Brazen and unfettered with its comedic elements, Dogs & Scissors is a series that makes no apologizes for its lack of effort and the ensuing randomness and oddball humor that develops from said lack of effort. It knows how to create an attention grabbing hook, but hoping you will stick around long enough for the hijinks and humor. Although, it is difficult to tell if it succeeds in making it worth your while.
Series Name: Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou (Literally – Dog & Scissors)
I am not sure what it is with this year, but seems like one way or another, ever anime series seems to have something to do with scissors or characters that use them as lethal weapons. Spring season brought us the cutting hair fetish of Kiri Haimura from Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge and seems like this Fall Kill La Kill will be working on the same page – with variation that is more sword-like. Of course, while our heroine of this Summer season,writer Kirihime Natsuno uses it to inflict damage, she also uses it as an instrument of torture to the book loving boy, Harumi Kazuhito literally (and mysteriously) turned dog in a semi-comedic fashion. And that in a nutshell gives us the absurd comedy (in more ways than one), Dog & Scissors – a possibly poor excuse for an anime series, but fairly average and entertaining series.
If nothing else, Dog & Scissors knows how to create a first good impression, with its opening playing out like a murder mystery as its focal male lead, Kauzhito goes from his normal life as a bookworm human to that as a bookworm dog through death and comes to become the pet of Natsuno, his favorite writer know as Akiyama Shinobu. Sadly, after the second episode once the killer is caught and case is resolved the murder mystery vibe the show gives off completely evaporates for a more slapstick and off the wall comedy approach, bringing with it a load of unpredictable and bizarre characters. If you thought Natsuno deserves to be reported to PETA for her treatment toward Kauzhito, the rest of case seems to be ripe for an insane asylum: Pop idol Maxi Akizuki and her “yes men” bodyguards that her support “shinning” catchphrase, Kazuhito’s sister Madoka that has a beyond healthy brother complex, and Suzuna Hiiragi, Natsuno’s masochistic editor who loves nothing else to receive punishment from Natsuno. These are just few of the distinctive personalities that enter the story, but do a great job of supporting its comedic endeavors, especially since it take some time to get use that the story is not much of a story anymore.
While the series does play into more conventional and the occasional bawdy humor, Dog & Scissors again uses the literature roots to poke fun of various types of book genres and anime itself through a few clever avenues. This can be seen mostly through the action sequences that mock or make allusions typical action driven series and in some episodes, Kauzhito might throw out a one-liner that dictates what passes for good literature. It could stand to benefit from its own supercilious advice, yet just goes to say how comfortable it is as a comedy. There are at times were its jokes are not exactly funny and tends to overuse a few such as: Natsuno’s complex over her small breast (Kauzhito usually ends up getting punished for his remarks), or Hami Oosawa’s constant apologizing – but for its 12 episode run, it is bearable and doable if you willing to stick with the series to the bitter end. Other than that, there is much else Dog & Scissors provides that alternate comedies do not – besides a woman using a pair of scissors to a hilarious end to torture a dog once human – which is more insensitive than it sounds hilarious. Go figure….
Despite being somewhat okay with how Dog & Scissors worked from a composition standpoint, studio Gonzo seems to okay from an artistic design view as well. It isn’t as budgeted as Zettai Bouei Leviathan was or near as polished as it other previous productions from the gone by 1st 9 years of the 2000’s, but acceptable. Some the features of animation turn out great, such as: Hiiragi’s punishment lusting eyes or maid Sachi Moribe’s tangled red hair – yet aside from that – everything else to backgrounds and foreground art is rather average. The musical score isn’t any better; lacking any pieces of significant note, unless you count its opening theme, which for me, about sums up what the show has to offer. On the flip side, the voice acting cast does compliment its denizens and actually a nice start for a few unknowns like Yuu Serizawa, Maki Akizuki voice actor, and a personal favorite of mine.
Dog & Scissors definitely is a series that will be hard sell to accept by most people, but will and does have its audience. It probably will not appeal to those that crave a neat and ordered story or even those that are unforgiving of minuet detail of what the show has to offer. If you can bear the silly antics the show yields and not expecting too much, then Dog & Scissors might have small place on viewing list. There definitely better shows from the Summer season that outrank it in terms comedy and characters, but if you think you can handle it and do not mind wandering aimlessly, it is worth a shot. Again, just do not expect too much from it – other than a woman using a pair of scissors to sadistically torture a book loving dog that was once a human. Yeah, at least keep that in the back of your mind…
Pros: bizarre cast of characters
Cons: under utilize characters, listless soundtrack, jokes get repetitive quick