Saturday, December 26, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: WOOF WOOF STORY... Volume 2


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

MANGA-KA: Koikuchi Kiki
TRANSLATION: Wesley O'Donnell
ISBN: 978-1-9753-0856-8; paperback (May 2020); Rated “T” for “Teen”
180pp, B&W, $13.00 U.S., $17.00 CAN

Woof Woof Story: I Told You to Turn Me Into a Pampered Pooch, Not Fenrir! is a Japanese light novel series created by author Inumajin and illustrated by Kochimo.  Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko (an imprint of Kadokawa Shoten) began publishing the series in late 2017.  Artist Koikuchi Kiki produces a manga adaptation of the novel series, which Kadokawa began publishing on its digital manga reading service, ComicWalker, in February 2018.  Yen Press began publishing an English-language adaptation of the manga in 2019.

[In this review, I sometimes shorten the title, Woof Woof Story: I Told You to Turn Me Into a Pampered Pooch, Not Fenrir!, to Woof Woof Story.]

Woof Woof Story begins with the story of Routa Okami, an office worker and “corporate slave” who is working himself to death.  He has a crazy wish in which he says, “I just want an easy life, even as some rich person's dog...”  One day Routa drops dead in the middle of his busy office.  A goddess heard Routa's wish and brings him back to life as a pampered pooch, a companion for a wealthy young woman named Mary... But Routa isn't just any dog, he is a enormous, white, wolf-like creature, and he has supernatural powers!

As Woof Woof Story: I Told You to Turn Me Into a Pampered Pooch, Not Fenrir!, Vol. 2 (Chapters 8 to 12) opens, Routa's pampered-pooch life is in jeopardy.  Every year, around the same time, Mary falls gravely ill, and this year, it seems life-threatening.  Doctor Hecate says a rare medicinal flower, “the wyrmnil,” can help Mary, and if they can find fully potent samples of the flower, Hecate believes that she can cure Mary of her ailment for good.

However, “the wyrmnil” is named so because it is guarded by a fearsome dragon, and it falls on Routa to obtain the flower.  To cure Mary and to maintain his lifestyle, Routa will have to do some actual work for a change!  And his partner in the quest for the wyrmnil is non-other than the swords woman, Zenobia, who is looking for an excuse to kill Routa!

[This volume includes an “Afterword” and “Translation Notes.”]

The Woof Woof Story: I Told You to Turn Me Into a Pampered Pooch, Not Fenrir!manga is new to me.  I hadn't even heard of the light novel series, but being familiar with novel is not necessary to enjoy the manga.

Woof Woof Story: I Told You to Turn Me Into a Pampered Pooch, Not Fenrir! Volume 2 is a very enjoyable read.  I was not expecting much from it.  I don't know what the rest of this series offers, but Vol. 2 is a quality volume.

Vol. 2 starts off as a playful romp with buxom, naked girls whose naughty bits are always drawn as being obscured or conveniently covered up – typical “fanservice.”  When Mary falls ill, the story moves to pure melodrama, but when Routa and Zenobia begin their journey, the narrative suddenly gets a surge of energy via conflict and adventure.

Zenobia is conflicted because she respects Routa's devotion to Mary, but she senses his powers and believes that they are an evil threat to Mary.  Routa turns out to be very resourceful and has powerful abilities, and he is both brave and lazy.  Manga creator Koikuchi Kiki balances Routa's desire for the easy life with his sense of duty and self-preservation.  I find myself drawn to him, mainly because there seems to be more to Routa than it obvious.  I can also say that about Woof Woof Story; this is a manga that is worth a second look.

7 out of 10
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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