If I could afford to buy only one Del Rey manga series, it would undoubtedly be this one. (Actually, it's looking that way these days, so...)Ikezawa, Satomi. Guru Guru Pon-Chan. Vol. 2. Trans. Douglas Varenas. New York: Del Rey, 2005. Summary
: Though Ponta has resolved to give up on Mirai, things don't go quite as she planned. Yuka decides to step aside, and her beloved golden lab and Mirai start dating, much to Ponta's delight, naturally. And much to transfer student Go Fujinaga's horror, who wrongly falls in love with Ponta in human form and believes that Mirai is an asshole who mistreats his dog. After that, Ponta breaks (what they think is) an expensive vase and ends up unknowingly taking a job as a teen prostitute to help Mirai pay for it. Comments
: Hands down my favorite Del Rey title...and not because of the artist or genre! Which is clichèd mainstream shoujo manga in all respects, naturally. Ponta is the prototypical shoujo protagonist: She's outgoing, unbearably cute, kinda stupid, unswervingly loyal to her friends, and insatiable when it comes to food. What makes her more than just another Miaka from Fushigi Yuugi
is that she's also A DOG, and dogs really are just like that. Whether stroke of genius or a mere fluke, Ikezawa Satomi found the perfect way to write yet another dumb shoujo manga in a way that seems fresh and fascinating.
Not to mention almost unbearably funny. I found myself laughing aloud on numerous occasions; Ponta's run-ins with the pound and a head-sized vase were highlights of the volume. Also, Mirai's recurring concern that dating Ponta is a step in the direction of bestiality had me howling.
Though cats are popular in manga (catgirls are practically a motif all on their own), not that many mangaka draw dogs, and those that do often get it wrong. Obviously, few mangaka have room to keep dogs as pets, but Ikezawa is an exception to the rule. She has two Labrador Retrievers, and her apparent keen powers of observation when it comes to her own pets means that her depiction of Ponta in dog form is always undeniably spot on, even when taking the cartoony drawing style into consideration. A treat for everyone, Guru Guru Pon-Chan
is an especial one for dog lovers. (Of which there are MANY in the United States. What a savvy license!) Notes
: ~B6 paperback, 1st American edition, 1st printing; first published in Japan in 1998 Rating
- You don't need to be one to enjoy this manga series, but dog lovers are sure to fall head-over-heels in love at first read.