4.0 out of 5 stars Want to buy a kappa?
Continuing Matsuri Akino’s popular Pet Shop of Horrors series, this is volume two of “Pet Shop of Horror’s Tokyo” (“Shin Pettoshoppu obu Horazu” or “New Pet Shop of Horrors).
Matsuri is still spinning out her lovely bishonen art, with the mysterious owner of the Pet Shop, Count D, looking every bit as willowy and graceful as the first series, if not more so. Away from the streets of L.A., the new Pet Shop is set in Neo Chinatown in the Red Light district of Tokyo known as Kabuki cho. I have spent considerable time in Kabuki cho, and it doesn’t look nearly as clean and elegant as Matsuri portrays it! But that’s why this is a fantasy, and not a photograph.
What seems to have been left behind from the old series of “Pet Shop of Horror” is the horror. This is still an anthology series, with customers drifting in and out each with a particular need, but the focus seems to be much more on Count D and his relationship with Woo Fei, the head of the Chinese mafia in Kabuki cho and the owner of the building that houses the Pet Shop.
Of the customers, the first story has a pretty young woman looking to sell her rare and expensive cat. Count D soon uncovers that she only wants the money to give to her favorite host at a local host club, for whom she is willing to sacrifice everything. Count D suggests a trade instead of a sell, but there is more to the girl’s new pet than meets the eye. My favorite story of the book had two kids looking for a Kappa, which I loved as that is my favorite Japanese mythological creature. Count D takes Woo Fei along with her to hunt for the mysterious creature, and the story gives some insight into how Count D actually acquires his rare beasts.
I would like a little more horror in my “horror manga,” but “Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo” still delivers. If you are a fan of the previous series, you are going to find more of what you love. If you are new to it, and like supernatural-tinged bishonen comics, then this is exactly what you need.