Title: Doomsday With My Dog Vol. 1
Author: Yu Ishihara
Release Date: January 17, 2023
Publisher: Yen Press
You often hear the word “wholesome” get passed around to describe situations in various media. However, I never really understood it, as I figured people just used it as a synonym for charming. After reading Doomsday with My Dog Vol. 1, I have a better idea of what this word means through the relationship between a human and a dog. Through this bleak premise of being the last human alive, we get a more whimsical and quirky look at how one navigates a post-apocalyptic situation.
Doomsday with My Dog Vol. 1 has a lot going on, and its story is delivered in bite-sized four – eight-panel segments. Jumping in during the first chapter won’t reveal anything about these characters, and you might even wonder why the dog, Haru, is talking, but that’s not really the point. Throw logic out the window here. In terms of navigating a post-apocalyptic situation, you shouldn’t take too much advice from this book. Instead, the focus is on the relationship between Haru and his Master.
Trying to describe the character of Haru would do him a disservice. He’s so much more than words can describe, and I believe the author Yu Isihara meant this. His quick-witted replies and insanely high intelligence make him the driving factor for many storylines. It’s as if his master sets up the pitch, and Haru drives it home every time. Still, he leaves himself open to be goofy, as he can contradict himself or make even change his opinion on something without hurting his ego.
The girl’s name is never revealed, which leads me to believe that some inspirations were taken from other post-apocalyptic media, such as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, but that’s where the similarities end. Instead, this book introduces new rules to this world by including human-like mythical creatures and other talking animals. Even with this, the story never explains why these creatures exist, but I doubt it had time to.
Much of Doomsday with My Dog Vol. 1 is nonsensical, but there are moments of excellent character writing. It’s a book you can open to absolutely any page and get some joy out of the situation that Haru and his master are in. While the character growth is limited, you understand the role these characters play in each other’s lives and how they rely on their company to survive in this new world.
The most standout area of this entire book is the translation work. For such limited panel space, Isihara-san packed each story with a lot of text. It flowed nicely, and I could understand the most nuanced of jokes. This pairs well with the colored illustrations and excellent facial work given to the characters that show their emotions. The illustrations also sell some of the jokes, often the highlight of any chapter.
Doomsday with My Dog Vol. 1 is a collection of short panel stories about a girl and her dog. However, Haru isn’t just any dog; you’ll quickly learn that within the first five pages. I would use the word wholesome to describe their relationship as their interactions and friendship fuel this entire volume. The short story formula allows readers to find something enjoyable about this duo, regardless of some of their adventures not leaving a lasting impression.
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.