GRAPHIC NOVEL
Guru Guru Pon-Chan
Volume 7

Author: Satomi Ikezawa
Artist: Satomi Ikezawa
Tanoshimi
RRP: 5.99, US $10.95
ISBN: 978 0 009 50634 8
Ages: 13+
Available 01 February 2007


After Pon-Chans elderly owner invents a magic bone, his Labrador retriever, develops the ability to transform into a beautiful young girl. She is saved from a near fatal accident by a young, good looking neighbour, Mira, as a dog in human guise. This causes the two problems, as Mirai has to teach the inexperienced Pon-Chan the ways of the world. As the relationship develops, their feelings become confused...

For many years, as an inexperienced youth, I was of the opinion that the song Puppy Love, by the Osmand's was about a previously unknown perversion. Of course, that was before my eyes were opened with the advent of the Internet and the subsequent years of therapy.

The reason that I mention this is that Guru Guru Pon-Chan is another shojo manga (a manga designed to appeal to females) from Satomi Ikezawa a prolific manga-ka (an honorific given to someone considered to be an expert manga creator), whose previous best-known work is Othello. Guru Guru deals with the unexpected subject of a love affair between a boy and his dog and won the 24th Kodansha Manga Prize in 2000.

Like other manga's from Tanoshimi, the book has been well thought out for the novice reader. Apart from the main story arc, which details Guru Guru apparently getting pregnant, thankfully by another dog, the book provides a section on honorifics, a preview of book eight and translation notes. This book contains chapters twenty-six to twenty-nine.

I have to admit to finding it amusing, if a little odd in concept, I can only presume that Ikezawa's target audience finds the juxtaposition of romantic love and puppies cute in the extreme. It's a light-hearted piece but also a little insubstantial, great for reading on a bus, but I cant see anyone reading it more than once.

Charles Packer

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