Manga: Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs

Eighteen-year-old Suguri Miyauchi heads for the city to strike out on her own with only her loyal dog Lupin for company. But one fateful afternoon at a rest stop, she finds Lupin getting to know another dog a little better. The dog in question is Noa, a purebred Labrador on her way to be bred with another pure Lab, and Lupin's intrusion has ruined everything. To make up for it, Suguri offers herself as an employee to Noa's owner, Teppei Iida, who runs a pet shop called Woofles.

Suguri simply adores dogs and takes to her new job at once. However, it soon becomes apparent that she has an amazing way with dogs, almost enough to know exactly what they're thinking...

Inubaka is being developed into a live-action movie.

Should not be confused with InuYasha. And no, this is not the Japanese dub of Eustace's "catch phrase".

The manga provides examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert: At one point, Teppei wanted to test out Lupin's retrieving abilities by telepathically instructing him to bring his cellphone. Lupin returns with Suguri's bra. Predictably, he was seen as a pervert by everyone else present.
  • Aloof Older Brother: Inverted. Kentaro's younger sister is a reserved honors student, while Kentaro himself is a laidback buffoon.
  • Art Evolution: Mainly noticeable in the dogs. While not bad to begin with, comparing earlier chapters to more recent ones makes it clear that the dogs are becoming more realistic-looking as time goes by.
  • Author Appeal: The author makes no secret of how fond she is of her dogs, and it's reasonable to view the entire series as the author's excuse to draw as many dogs as possible. Plus, the inclusion of photos of readers' dogs at the end of every volume after the first.
  • Basement-Dweller: Akiba is a subversion. He may be a blatant otaku who still lives with his parents, but he's actually one of the few characters who actually have a proper career (in the government, no less).
  • Bastard Boyfriend: Ryu, Momoko's boyfriend, constantly leeches her money while he himself goofs off and cheats with other girls. Momoko eventually broke up with him.
  • Big Eater: Lupin is a glutton who is always hungry, and frequently steals other dogs' food, especially Mel's.
  • The Bus Came Back: Kyoko Furuya (Henry's owner) and Nishina from the Agility competition arc returned for the K-9 Dance arc as Suguri's and Yasmin's respective dance trainer.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Teppei calls Lupin a troublemaker who is "constantly looking for action", while Suguri often complains that he can't keep away from the "ladies". But he's usually rejected, unless it's mating season.
  • Canine Companion: Almost all of the main characters own a dog. Justified, as the story is set in a pet shop, and the focus is on the customers and employees of said store.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Kim, towards Suguri. Arguably Suguri, towards Teppei, although it's not quite clear if she realizes just how she feels about him.
  • Characterization Marches On: During his first appearance, Jin was introduced as a rude loudmouth who threatened to beat up Akiba after the latter tried to reprimand him for being too noisy. Subsequent appearances depicts him as a quirky dog lover who's even better at dealing with dogs than even Suguri.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: A large theme of the story is Suguri finally leaving her overprotective parents (though given she was kidnapped at the age of four, not completely irrational in that regard) and growing up by living on her own. She also comes of age in regards to dog ownership; while always able to make fast friends with them, she learns more about how to care for them.
  • Cool Old Guy: During a vacation trip to, Suguri and her friends met Fukuyama, an elderly gentleman who owns 4 large dogs of rare breeds. When they saw him dive into a river later on, Suguri and Chizuru was amazed at how ripped he was, and wonders if he is married.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Subverted with Hibino. A high-ranking executive for Wan-Kaw (Woofles' rival store), he and his company values money and customer service more than trying to make the dogs they sell happy. But even though he's done things like sending Mikage to spy on Woofles or tried to lure Suguri into working for his store instead, he is really well-meaning and genuinely loves dogs.
  • Dog Walks You: Lupin seems to like doing this to anyone other than Suguri.
  • Friendly Rivalry: A lot between Woofles and Wan-Kaw.
    • Teppei and Hibino have a lot of respect for each other.
    • When participating in the K-9 dog dance competition, Suguri got along with Wan-Kaw's representative, Yasmin, who apparently saw no reason to be competitive with anyone.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Suguri has an uncanny ability to understand dogs and befriend them. Subverted since her "skills" does not extend to other animals.
  • Gentle Giant: Fukuyama's four dogs are very big and intimidating, but they are not aggressive at all. In fact, they're very affectionate.
  • Heroic Dog:
    • Lupin's grandfather, who rescues a four-year-old Suguri from a kidnapping.
    • Lupin himself has a moment or two.
  • Honor Before Reason: Teppei is far more concerned about getting a good home for the puppies he has in store than actually making sales. When Mari Yamashita (Yamarin) wanted to buy a new dog to keep her old one company while she's busy working, Teppei went out of his way to convince her that this is not a good idea.
  • Meaningful Name: Lupin's name alludes to Lupin III: he's quite fond of women, but he's also the third of his line.
  • Mistaken for Romance: Twice with Teppei.
    • Once, Teppei walked in on Momoko while she's changing clothes, and was flustered about it. Suguri assumed that he has a crush on her, especially since he doesn't react when he walks in on Suguri doing the same thing.
    • Another time, Teppei visited Yamarin's home to demonstrate why she should not be getting another puppy. Since Yamarin is a celebrity, a paparazzi took their pictures and published a scandal about their "romance".
  • My New Gift Is Lame:
    • Suguri and her mother keeps sending boxes of osenbe (a kind of rice cracker) as souvenir; Teppei amasses quite a pile of them.
    • When finally asked to bring back something other than the onion senbei from all the other appearances of her family, she brings back onion udon (thick noodles), which go over just as well.
  • Never Work with Children or Animals: Subverted; model Yamarin shoots a commercial with a Papillon puppy whom she later adopts.
  • Not Good with People: Minoru from the Nakatani Heartland is extremely skilled at handling dogs, but doesn't deal well with people and is somewhat of a recluse.
  • Oblivious to Love:
    • Teppei doesn't seem to notice Suguri's obvious crush on him, and does not react when she tries to rope him in her hostess antics.
    • Suguri is equally oblivious as to Kim's affection towards her.
  • Otaku: Akiba, who (mostly) switches from idol-otaku to dog-otaku.
  • Pretty Freeloaders: Suguri and Momoko briefly crashed in Teppei's apartment room while they work for him, although he later rented them a separate unit, which they pay from their wages.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Despite being a tiny chihuahua, Melon is very brave and will not back away from challenging 4 dogs much larger than himself.
  • Playing Possum: Lupin is easily intimidated by larger dogs and immediately pretends to be dead in their presence.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Puppies!!
  • Take a Third Option: Faced with having to choose sides on the Wan-Kaw/Woofles issue, Mikage instead leaves to study veterinary medicine.
  • Triang Relations: Two different instances of Type 5 - Teppei isn't romantically interested in anyone, Suguri is interested in Teppei, and both Kim and Fujita are interested in Suguri (obviously, the former is presented much more positively than the latter).
  • Sempai/Kohai: When Ryusuke is hired, Suguri gets incredibly excited about finally being someone's senior.
  • Sex for Solace: After her dog's death, Kanako fell into depression and started to bring home different men every single night.
  • Ship Tease: Chizuru and Akiba frequently fights and makes up, and have a dynamic similar to Belligerent Sexual Tension.
  • Shout-Out: The dog is named Lupin, and he's the third in his line.
  • Shown Their Work: The manga shows an incredible level of detail in depicting various breeds, the birth of puppies, etc.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Kim is quite popular among the girls in his campus, and even has "Miss Campus" as his friend. He still only have eyes for Suguri.
  • Slice of Life: A usually light-hearted example.
  • Sitting on the Roof: The Woofles staff and their regulars often hangout in the building's rooftop whenever they want to celebrate for something.
  • Sneezing: Both dogs and humans will sneeze when someone elsewhere is talking about them.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Fujita has a crush on Suguri, and follows her around, constantly sending her messages and showering her with expensive gifts.
  • Urine Trouble: Puppies get so happy when Suguri's around that they pee themselves with joy.
  • Visible Sigh: Often from dogs, particularly Lupin, and Zidane, who snorts.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Minoru rarely wears a shirt, especially when he's outdoors.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Kim is initially rather frightened of dogs, due to being regularly chased by feral ones during his childhood. He eventually gets over it and becomes a full-blown dog lover after adopting Chanta, a shiba puppy.
  • You Can Leave Your Hat On: In the K-9 arc, Yasmin's dance moves involve her taking off her shirt and skirt.