Saturday, October 20, 2012

Manga Review: Jiu Jiu, Volume 1, by Touya Tobina

Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo Beat)
Volumes: 5
Spoilers?: A bit, yes.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Born into a family of “Hunters,” Takamichi's destiny is to pursue and slay demons. When her twin brother is killed, she is saved from despair by a pair of Jiu Jiu—shape-shifting familiars—in the form of two wolf pups named Snow and Night. Now Takamichi is in high school and an active Hunter. Snow and Night can't wait to attend school in their human form to "protect" her. But are they ready to go off leash...?
Takamichi's Jiu Jiu Obedience Training Goals

1. Stop them from following you to work

2. Avoid exposing them to the full moon

3. Save them from execution

Reads R to L (Japanese Style), for audiences rated teen plus.


This book was fantastic. I wasn’t even aware that Shojo Beat was releasing a new series, which is very unlike me, but I saw it on the shelf at the bookstore and immediately decided to get it. It looked pretty, and I only skimmed the back, as my faith in Shojo Beat is very big. I was excited to start it, and I’m glad that it was even better than I’d thought it would be.
It’s about a girl, Takamichi, the daughter and heir to a clan of hunters. Her twin brother died, which resulted in her shutting out her heart and deciding not to get close to anyone. Several years later, she was forced to take care of two half-demon, half-human puppies. They were to serve as her servants/fighting companions, called her Jiu Jiu. Now, three years after that, the pups are two adult-like men that hugely adore her, while she tries to keep them at a distance. Most of the time, she’s trying to push them away, and yelling at them, and unknowingly doing the whole tough-love thing, while they ignore it and run after her anyway.
I love the two pups. Their names are Snow and Night and I love them. I want them; both of them. I don’t know which one I favor right now, as they’re pretty equal in my mind. Snow is hyper and cuddly while Night is smart and quiet and wears glasses, and they’re both super cute and sweet and I love them. They look like new adults, older teens maybe, but are still very much puppies. They love going for walks and wrestling, but they’re very protective of Takamichi, and they love her endlessly. It’s super sweet, and I have no doubt that it’s making its way into a love triangle.
That’s all I can really say at the moment, I think: that I love them.
In this book, Takamichi pushes them away one too many times, and realizes that she actually does enjoy having them around and maybe should treat them better. They’re very loyal through all of it, never leaving her alone, persistent to stay by her side through everything. I understand why, as she is kind of their mother in a way (not in a creepy, incestual way, but in a she’s been with them since they were born and kind of takes care of them way), and they’ve grown up with her, but she’s a quite a bit too harsh on them. I mean, she’d never given them a bath before, or a birthday present. The bath thing isn’t creepy, though, since they’re in dog form for it. Although, a lot of the time when around the house in human form, they are naked. This is kind of weird, but I think she’s grown used to it, having been around them for three years, and with how much they dislike being in clothes. (They are dogs at heart, after all.) Oh, and they always sneak out of their cage at night and lay with her, a lot of the time naked, which is just adorable.
They end up going to school with her, which she protests, where they learn more about normal human life things, like Birthdays, and even end up fighting over her at one point. By the end of the volume, she’s grown to accept that they are going to be around her, they love her and want to share her hardships between them, and that she loves them just as much.
There’s another chapter where Takamichi finds Nights diaries. She starts going through them, finding out how he felt about certain things when he was really young, how much he loved her and wanted praise. We’re shown when he first gets glasses; and another time when him and Snow fought and then when Night got scolded, thinking that Takamichi didn’t love him, he ran away, only for both of them to come after him, and both pups found out how much she really cared about them.
The last chapter is where we're shown what happens to the two pups when they are out during the full moon: their fear and dissatisfaction is bumped up a few levels, and they end up biting her. They don't mean to, as they are fighting with each other, and it's a very sweet and emotional moment for the three, but jiu jiu are never supposed to harm their master/mistress. And so they are to be punished. This is kind of a cliche moment, where she has to go against the set hunter rules, but turns out just fine.
This book was just… really sweet, and adorable, and funny, and I am so impressed. I really enjoyed it, like a lot, and I’m really looking forward to the next one.

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