Region: 2 - UK
Length: 300 minutes
Japanese 2.0 Stereo
One day, Harumi Kazuhito was killed in a robbery. However, his fascination with books allowed him to miraculously come back to life - as a dachshund dog. As he lamented his loss of ability to read books, before him appeared a sadistic woman, Natsuno Kirihime, who used scissors as a lethal weapon. But, not only can she hear Kazuhito's thoughts as a dog - she also happens to be a novelist he was a huge fan of. What is to become of this dog's life?
Anime's got its fetish titles. Mysterious Girlfriend X, Koi Kaze and so on. Some go all out and don't care, others hold back and try and deflect. Dog & Scissors? Hell, it makes the fetish part of the game. What's the fetish? Would you believe if I said being in love (LOVE in the truest sense of the word) with a dog? No? Okay, how about being in love with a book loving dog? Not better, huh?
Kazuhito Harumi is a nice enough lad who loves books. A whole lot. He obsesses about books in the same way a sports fans worries about his or her's favourite sport. His favourite author is Shinobu Akiyama who has been writing novels including a series titled after the seven deadly sins. Anyways, one day while sitting in a café, he stops a criminal from shooting a girl in the shop only to be killed outright by the attacker. Not wanting to give up his beloved books and Shinobu Akiyama, he wants a second try. He gets it but he's now a Dachshund dog. And Shinobu Akiyama turned out to be Natsuno Kirihime, the girl he saved. Plus she's a psycho who likes to cut things and people with a pair of scissors that she wears gunslinger-style. OK.
Once you get past the whole notion that Kazu is a small, cute dog who can only be understood by Natsuno and that she regularly tries to chop him up or at least cut his fur off, it's a relatively harmless affair. Most of the comedy comes from how far Kazu will go before he makes the fatal error around Natsuno and gets sliced at. The people around the two main characters are by definition the source of the gags and the insanity. Madoka, Kazu's sister, comes to find her brother after he's killed believing, correctly, that he's the little dog owned by Natsuno. Cue fighting duel between a pair of scissors and a giant chainsaw that can also make curry in a pinch. Madoka means well but she's the near side of crazy and this means she and Natsuno constantly threaten to fight each other in their attempts to be nice to each other. Plus she can't cook. At all, in any context. Suzuna Hiiragi is Natsuno's editor and a masochist who lives for Natsuno to hurt her. I really mean that because she does go into an orgiastic state every time that leaves you in no doubt how and what she's feeling. I marvelled at the show's willingness to not even hide this fact and just run with it. For Natsuno, she doesn't even care that she's giving Suzuna what she wants. While Kazu only looks on in horror. Along the way, we meet or rather we re-meet (is that even a word?) the people in Kazu's world before he became a canine. Afro Man is more of a walking cliché in Japanese terms. He's got an afro, he owns a shop, little animals can be seen in his hair, ergo he's funny. You think I'm joking but really I'm not. Every time he's there, it's fun. Even Kazu recognises it and if a dog can find a person funny, who are we to argue? The bookstore people are nice enough and provide some comic relief but they sometimes they grated on me. I was good with the owner being a bit of a nut and yeah, the older daughter was fun but they give over a whole ten minutes with the youngest daughter and Kazu. Enough, too much.
What was that fatal error that Kazu keeps going over with Natsuno? OK, deep breath. Kazu keeps bringing up the fact that Natsuno has small-ish breasts. Which sends her into a murderous rage that is usually taken out on Kazu. After that, well, you can figure it out. What's interesting here is that director Yukio Takahashi is completely shameless in where the joke will go. There is literally a one minute tirade as Kazu tries to insult her by stringing together as many "flat" jokes as possible only to find she's not asleep as he thought. As this joke runs it natural course, it's replaced by something that I can't quite figure out as to what the intention is. We slowly cotton on to the idea that Natsuno is in love with Kazu as she tries to plan a romantic day for the two of them but keeps being interrupted by the cast of characters. Now, if this was two human characters I would say, hey, go for it. But this is a girl in love with a Dachshund and I can only hope that she's actually in love with the human version of Kazu because I don't know, it's weird the other way around.
For all the weirdness going on, the show itself has great timing with the jokes and the line delivery. One of the funniest moments in the show is where Suzuna tricks Natsuno into getting drunk, hoping Natsuno will get even more violent. Kazu quivers in fear but he becomes terrified when the opposite happens: alcohol makes Natsuno nicer. She even has a wedding fantasy with ribbons, well wishers and, well, everything! Kazu is desperately trying to avoid her but it's not working. Nicely done, it finishes off the show and washes some of the really weirder elements out. The horrifying messes that Madoka creates in the kitchen could be classified as weapons of mass destruction. They don't look like food and more like a strange lifeform that fell to Earth. She makes it all with a chainsaw, which amounts to her wildly slashing in the kitchen with it. It's funny to watch and funnier to see the people quake with having to eat it. On top of that, the back and forth between Kazu and Natsuno is rapid fire and works brilliantly and Takahiro Sakurai and Marina Inoue have great fun with the characters. Along the way, they deal with murderers, robbers, stalkers, rivals and weirdos who are silly enough to tackle the scissor wielding girl and her capable Dachshund. Cripes, I just sold that as a detective show, didn't I?
If it does get a second series, I hope that Kazu gets his old body back. While I love the constant bitching with him and Natsuno, the blossoming love story is really strange and needs to reveal that it's all a big joke on Natsuno's part. Until then, it's streaming on Crunchyroll and is getting a bi-lingual re-release from Sentai Filmworks on DVD and blu-ray on January. Nice show but needs improvement.