Quick Review: Dogs: Bullets and Carnage OVA

This OVA is based on Dogs: Stray Dogs Howling in the Dark, the prequel volume of an ongoing manga by Miwa Shirow. It consists of four shorts depicting events in the live of the four protagonists – Mihai, Batou, Naoto and Heine – before they became entwined in the web that Miwa-sensei has been spinning since 2001.

Dogs is a rather…violent manga, what with the main character being virtually immortal, with another wielding a samurai sword (messy injuries, you see) and two other gun-toting individuals with links to the underworld. The manga is a messy read, minimalistic and heavy perspective (guns pointing at the reader), and recently, an even greater propensity than Kubo Tite to stretch out fights. However, the prequel starts out at a much slower pace, and, for the most part, succeeds in bringing life to the story.

I found Mihai’s story somewhat bittersweet (and what an ending! though only til the next episode) and Badou’s ridiculously hilarious, but it’s the 3rd episode that’s really worth watching. It may only be because a pair of blades crossing will always be far more interesting to me than gunfights, but the depth of Naoto’s story is the glue that is holding me to a story I might otherwise have dropped by now. Fuyumine’s thoughts when he decided to take her in are of particular interest, but the chances are that we won’t ever find out.

If there’s one thing I would have to complain about, it’s that they ruined the last story. 15 minutes was the perfect length for the first three, but somewhat lacking for Heine’s tale, which is twice the length of the others in the manga. The climatic gunfight also looked quite fake thanks to the slow motion the animators chose to employ. A pity, since I like how they change the focus, not to mention the fact that some of the perspectives are quite nice. I was also taken aback by the English that he uses at the end of the episode…even though Sakurai is my favourite seiyuu, I’d really rather not hear him swear in Engrish…

(I just had to put something of Badou in – I really love how the people around him abuse his ‘cigarette problem’.)

About karice
MAG fan, freelance translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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