PET SHOP OF HORRORS: TOKYO • Matsuri Akino • Tokyopop • 16+
There’s a new tenant in Shinjuku’s “Neo Chinatown”…Count D, an androgynously handsome Chinese man who sells rare and interesting pets to a select few. Of course, there are the rumors that the “pets” are in fact human slaves…and that some of his clients have died under mysterious circumstances…but who would believe such things? This sequel to Pet Shop of Horrors is set in Japan but otherwise the same, with more tales of D’s strangely human “pets” and how they affect their owners’ lives. Miki, a single mother living in fear of her child’s abusive father, receives a child who becomes her son’s playmate…Reiko, a failed novelist, buys a grotesque larva which grows up into a handsome young boy…there’s even a story set in 1938, involving vampires, kirins, Hitler and Eva Braun. In addition to the detailed, ornate shojo art, the best feature of Akino’s Pet Shop stories is that they are genuinely unpredictable, with endings both happy and horrific. Despite the absence of the Count’s comic foil Count Orcot, this series is just as good as the original, a case where more of the same is — if not surprising — just fine. (Review by Jason Thompson – originally printed in Otaku USA magazine.)
*** (three stars)
Today’s winner is Matthew B. of Illinois! Congratulations, Matt!