Manga-ka: Matsuri Akino
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: June 2008
Synopsis: “Bothered by the rumours that Count D sells slaves to clients, Woo-Fei continues his attempt to kick the Count out of Neo Chinatown. Meanwhile, a woman visits the store to sell her cat, hoping that she can give the man of her dreams the ultimate gift… Later, a different women finds herself beckoned to the shop by a pet she carries in her stomach. Between blackouts and hunts for mythical creatures, Woo-Fei has his hands full with this trouble-making tenant!”
Count D’s back at his usual in volume two of Petshop of Horrors: Tokyo. Keeping with the usual episodic nature of the series, several different clients enter Count D’s shop in the hopes of finding pets, or finding ways to get rid of ones they have. Woo-Fei, owner of the building the Count’s shop currently resides in, continues to be more and more suspicious of the shop’s true purpose and is determined to figure out what’s really going on behind those exotic doors.
Even after so many volumes of Petshop of Horrors (Tokyo being a sequel series), it never ceases to amaze me how Matsuri Akino continues to surprise me with the twist endings. While some are a bit more predictable to an extent than others, for the most part I’m still left going ‘wow, I really didn’t see that coming!’ at the end of most chapters. It’s this that makes it so much fun time and time again with these tales never fail to make you think.
I found this second volume to be a little more light-hearted than most and it was a refreshing change of pace. Woo-Fei gets more involved with the Count, even joining him on a cross-country search for the mysterious Kappa. The interaction between them is funny and really entertaining to read. Woo-Fei has basically moved into the role that Leon (see previous series) once held, but for different reasons and as a different person, keeping it fresh and unpredictable. I can’t wait to see where things go for Woo-Fei on his quest to out the Count and with Leon stalking the Count across the planet, there’s no doubt of some interesting times ahead!
There isn’t much to say about Matsuri Akino’s art style that I haven’t said in reviews before but for all the times I’ve said how much I love it, never is it in such form as it is in Petshop of Horrors. Count D is beautiful, as intended, and the detail work on the clothing, scenery and animals are wonderful to behold. The style as a whole is certainly subjective to people’s tastes, as all are, but for me, I absolutely love the visual storytelling in these books from the artwork to the panel layout.
Petshop of Horrors has always been at the top of my most anticipated book releases, since the day I read a volume of the first series what feels like forever ago. Each volume continues to be worth the purchase, volume two of this Tokyo series being no exception. I’m already impatiently awaiting the third with all ten fingers and toes crossed that this beautiful, and often thought-provoking, series survives the Tokyopop chopping block.