Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo Volume 1 (v. 1)

by Matsuri Akino | Graphic Novels |
ISBN: 9781427806079 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Earth-VS-Soup of Fairbanks, Alaska USA on 4/27/2011
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Earth-VS-Soup from Fairbanks, Alaska USA on Wednesday, April 27, 2011
A mysterious, seemingly immortal man named Count D runs a strange pet shop in Chinatown. He claims to sell pets, but the creatures he peddles take on human form in front of their owners, and each customer gets what he or she deserves. There are few if any happy endings to be had in these stories, but they are interesting and beautifully illustrated.

This is the first volume of the sequel to the series Pet Shop of Horrors. I'll be including it in a controlled release (graphic novel bookbox) I'm participating in.

Journal Entry 2 by Earth-VS-Soup at Fairbanks, Alaska USA on Thursday, May 19, 2011

Released 11 yrs ago (5/19/2011 UTC) at Fairbanks, Alaska USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

In the Graphic Novel Bookbox to be handed off to AKSarah tomorrow.

Journal Entry 3 by AKSarah at Fairbanks, Alaska USA on Thursday, May 19, 2011
Received today from Earth_vs_Soup in the Manga/Graphic Novel Bookbox.

Journal Entry 4 by AKSarah at Fairbanks, Alaska USA on Saturday, May 28, 2011
I enjoyed this series of stories about a pet shop that sells magical animals that can take human form. The people who buy these pets seem to get everything that they wish for...at a price.

Journal Entry 5 by AKSarah at Fairbanks, Alaska USA on Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Released 11 yrs ago (7/13/2011 UTC) at Fairbanks, Alaska USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Mailed to GoryDetails to kick off my Graphic Novel/Manga bookbox.

Journal Entry 6 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, August 4, 2011
I pounced on this book from AKSarah's manga/graphic-novel bookbox; the be-careful-what-you-wish-for element of the plot summary reminded me a bit of Nightmare Inspector and Hell Girl, with perhaps a touch of xxxHolic (as far as the enigmatic, exquisitely-dressed owner of a mysterious little shop element goes). Will have to see!

Later: I didn't realize until I got into the series that this is actually a follow-on to the original "Pet Shop of Horrors" books, and I've since managed to get hold of them all. While the first series is my favorite - the relationship between Orcott and D alone makes a huge difference - I still enjoyed this one very much, and only wish there were more books. What a wonderful setting, with gorgeous artwork and quirky, often terrifying scenarios...

From the claw-scratch design on the cover-art to the incredible details of D's wardrobe, not to mention the beautiful and exotic animals-seen-as-human in the shop, and the fancy desserts D loves, the book's a delight to look at. The volume opens with a letter from Woo-Fei to his father describing the odd new tenant in his office building in the New Chinatown part of Tokyo, and mentioning a mysterious letter warning him that his tenant had been in trouble in Los Angeles - that's a nod to the events of the previous series, but I find that one can enjoy this book without having read the earlier books.

The first story opens with a woman who has nightmares about her abusive spouse coming after her and their child. She wanders into the pet shop and asks for a guard dog - only to have the exquisitely lovely Count D present her with a young boy instead. [Later conversation in the shop between D and several strange and exotic humanoids - the human forms of some of his "pets" - reveals that the child is a nightmare-eater. Spoiler: Just when I was sure that the nightmare-eater's treatment would let the woman have a happy future, the twist ending kicked in; as I learned after reading more in this series, D's involvement often saves a life, but usually comes at a high cost..]

Another customer asks for a really unusual pet, something that "will give other people the creeps". She gets a huge, ugly caterpillar-type thing - but wakes the next morning to find a handsome teenager in her bed... Has she accidentally purchased arm candy, or a good luck charm - or something much different? [I really didn't expect the twist in this one - a feature of many of these stories!]

In the third chapter, Woo-Fei shows up at the shop to check out his mysterious tenant himself, after hearing rumors that D sells human beings - and their adversarial relationship begins. (He's not nearly as interesting a foil to D as Orcott was, but I did enjoy his attempts to get the better of D.)

There do seem to be some odd rules as to when - and to whom - the "pets" appear as humans; at one point in this book, Woo-Fei spots a shop customer walking with a lovely young girl who, when he met her in the shop, was in the form of a dog. [Whether the creatures actually change shape or simply appear differently to different people isn't entirely clear, though any inconsistencies can be explained easily as "Count D just messing with people" {grin}.]

Oh, and the twist in story #3 surprised me yet again, though with arguably a happier result than most of the other stories.

Another story is a flashback/insert, with Count D visiting Berlin and stumbling upon a portrait of - himself? No, wait, it's his grandfather, who provides a pet to the mistress of a very powerful man...and touches on an especially dark time in history. [That one ends with a nod to the previous series, and suggests a reason for the Count's move to Tokyo, but after reading all the books I admit I found this episode rather sad.]

Overall I adore this series - lovely, decadent, Twilight-Zone-ish, great fun! I've even picked up other series by this mangaka, Kamen Tantei and Genju no Seiza.

[The TV Tropes page on the full series is quite entertaining, though if you haven't read the books yet, beware of spoilers. And there's a very good anime adaptation of four stories from the original series.]

Released 9 yrs ago (4/4/2013 UTC) at Main Street (See Release Notes For Details) in Nashua, New Hampshire USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I left this book on top of the turtle sculpture in the little Bicentennial Park next to the Main St. bridge at about 4:30; hope the finder enjoys it!

*** Released as part of the 2013 April Chill-of-the-month read/release challenge, theme: Gaia's vengeance/nature. There's a strong element of that in the entire series, though D does seem to want humans to do better... ***

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