Dream (Level 21)

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Suffice to say, this is a rather underwhelming way to go out on as this last title I'm covering isn't really as much of a dud as I've heard of it to be, even with my indifference on it. I don't feel like going out on this forgettable kind of note. So next weekend, I will have a better final review covering something I've wanted to cover on Ani-Crap Review for a while now that will make for a better swan song and being a fun way to celebrate my fifth year on Anime Vice. Otherwise for now, I will be tweaking my review format slightly to reflect my thoughts on Dog and Scissors.

Dog and Scissors was a 12-episode comedy TV anime series animated by Gonzo and aired on Japanese TV from July 1 to September 16 of 2013. The series is based on the ongoing light novel series that has been written by Shunsuke Sarai since February 28, 2011. The anime is licensed for American video distribution by Sentai Filmworks.

The Plot

Our novelist seems to have a bondage fetish.
Our novelist seems to have a bondage fetish.

Kazuhito Harumi is a high school student with a strong love for reading books who is killed while trying to protect a girl at a restaurant. Reincarnated as a dachshund dog, Harumi is adopted by the girl he tried to save in the form of Kirihime Natsuno, a popular novelist whom Harumi is a fan of. Unfortunately, Kirihime turns out to have a rather sadistic personality who lashes out at others with a pair of scissors.

Notable Characters (from left to right)

  • Kazuhito Harumi- A high school bookworm killed while trying to protect Kirihime from a burglar and reincarnated into the body of a dachshund. He winds up under ownership to Kirihime as he regularly puts up with her sadistic personality.
  • Kirihime Natsuno- A popular novelist with a sadistic personality who is known to lash out at others with her thick pair of scissors known as Hasajiro. She is one of a few people capable of listening to Kazuhito's thoughts and has feelings for him.
  • Madoka Harumi- Kazuhito's little sister who is a bad cook and known to wield a technologically-advanced knife that can turn into a chainsaw and cannon.
  • Suzuna Hiiragi- Kirihime's editor sporting an unstable and masochistic personality who enjoys suffering abuse from Kirihime.
  • Hami Ohsawa- Kazuhito's female underclassman who is very shy and apologetic. The two met while he was still alive where he promised to read the completed novel she would write after he came across an unfinished script for it. She is capable of utilizing several mind control methods such as suggestion and hypnosis on others through her writing.
  • Maxi Akizuki- A popular idol and writer who fancies herself as a rival to Kirihime. As a running gag throughout the series, she attempts stealing the spotlight in an episode only to be dragged away by her bodyguards.

The Review

By the looks of it, Dog and Scissors' comedy stems from milking Kazuhito's unique predicament, his chemistry with Kirihime and his encounters with the several eccentric characters that cross paths with him and Kirihime. Kirihime and Kazuhito's chemistry consists of her milking the “tsun tsun” variant of the tsundere character in her abuse of Kazuhito and the latter serving as doormat to the antics of Kirihime and others that he encounters. The antics of these characters unfold either through self-contained episodes or episode arcs running for two to three episodes when Kazuhito encounters a new character.

These beefcake guys are in the anime. I kid you not!
These beefcake guys are in the anime. I kid you not!

This looks to be a case where Dog and Scissors is attempting to make itself unique as a comedy, which I will compliment it for as it doesn't fall under any conventional premise that is peppered in recent titles like harem comedies or slice-of-life comedies involving high school girls. Yet at the same time, it suffers from the shortcoming of any pure comedy title in that the title's enjoyment from audiences stems from how receptive one is to the show's style of comedy. This is a case where I'm not really into the show's style of comedy as Kirihime's yet another variant of the tsundere archetype and the comedy of the series mostly relies on the eccentricities of its cast to carry it along. Several of the characters in the series are notable for their violent tendencies with certain weapons and abilities that the show milked for much of its run for comedy, which killed my interest in the comedy as the show progressed when I realized that it was the dominant comedic element of the series and lacked much else to offer.

This isn't to say that Dog and Scissors is a horrible title as it does have a style of comedy that is a little different from the norm. But like any pure comedy title, your mileage will vary with how well you enjoy it.

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