Manga-ka: Kazusa Takashima
Publisher: BLU Manga
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: June 2006
Synopsis: “When Ukyo rescues a stray dog, he soon learns that he may have made a rare find. His new dog , who he’s named Kuro, can talk! And if that’s not crazy enough, soon Kuro is able to magically transform into a human! With his dog now taking the form of a hot man and licking him in various places, what is Ukyo to do?! From the artist of Wild Rock comes Man’s Best Friend! Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?”
Man’s Best Friend is as the title would suggest, a story about a dog. Of course, this is a yaoi so thank goodness it’s not just any dog! The title tale in this book follows Ukyo, who one day comes across a loveable stray dog he names Kuro. Taking in the little pile of scruff, he’s in for a shock when the dog suddenly takes human form, all out of love for the kind man who took him in.
Man’s Best Friend was admittedly one of my first yaois, the first scanlation I read (back before boys’ love had anything resembling a hold in the industry here in North America) that took me from fluffy boys’ love to the sexual escapades of yaoi. While I’ve since come across numerous yaois that I would recommend over it, there’s still something undeniably fun about this silly little collection of stories.
Aside from the title story involving Ukyo and Kuro, there’s also several short stories. One notable of them follows a vein similar to Man’s Best Friend but involves a pretty little goldfish-man over the more muscular dog-to-human concept.
Aside from offering readers some steamy, though not very graphic sex scenes, Man’s Best Friend is also a good comedy. If Kuro’s attempts at learning how to walk like a human, or dramatic canine-freak outs don’t make you giggle, then there’s also the entertaining artist commentary in the back.
Kazusa Takashima’s art style is polished and attractive, with strong lines and pleasantly masculine men. While sometimes the characters suffer from unintentional goldfish like expressions, overall I really enjoy Kazusa’s art style which ranges from sexy to funny in smooth transition.
Overall, Man’s Best Friend is recommended to boys’ love fan looking for something quirky, short and fun. What the title story lacks in plot, it makes up for in entertainment value, and with several short stories included, it all comes together to make this a well-rounded and enjoyable release.