Dogs & Scissors – Anime review

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Dogs & Scissors is likely the series I’m going to struggle writing about the most this season. It’s quite a simple story and idea at heart, but the series spends so much of its time being utterly insane that it’s very hard not to lose track of what its original goal was. Nevertheless I’ve gone through the crazy and attempted to pull my thoughts together about it.

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Our story is centred around Kazuhito Harum, a high school kid who is obsessed with reading books and especially obsessed with books written by the famous young author, Shinobu Akiyama. One day while reading in a café Kazuhito is killed while trying to protect a random stranger who’s in danger of being shot. However, Kazuhito just can’t bear the thought of dying without reading Shinobu Akiyama’s next book in her Deadly Sins series, and thus our young bookworm is brought back to life in the form of a dachshund breed of dog. Certain events unfold and Kazuhito ends up in the hands of Kirihime Natsuno – who not only can understand him, but is also Shinobu Akiyama, the author that Kazuhito admires so much.

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It’s an interesting set-up and Natsuno being able to understand Kazuhito while no one else can (besides perhaps Natsuno’s more than crazy editor, but more on her later!), and does add a certain level of interesting comedy. Natsuno and Kazuhito can be talking quite effectively and the people around them are left wondering just why Natsuno is reacting the way she does.

If there is one thing that can be said for Dogs & Scissors it’s that the series is never short of interesting characters. If Natsuno isn’t crazy enough for you then just wait until you meet her crazy editor, the owners of the bookstore that Kazuhito loves to spend time in, the other two famous young authors who stand proudly being Natsuno as currently being the best of the best, and lastly of course we have the little sister of Kazuhito. All the characters get more than enough screen-time for you to get to know them all perfectly well and appreciate each and every one of them. Perhaps helped greatly by the fact Dogs & Scissors tries to have an arc centred around every character, most of which seem to have gone crazy since the death of Kazuhito, or were just plain crazy to begin with.

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The problem with Dogs & Scissors is that it can’t always decide what it wants to do. It tries to approach each arc quite seriously, and that generally works out nicely, but somewhere along the line it loses itself to comedy. In the first few episodes the series tends to blend the two quite well, but by the end the series has been lost to the comedy and feels much more lacking because of it. In truth, maybe there just wasn’t much to Dogs & Scissors in the first place. Maybe the series just fools us into thinking it’s something more because of how well it deals with the first couple of arcs. Once Kazuhito’s childhood friend is settled and his sister accepts his death the story begins to lose its way. Maybe it knows there really isn’t much more of a plot to actually use past the first couple of arcs and resigns itself to wasting away its last few episodes.

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I liked the original idea of Dogs & Scissors and I became very fond of the crazy characters very quickly, but even I can’t forgive it for losing its way and almost ruining what was a somewhat interesting idea. It also has a perfectly good ending place at the eleventh episode yet continues on for a twelfth, something that really did ruin it for me. At least with the eleventh episode it felt like a natural ending and was still somewhat taking itself seriously, even if half of the episode did feel utterly silly. The twelfth episode felt like an OVA episode and didn’t feel like a proper ending place, it was too crazy and too random and spoilt everything the previous episode had left us with.

As far as the animation goes it was never anything impressive, but it was still pretty in places. There are nice little quirks to it here and there, most notable being the hair on Kazuhito’s head which moves whenever he’s talking. The soundtrack is largely the same as the animation, never being anything impressive, but certainly nice in places.

Overall Dogs & Scissors was a lot of fun to watch week to week, but because it lost its way and felt lacking I’d never really recommend it to people. Not an awful show, but by no means great either. It likely had one episode too many to play with.

  • Overall: 4/10
  • Animation: 4
  • Story: 4
  • Soundtrack: 2
  • Characters: 5

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