead on being the most interesting character in the series so far.
Art – 7
Story – 7
Character – 8
FanService – 6
Yuri – 7
Overall – 7
All I ever ask from gag comics is that they are amusing. Almost despite itself, this one is also telling a story. Who’da thunk it!