Original Story: Inumajin
Character Design: Kochimo
Art: Koikuchi Kiki
Translation: Wesley O’Donnell
What They Say:
As corporate slave Routa Okami keels over in the middle of his busy office, he imagines how nice it would have been to live as the pet of some rich family instead of literally working himself to death. When a goddess actually grants that wish and brings him back as a pampered pooch, Routa is over the moon! …But wait, why is he howling at it…?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Oh wow, a story about someone being reincarnated in another world! Never seen that before, am I right? All jokes aside, it’s certainly an oversaturated genre these days. There’s only so many Isekai stories you can read before you get tired of them, you know? That being said, I am very happy that this series takes a fun approach to the genre. It’s a nice change of pace. If you felt that what I just wrote sounded a bit familiar, then you’d be absolutely correct. I had the opportunity to review the first volume of the light novel for this series. For reference, you can read the review here. A lot of what I’m going to write for the manga review is going to be similar. I just wanted to make that perfectly clear going forward from this point on.
Routa’s life is rough and it’s never going to get any better because, well, he dies. Overworking will do that to you. Just before he dies he wishes for an easy life as a dog that’s pampered by a rich family. Luckily for him, a goddess hears his wish and grants it. Pretty sweet, right? Yeah, but these things don’t typically turn out the way you want. Routa does get reincarnated as a cute little puppy in another world. Just like he wanted…but not quite. After a month, he realizes that he’s way bigger than a normal dog should be. Also, he’s not as cute as he thought he was. As a matter of fact, he looks more like a ferocious wolf. And you know what? That’s exactly what he turns out to be. To make matters worse, he’s not just an ordinary wolf. He’s actually the legendary Fenrir, King of the Fen Wolves and the strongest creature in this world. Alright, this isn’t exactly what Routa had wished for. On the bright side, he’s got an adorable master, Mary, that loves him very much and spoils him rotten. By the way, her family is loaded. Yup, he can enjoy living a laid-back life, for now anyway.
Lots of people wish they can be overpowered but not Routa. That sounds like too much work and that’s exactly what he’s trying to avoid in this new world. He’ll be darned if his new life ends up like his previous one. He just wants to spend his days being lazy, eating delicious food, and getting head pats. All of the head pats. In order to preserve his comfy life, Routa must make everyone believe that he’s just a regular dog that would never harm anyone. As you can imagine, that’s easier said than done. He’s always fighting off the urge to just howl randomly. He is a wolf after all. Hilariously, he forces himself to bark like a dog in order to keep up his normal dog facade. Woof woof! If he has to, he’ll even roll on his back with belly exposed, stick out his tongue, and stare at you with the most adorable puppy eyes. I couldn’t fully appreciate this ultimate technique in the light novel but the manga showed just how fearsome an ability it truly is. He’s just so adorable when he does that. He’ll do whatever it takes to keep living the pampered pooch life!
Can you believe there are those that would stand in the way of Routa’s cozy life? Sadly, it’s true. Zenobia is a knight that stays at the mansion and acts as Mary’s bodyguard. However, she’s basically a freeloader. That in and of itself greatly offends Routa. There can only be one freeloader in the mansion and that’s him! But that’s not even the worst of it. She doesn’t believe for a single second that he’s a normal dog. She’s not wrong about that but he doesn’t appreciate her trying to expose him all the time. She also tried to kill him once! That’s just rude. Think about how sad Mary would be if her beloved pooch died. Fortunately for Routa, her assassination attempt failed and she ran off crying. Serves her right! There’s also the pack of Fen Wolves led by their leader Garo. Well, former leader. They recognize Routa as their new leader. King of the Fen Wolves? Nah, he’s not down with that idea. Granted, they’ve helped him quite a bit but they’re all just so needy. He has to put in actual effort to keep them in check. And finally, there’s the sultry forest witch Hecate and her cat familiar, Nahura. They wouldn’t be so bad if they simply didn’t eat his food all the time! Quite frankly, that’s a great sin in Routa’s eyes. One of the things he most looks forward to in this life is eating all the delicious food that he wants. Stop stealing his food you…witches.
Ah, but not everyone’s so bad. Undoubtedly, his cute master Mary is the absolute best! He loves that she constantly pampers him to his heart’s content. He’d do anything to protect her precious smile! There’s also Papa who’s his drinking buddy. And who can forget about old man James, the chef that makes all of the yummy food! He’s definitely Routa’s second favorite person in the world after Mary of course. Nothing beats being a pampered pooch! It’s obvious that maintaining this relaxing life is going to be a challenge moving forward. But gosh darn it, Routa is going to do his best to protect it. Good luck doggy!
This manga volume covers about two-thirds of the first light novel and I think it did a great job adapting those parts. It was nice to see a visual representation of what I’ve read before. The story flows much better in the manga compared to the light novel. The character designs for the manga are much more polished than their light novel counterparts. While everyone mostly looks the same, they just look so much more…moe. I am a fan. Zenobia’s design, in particular, is actually slightly different from the light novel and I feel this version suits her better. Overall, the artwork is gorgeous and the character designs are very cute. Routa’s numerous facial expressions are simply fantastic. That’s one more thing that I couldn’t fully appreciate in the light novel and I’m glad I was able to see just how adorable Routa can be.
This volume also comes packed with a lot of extras which I didn’t expect. There were a few four-panel comics included that made me chuckle. Even the Afterword was drawn as a comic which was pretty cool. Something that really made me laugh was the included in memoriam page for all the monsters that were killed…and Zenobia’s sword. There’s was even a written short story about Routa’s first month at the very end. My favorite extra had to be the translation notes. This series makes a lot of references to other popular series such as Gundam, Hayate the Combat Butler, and Cardcaptor Sakura just to name a few. I appreciated that they included a list of all the references they made. So many extras!
I enjoyed reading the light novel but I loved this manga version even more. The story is lighthearted fun, the character designs are adorable, and the artwork is stunning. Living a relaxing life is definitely enticing but it certainly seems like it’s not an easy thing to maintain! It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. I’m sorry, I just had to include that joke in here somewhere.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A+
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: T+
Released By: YEN PRESS
Release Date: July 30th, 2019
MSRP: $13.00 (US), $17.00 (CAN)