Anime Spotlight: Dog & Scissors

Dog & Scissors is an anime series based on a light novel written by Shunsuke Sarai and Tetsuhiro Nabeshima. The anime was directed by Yukio Takahashi and was produced by Gonzo. The 12 episodes of the series aired on Japanese television from July 1-September 16, 2013. As of this writing, Sentai Filmworks holds the North American license for the Dog & Scissors anime series.

Kazuhito Harumi is a high school boy who is also a major bookworm. One day, while he’s reading in a café, he is shot and killed when trying to protect a random stranger who is sitting nearby, writing. He’s determined to not die before reading the unreleased last work by his favorite author, Shinobu Akiyama. He gets a second chance by being reincarnated as a long-haired daschund. He’s found by an employee at the local pet shop, and one day as he’s thinking about reading Shinobu Akiyama’s books, a girl with long, black hair arrives and says she wants the dog. It turns out the girl, whose name is Kirihime Natsuno, can hear Kazuhito’s thoughts. And the twist, of course, is that Shinobu Akiyama is Kirihime’s pen name. Yep, Kazuhito is now the dog that belongs to his favorite author.

Unfortunately for Kazuhito, living with his favorite author is not a dream come true. She’s a sadistic scissor-wielding novelist who is quick to anger. However, as the series progresses, she develops feelings for Kazuhito and becomes jealous when he’s close to another girl.

If Kirihime isn’t strange enough, other unusual characters also inhabit the world of Dog & Scissors. Madoka Harumi is Kazuhito’s younger sister, who is mad with grief and trying to find any shred of evidence that her brother is still alive. She captures Kazuhito in his dog form, unaware that she has actually found her brother. Madoka thinks she just projected her brother onto the dog. But even so, she still treats the dog like her brother and makes very unusual curry with her high-tech knife that can transform into a dual-bladed chainsaw or a cannon.

Suzuna Hiiragi is Kirihime’s editor. This woman is a masochist, unstable and hyperactive. Her schtick is that she wants Kirihime to torture her with her remarks and/or her scissors. Suzuna was definitely one of the stranger characters in the series and was my least favorite of them.

Hami Osawa, another young author, went to school with Kazuhito and knew him from when he discovered her manuscript in a room. Kazuhito made a promise to be her first reader when she became a published author… but he died before that happened. However, she figures out that Kirihime’s dog is Kazuhito, and she and Kirihime get into a writing battle.

Maxi Akizuki is a popular young idol who is also a famous author, and she has an entourage of bodyguards with her. Where Kirihime wears black and comes across as brooding, Maxi wears white and is constantly saying that she is “shining.” She tries to take the spotlight in the scenes she appears in but is always comically whisked away by her bodyguards. Maxi is kind of annoying, but she makes for the perfect contrast to Kirihime.

There are several other characters that appear off and on in the series, and each one has their own quirks. The most pointless one seems to be the maid that Kazuhito runs into a couple of times and catches her singing. She also wields a broom that hides a long blade. What is it with the females in this series and their use of objects with blades? Near the end of the series, we learn who the maid works for (another young author), but this third author is only seen a couple of times and doesn’t play any major part in the anime.

Dog & Scissors is definitely a comedy. For the most part, I would call it exaggerated humor instead of absurd, although an argument could be made that the humor becomes more absurdist in the last couple of episodes.

Unfortunately, Dog & Scissors is one of those anime series that was being produced while the original source material was still ongoing. The anime came out in the second half of 2013, but the original light novel didn’t end until January 2015. My guess is that the third author that the maid worked for probably had a bigger role in the source material after the point where the anime adaptation ended. So, like other series that are in this situation, there isn’t a true ending for the anime.

When all was said and done, I didn’t think that Dog & Scissors was necessarily bad, but I didn’t think it was great, either. While I can now say that I have seen the entirety of this anime, I wouldn’t be in a rush to ever re-watch it at some point in the future. But that’s just me, though. If you appreciate a story about authors and readers that relies on exaggerated or absurdist humor, then you might find something to appreciate in Dog & Scissors.

Additional posts about Dog & Scissors:

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