Manga-ka: Yoshimi Amasaki
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: December 2009
Synopsis: “All Atsu has ever wanted is a dog of his own… and all Junya has ever wanted is Atsu! After being friends since childhood, dog-like Junya and cat-like Atsu now attend college together. One day, Junya finally drops a bomb: he’s in love with Atsu and wants to have a sexual relationship with him! Even though Atsu agrees, he doesn’t tell Junya if his feelings are returned. Aren’t they both supposed to be in love? What’s more, aren’t dogs and cats supposed to be natural enemies? With lots of training, perhaps Atsu will come to learn that having Junya is even better than having his own pet!”
Dog x Cat is a strange animal. On one hand, it’s extremely cute and funny. One the other hand, it has some of the dirtiest sex scenes I’ve seen in awhile. For some people, this would be a great case of getting to have your cake and eat it too. For me, I found the two extremes a little disconcerting. Still, once I got used to the mix, I started to enjoy it.
The story begins simple enough: Junya and Atsu have been friends for years, but their relationship changes when Junya confesses that he loves Atsu as more than a friend. Atsu is caught off guard at first, but after thinking it over realizes he returns Junya’s feelings.
The words are barely out of Atsu’s mouth before they’re having sex – and not just any sex, but very graphic sex. It’s not like the sex scenes have crazy positions or feats of the human body we’ve never seen before (though there is one particularly kinky scene where Junya gives Atsu a blowjob while Atsu is carrying on a conversation with someone). It’s the way they’re drawn and presented that makes them seem extra dirty. In a lot of yaoi manga, manga-ka won’t draw genitalia, instead just leaving vague white spaces where things should be. Dog x Cat doesn’t go that route: everything is shown in full detail. Another thing present in the sex scenes is a couple of gallons of bodily fluid. Oh, and lots of sound effects: this manga contains some of the nosiest sex ever put on paper.
What’s interesting is that even when the manga gets hot and heavy, the story still keeps its light and cute atmosphere (at least until near the end – more on that later). There are lots of funny parts in this book and the two leads themselves are pretty easy-going and cute. My favourite part of the book humour-wise is when Atsu is trying to picture what Junya’s past lovers look like.
The art is a big part of the manga’s overall cuteness. Both of the characters have a fondness for animals (Atsu likes dogs while Junya really likes cats) and the manga is full of cats, dog, puppies and kittens. And of course there are cute boys to go with the cute animals. Atsu is designed to be cat-like while Junya (in Atsu’s mind at least) resembles a big friendly dog. The backgrounds and minor characters are all drawn nicely – the layouts are practically bursting at the seams. It can be hard to fit so many different elements on one page, but Amasaki pulls it off, giving the manga a fast-past and energetic feeling.
The plot itself is easy-going for the most part: the two go on dates, have misunderstandings, get jealous and have sex (not all in that order). Near the end, the book takes a turn for the dark when Atsu and Junya go to a party together. Being the outgoing nice guy that he is, Atsu is naturally popular amongst all the girls. Because of this the other boys at the party get jealous and try to serve him a cocktail with an insane amount of alcohol (Atsu doesn’t drink). Junya overhears this plan and takes one for the team by grabbing the drink out of Atsu’s hand and chugging it. Why he doesn’t just toss the drink out and tell Atsu what’s going on is beyond me though. When they get home, Junya is severely drunk and takes advantage of Atsu.
There are a few things that bug me about this chapter. I do like that the morning after Atsu actually confronts Junya on his actions, even saying that what he did wasn’t sex, it was rape. What I don’t like is how quickly Atsu forgives Junya. Sure he was drunk, but even Junya admits that that doesn’t excuse what he did. The chapter wasn’t enough to make me sour on the book overall, but it was a big mood change from what came before.
801 Media does a really nice job with the translation here. The dialogue reads really well and the sound effects are translated but left untouched. I was really impressed with how they managed to translate every sound effect (and there are a lot of them) without overloading the pages with text. There’re also the author’s notes at the back, which show some of the behind-the-scenes drama between the manga-ka’s pets cats. The book includes a very special extra: a four-panel comic written by Kuriousity’s very own Lissa Pattillo.
Dog x Cat is a pretty fun yaoi that earns it’s 18+ rating. If you’re looking for a nicely drawn yaoi manga with lots of smut – when was the last time you read a manga that used speed lines in a sex scene? – then you’re likely a Cat x Dog person.