Title: Dog X Cat
Author: Yoshimi Amasaki
Publisher: 801 Media
May Contain Spoilers
Atsu has always wanted a big dog of his own to cuddle, but since he lives in an apartment, he has to make do with his friend, Junya. Buddies since childhood, the college students are about to re-examine their relationship when Junya recklessly confesses that he loves Atsu and wants to have a physical relationship with him. Atsu is taken aback, and though he is a bit reluctant, he agrees. What he’s having a hard time with is telling Junya how he really feels. Will he be able to tell his dog how much he loves him?
I’m torn over this title. I was enjoying the light-hearted comedy until the last two chapters. They were so different in tone from the rest of the book that they seemed out of place and didn’t belong here. Every other chapter was fluffy fun, but the wrap up to the title kind of ruined it for me. Junya turns into an inconsiderate ass and rapes Atsu, and this unpleasantness is shrugged off because Junya intercepted a drink meant for Atsu. The drink is spiked with alcohol, and since Atsu is such a lightweight, some jealous classmates are trying to mess him up. Looking beyond the fact that Atsu would have ended up in the hospital if he had downed the contents of his “non-alcoholic” beverage, I still detest this particular plot device. I don’t find it romantic or titillating; I find it upsetting and degrading.
Moving past what I disliked about Dog X Cat, what I did like was the rapid pacing and the non-stop humor. Both Atsu and Junya are rather unique characters, and considering how comfortable they feel around animals, it’s only natural that they would eventually realize that they can get some comfort and love from each other. When Junya needs a sympathetic ear and Atsu isn’t there for him, he cuddles up with his chubby cat. Atsu is always chasing after dogs, which gets Junya jealous. Yeah, these guys are kind of weird, so it’s a good thing that they have each other.
Being a 801 Media title, there’s plenty of steamy scenes worked into the panels. The art is very attractive; the character designs are lean and angular, and both Atsu and Junya look good in and out of their clothes. The cover didn’t really grab my attention, though, but I think it’s because Junya’s hand is so awkwardly proportioned. Either that or he’s got a lobster crawling through his hair.
If this book had been two chapters shorter, I would have given it a higher grade. Once the abusive, demeaning behavior was introduced, my enjoyment level tanked. What a disappointing end to an otherwise fun book.
Review copy provided by 801 Media