Dog X Scissors (Anime Review)
Stories are an integral part of human nature. This narrative communication is used to explain the past, hopes and fears for the future, provide advice or instruction, or to entertain an audience. One of the most enduring forms of narrative is the medium of written stories. While stories have different meanings to many people, there are some that become obsessive about particular authors or types of stories. In Dog x Scissors, Kazuhito Harumi is a high school student obsessed with reading books of all types, and in particular he is a zealous follower of the author Shinobu Akiyama’s work. While Akiyama is a famous author, he is a mystery to his fans, as no one knows anything about him or even his looks. While reading late into the night at a café, Kazuhito protects a strange girl from being hurt by a robber, but is shot and killed in the process. In his dying moments, Kazuhito laments the books he has yet to read, including Akiyama’s next book in the Seven Deadly Sins series, Lust.
When Kazuhito fades from consciousness he awakens in a cage, and is greeted by a nice man with an afro, who keeps calling him, “pup.” When Afro, as Kazuhito has decided to name him, goes to get some food, Kazuhito looks into a mirror to see that he has been reincarnated as a dachshund. The next few days are agonizing for the new dog, not because he is a dog or because he may never see his family again, but because he doesn’t have anything to read. His internal torment does not go unnoticed, as the girl that he saved in the café arrives and uses a beautiful pair of scissors to cut through the bars of Kazuhito’s cage to free the dog.
Kazuhito soon finds himself tied up by the girl, Kirihime Natsuno, being interrogated. This interrogation all stems from the fact that Natsuno is able to hear the dog’s thoughts. Even though Kazuhito explains the situation to Natsuno she continues to take great pleasure in torturing him, mentally. After freeing him from the ropes, Kazuhito asks Natsuno for something to read and food. The dachshund follows the sadist into a room that is her personal library. The massive number of books automatically makes Kazuhito think that he has indeed gone to heaven. Impressed by Natsuno’s full collection Shinobu Akiyama’s books, she reveals that she is Shinobu Akiyama. Thus, begins the life of Kazuhito the dachshund, living with his favorite author and sadist, Natsuno.
Natsuno’s first goal is to help Kazuhito find his killer and get revenge. Hopefully, as she explains, if he gets his vengeance then he will be able to pass to the other side and his voice will be out of her head. As fate would have it, Natsuno is having a horrible case of writer’s block and is having trouble producing new content. It would seem that a real life mystery, a “noisy mongrel,” and some colorful rivals and associates will be what she needs to come up with Akiyama’s next great story.
This anime starts with a simple and straight forward statement, “This is a story about books.” While the books play an important role in the story, they are not the focus of the story. Instead, the focus is on the authors of the stories within books, and those who enjoy reading them. Additionally, the story has themes of one trying to adjust to a new life, which allows the viewer some insight into the characters of the story, while maintaining a level of sympathy with the main character. Dog x Scissors is a fantastic anime filled with comedy and healthy doses of action and mystery. However, the risqué nature of some common jokes, particularly those about Natsuno’s proclivity towards sadism and her disdain for comments about her chest, would be the primary reason this would be good for older teenagers upwards. Those with a mature sense of humor, that can deal with the jokes described, will enjoy this strange tale.
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