Jiu Jiu

Touya Tobina. Viz/Shojo Beat, $9.99 trade paper (200p) ISBN 978-1-42154-274-4
Veteran Japanese mangaka Touya (Clean Freak Fully Equipped) returns to American audiences with a demon-hunting-turned-werewolf tale of devotion and redemption. After her twin brother’s death, Takamichi becomes the heir of her demon-hunter family. But her brother’s death has left her scarred and unwilling to care about anyone, until her father tasks her with caring for two half-demon, half-human puppies, called Jiu Jiu. In three years, teenage Takamichi’s puppies have become the physical equivalent of teen humans, but are still as utterly devoted and playful as young dogs. The nude antics of the human-puppies (drawn in bishounen, pretty boy style) provide some comedy in this otherwise heavy supernatural drama about loss and love. Touya’s clear illustrations are high on action and emotion, matching the story’s tone perfectly. Despite references to walks, Frisbee throwing, and high school intended to keep the story from being too grave, it’s perhaps too serious for a tale of shape-shifting puppies. Takamichi is a difficult narrator to enjoy, but the inherent devotion of her Jiu Jiu keeps readers looking for her good qualities—and wondering if there will be romantic hijinks in the future. (July)
Reviewed on: 08/13/2012
Release date: 07/01/2012
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