A Girl and Her Guard Dog Anime Series Review

A Lady and Her Guard Canine Anime Collection Overview

Finally, let me add this: nothing I say about A Girl & Her Guard Dog is meant to be a moral or ethical critique of the actual people who created it or the real people who find enjoyment in it.

A Girl & Her Guard Dog is very much a Dead Dove: Do Not Eat scenario, in contrast to certain age-gap or pseudo-incestuous romances that could blindside readers by appearing as minor pairings (like in Fruits Basket) or coming up out of nowhere at the conclusion (as in the notorious ending of Bunny Drop’s manga). That much is clear from the synopsis: Isaku is a teenage girl in love with her adult male guardian, and anybody familiar with the genre knows exactly where this story is going. It is true that this would not be tolerated in the actual world. This is not the series for you if you expect your romance to emulate the dynamics of good relationships in the real world.

If you prefer somewhat risqué romances, then there’s a lot higher likelihood that you’ll appreciate this one. romances in which the protagonists attempt to suppress their affections while knowing it’s improper but ultimately fail to do so. The sort of romances you may dismiss critics with the words “It’s just fiction!” A Girl & Her Guard Dog could be of interest to you if you like romances with a little more spiciness than sweetness.

The only issue? It isn’t really excellent.

The first thing that becomes immediately apparent is that the first episode of the program is really unattractive. Isaku has to schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist because of her unusually shaped pupils. Keiya seems to be brainwashed or dead within because of his equally malformed and matte black eyes. Muted browns, grays, and pinks make up the majority of the color scheme, with the odd navy blue added for contrast. Simply said, the visual design is unappealing, and things only get worse from there.

There are one or two amusing animation moments in the first few episodes. Isaku’s off-screen tumble following a volleyball match, or Keiya and her landing so awkwardly that I thought I heard a lumberjack cry out, “TIMBER!” However, as the show went on, the production became more unstable. Simple animation errors included the mouths of the characters not moving when they talked or their lips fluttering but producing no sound. The atmosphere at studio project No.9, which also helmed two other series, including the similarly terrible Butareba, is something I can only fathom. By the last two episodes, any character who looked the same in two consecutive shots and wasn’t blobby in any of them was a miracle. The recap accounted for around half of the conclusion, and the new footage was really terrible.

That is sadly the end of the road for a show that was meant to be about attractive individuals getting into sensual circumstances. While many anime have fan service, very few actually show or try to show sex in an overt manner like A Girl & Her Guard Dog. It’s not intentional, but the end effect is one of the most hilariously awful and unattractive sex scenes I’ve ever seen.

It’s unfortunate because, while I doubt I’d find it attractive in any scenario, it effectively tackles one of the issues raised by age differences: not only the disparity in experience and how it shapes expectations, but also the difference in maturity and agency as provided by society. Isaku is just entering high school and has never even gone on a date, whereas Keiya has been having sex for over ten years, often in the context of casual encounters or the sex trade. Based on their life to date, the two of them have quite different beliefs about how their physical connection should develop. It doesn’t quite suit me, but it does indicate that some consideration went into their relationship.

It also emphasizes how awful Keiya is, even if there aren’t any overt problems in their relationship. I would have hated that guy even if he hadn’t been her guardian but rather her peer. He’s so incredibly protective that it borders on creepy. By forbidding her from engaging in things that are quite appropriate for girls of her age, such as going to karaoke or going to the beach in her bikini, he purposefully undermines Isaku’s social life. When she ignores him, he lashes out in violent tantrums, yet he is consistently shown to be correct. One of my least favorite plot devices in shōjo manga is the traditional theme that everyone is worse than the envious, cruel love interest. It’s a recurrent problem where I always feel that the narrative’s seams start to appear, as if the artist had to introduce a greater dirtbag in order to make a rubbish person seem like a prince.

If the supporting cast had had any depth, this would have been mitigated a little, but sadly, their creativity and vibrancy are matched only by the animation technique. Keiya is forced to save Isaku since the world is filled by nameless, almost faceless criminals who have nothing better to do than abduct her. These kidnappings have no deeper meaning, and the larger struggle that Isaku and Keiya’s tribe is facing doesn’t add any real plot points to the proceedings; it’s all only meant to agitate their relationship. Isaku has the typical two closest buddies at school—one girly and the other tomboyish. They don’t exist. They lack interiority, individuality, and independent lifestyles. They only engage in rumors about Isaku and Keiya’s romance. They are so easily forgotten that I am at a loss for words.

In a better series, I could see myself growing to like Isaku. She may not seem like much, but she does have certain personality traits. Maybe I was simply having too low of expectations. She wasn’t a timid damsel, either; rather, she had more fire to her than I usually see in heroines of this kind of romance, fighting against evildoers alongside Keiya. It makes sense, I guess, that she tried to go to a far-off school in order to get away from her overbearing guardian and infatuation. That could also be related to the fact that her voice actor, Akari Kitou, has portrayed a number of characters I like. She has an unusually gravelly voice for Isaku, which makes her intriguing to listen to and gives the otherwise lifeless auditory environment of the program some texture.

The idea of A Girl & Her Guard Dog has drawn a lot of criticism, yet it isn’t credible to say that the book was created by or for pedophiles. The narrative is told from Isaku’s perspective, and its purpose is to satisfy your desire of getting your affections back from a handsome older guy. But I doubt that many individuals dream of having hands that resemble gloves made of flesh or having facial characteristics that change shape all the time. Given that people may get themselves into almost anything, perhaps some do. Godspeed and best wishes for the future of your freakish self if that brings you happiness. A Girl & Her Guard Dog is an absolute catastrophe for the rest of us, with a dreadful production and little character development, meaning that only the most ardent age-gap romance lovers will find it worthwhile to watch.

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