Inunimi, in a nutshell, is about three female dogs turned human. But is this just an ecchi run? I’d like to say there is more to it than a just pinup of bitches…
Author & Illustrator: Rei Nakajima
Publishing Years: 2005-07
“Dogs are man’s best friend.” This statement is very true for the many canine owners around the world. Many treat dogs as part of the family, often reserving the same kind of amenities a human child does. So then, naturally, turning them human… ah, you know where I’m going. Our protagonist Yuichiro Kinosaki arrives from a trip only to find that his father, who is out on a trip of his own, turned the family dogs into humans. Well, mostly humans as they still have a tail, fangs and inumimi (dog ears).
Word of warning, spoilers may be included.
Meet the Dogs
Our title dog girl is Elga, an Alaskan Malamute who is very loyal and loving to her master. She, just like her canine counterpart, is big in every sense of the word. From her height to bust, she is large. But she also has a kind heart and is honest in her feelings for her master. Sometimes this is mistaken for her being in heat, oh boy!
Luna is the youngest and cutest little Corgi who is just beginning to learn about life as a dog/human. She is very playful and loves to explore the world, but she may need training to get to know her limits. She is the cute extra and is happy to be part of the family!
Rino is a self-supporting Doberman with a rough history. She is the eldest at 3 years and has grown to distrust humans since she was abandoned by her previous owner. But now that she has a new owner, Yuichiro’s father, her perception is beginning to change. She is not fond of the son however, and tends to be defensive to others when being approached. Rino is often seen giving guidance to her fellow canines and, occasionally, to Yuichiro as well.
Learning to be Human
The general theme is slice-of-life, albeit a dog’s life. Most of the chapters spend time on acquainting the girls to human living, similar to a child discovering how things work.
After getting past the premise, and getting the dogs familiar to the life of a human, we see a gradual reveal of the true natures of each character. I wouldn’t call it a development though, more like the establishment of personalities. Through the assistance of the town and Yuichiro’s friend (and possible love interest), Emina Kusunoki, the dogs slowly adapt to human living; from wearing clothes (yes, they were mostly nude in the first chapters) to cooking, bathing and watching television.
The artist was likely scouted for the exceptional details made when drawing the female body. In most scenes, when given the opportunity, the characters may show some skin, if not bare it all out. Yes, it is fan service right down to the topless shots. But it is pretty tame at most times, sometimes with just the right tightness in the clothing to show the “indents.” It was a good way to pull in readers but eventually wears out as the story progresses on.
Inumimi is a short manga, catching me off-guard with what I felt was a rushed ending (probably from the publisher). It had the potential to go even further, probably double or tripple the length. Every chapter slowly exposes the true nature of each dog as well as the owner. This is all rounded up in a finale that is heartfelt and well deserved. I for one would love for a continuation. But, we haven’t heard of Rei since the original run back in 2007. I don’t believe there will be anything further from this author, which is sad to me since he/she makes such wonderful art.
Result: A recommended read.