Ponta is a young, healthy and perfectly normal Labrador, that
is until she is given the magic Guru Guru bone, which enables
her to change into a beautiful young woman. As a woman Ponta
has fallen in love with the boy next door Mirai Iwaki. After
some considerable soul searching and reticence, Mirai realises
that he too is developing feelings for the human Ponta. The
path of true love, even one as unconventional as theirs, is
never smooth and just as the two declare their love for each
other Mirai's ex-girlfriend arrives on the scene, as does
a male dog who takes a shine to Ponta...
we are onto the last book of Guru Guru Pon-Chan, by
Satomi Ikezawa, which follows Volume
Eight, which is an unnecessarily obscure way
of saying that this is Volume Nine. For those of you
who do not remember... Ponta is dying - her continual changing
back and forth between human and canine is slowly killing
chapter thirty-four, Roken Ponta, Mirai has the unfortunate
task of trying to explain to Ponta, as well as Ponta's owner
and inventor of the Guru Guru bone (which allows her to transform)
Yasuke Koizumi, what is going on. Through panic and guilt
Yasuke makes Mirai bury the bone, in order to stop any more
degeneration. This is quite a touching chapter, especially
when Mirai is trying to explain to an ever increasingly anxious
Ponta, the concept of death.
thirty-five, My Feelings, looks at how Ponta views
her condition. She has a stark choice, either to remain an
infirm dog or to continue to change so that she can be with
Mirai, to the shortening of her life. This being a love story,
albeit with a girl/dog, obviously love wins out and Mirai
agrees that Ponta has the right to choose what she wants.
thirty-six, I Love You, and Mirai and Ponta finally
consummate their relationship beneath a canopy of fireflies
- thankfully when she is young woman. But when the two young
lovers go to sleep only one of them wakes up.
thirty-seven, Ponta's Mirai,and it is the day of someone's
funeral. I won't spoil the ending, though you will most probably
be able to hazard a guess, lets just say that fans of the
book will not be disappointed.
Guru was always going to be a strange book to a western
audience not schooled in the iconography of transformation
that is so prevalent in Japanese society. In a society where
rigidity still very much hold sway - the young, usually represented
as girls of school age - the idea of change is very appealing,
so the idea of a dog that turns into a beautiful young woman
would not be seen as odd.
series as a whole was quite sweet and very appropriate for
its target audience of young women. The artwork remained consistently
high, though this was made all the easier with the limited
number of characters involved, which restricted the chance
of confusing the characters.