Welcome, my friends, to the end of horror anime month. Petshop of Horrors is a four episode horror anthology OVA from Madhouse entertainment based on a ten volume Manga by Akino Matsuri. The manga has recently continued with a second series that's currently eight volumes in and still going, but that came after the OVA so I doubt very much that any of the elements or plot lines introduced within it are going to come up. Let's take a look at the OVA and see what mysteries this little shop contains.
Since the series is an anthology without an underlying narrative, lets look at the setup. There's a pet shop in a Chintown within the United States run by a man known as Count D. He sells regular pets as well as exotic ones to certain, deserving, customers. All of these pets come with a three condition contract. If any of these conditions are broken, then the shop assumes no responsibility for the consequences. In the meantime, a homicide detective named Leon is looking into Count D since so many unsolved deaths seem to involve customers of his shop. The stories in this are interesting. They have really good atmosphere, build up and legitimately creepy moments as well. They aren't scary, but they're the closest to horror I've come across all month.
The characters are very important in this series and not just the reoccurring characters like Count D and Leon, but also the characters who are the focuses of individual episodes. Count D's special customers are always there for karmic reasons and his rules offer them a last chance at redemption. Figuring out why they merit karmic retribution is one of the interesting facets and it's never something overly simplistic. Which results in having to spend some time getting to know that character. Some of the episodes do it better than others, but all of them do it fairly well. The characters of Count D and Leon are well developed as well. My one issue in this area is that Leon's co-workers, who show up occasionally in his scenes, come off as bland and under-developed. But each one probably only gets five minutes of screen time cumulative. So that's really a very minor issue.
The art in this is quite superb. The expressions are very well drawn. The animals are really cool looking. Count D's wardrobe is magnificent. That's probably a strange thing to say, but his attire is very well drawn and just well designed. The character designs in general are just really good. The art is excellent and really well detailed.
The voice acting is excellent particularly Seki Toshihiko as Count D. The music and sounds in general are also excellent. Which helps contribute to the atmosphere.
The ho-yay factor is a 4/10. Things between Count D and Leon get pretty homo-erotic. To the point where there are moments where you wonder if Leon is actually investigating him or trying to work up the courage to ask him on a date.
So, that's Petshop of Horrors. It has great atmosphere, compelling characters and interesting story lines. The art and voice acting are both excellent and it has a bit of ho-yay. It may not be frightening, but it does manage some creepy moments. My final rating on this one is a 9/10. I do recommend checking it out.
That does it for the last review of October. Going into November I have requests to review: Honey and Clover, Robotics;Notes, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Psycho Pass, Dennou Coil, Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro Chan and Watashi ga Motenai no wa dKangaetemo Omaera ga Waru. Next week, Honey and Clover.