Wataru HatanoHiromi IgarashiMaaya UchidaAi Kakuma
Dog & Scissors
Also known as: Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2013
Director: Yukio Takahashi
Writer: Toshizo Nemoto
Original creator: Shunsuke Sarai
Actor: Ai Kakuma, Chiwa Saito, Hiromi Igarashi, Kana Asumi, Maaya Uchida, Marina Inoue, Rikiya Koyama, Shizuka Itou, Takahiro Sakurai, Wataru Hatano, Yu Serizawa
Keywords: anime, fantasy
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=15101
Website category: Anime early 10s
Review date: 8 April 2022
Kazuhito Harumi loves books. He wants to spend his whole life reading. He's not too bothered about the fact that he died in ep.1 and was reincarnated as a miniature dachshund. (Yeah, that's right. He's not even a big, cool dog who could be like Lassie and fight off baddies. He's basically a cushion with little legs.) These days, he lives with his favourite author (Shinobu Akiyama), with whom he talks telepathically.
Kirihime Natsuno (pen name: Shinobu Akiyama) is a twenty-year-old sadist who likes attacking people and dogs with scissors. (The anime wants us to believe that this is bloodless, even when she's going up against opponents with halberds or chainsaws.) She's scary and regularly punishes Kazuhito, but underneath that she's a good person who works fiercely hard at her writing and wants her romantic future to be with him. Yes, she'd be having sex with a dog. She's considering it as early as ep.2.
Suzuna Hiiragi is Natsuno's editor and a mentally unstable masochist.
Madoka Harumi is Kazuhito's sister and not exactly well balanced either. You might be spotting a theme here. She can only cook one dish and her favourite kitchen utensil is a combined sword, cannon and chainsaw.
Those aren't the only loonies.
The odd thing is that the show feels relatively calm and normal. You'd expect a show like that to be CRAZY!!! and WACKY!!!! at the top of its voice, but it's not. It's realistic, despite its absurdist elements. The only thing that broke its internal reality, for me, was the lack of blood. Telepathic conversations with a reincarnated dog? Yeah, well. Kazuhito takes it in his (short) stride. There's not a lot he can do about it, so never mind. He has his favourite bookshop, which he visits regularly. He knows the staff. He discusses novels with Natsuno.
He's sensible and mature. He seems older than his years. He grounds the show. The only thing I dislike is his habit of calling Natsuno flat-chested. That kind of drip-drip insult can hurt. Admittedly, without that, her sharp tongue and scissorings would have seemed like one-sided abuse... but then again, maybe she wouldn't have been attacking him all the time without provocation and he'd have had a less violent life. Just a thought.
This show is based on a 14-volume light novel series (2011-15) that was only halfway through when the show came out. I'd love to see a second season, although there's no chance of that now. There are tantalisingly underused characters, e.g. the author in a wheelchair. (I'd also laugh if Natsuno got her romantic bestiality ending, although I suspect that be a bit too unbroadcastable to make it into a TV anime.) In short, I enjoyed this show enormously. It's delightfully silly, but in a straight-faced way. I'm fond of Kazuhito and Natsuno. I approve of its love of books and literary analysis. It's great fun!
Mind you, Kazuhito constantly calling Natsuno flat-chested can get a bit unpleasant if you're trying to rewatch this.