Fortune Dogs began as a manga series written by Shuji Kishihara and Yasuharu Tomono. An anime television series by Vega Entertainment was later produced and broadcasted from 2002 to 2003.
The story follows The Hero's Journey of a French Bulldog named Alex, who is adopted by a little girl named Ai, who reads to him about the adventures of a heroic dog named Freddy who saves a legendary tree. Later adopting the name of said dog, Alex/Freddy is then separated from Ai and must find his way back to her while encountering various other dogs who will accompany along the way, most notably a Daschund named Dach, a Boxer named Max, and a female American Cocker Spaniel named Cocco. Once he does find her, however, he learns that the legendary tree he had read about, called The Fortune Tree, is dying, and must find the courage to become the legendary Heroic Dog in order to save it, or else humans will no longer care for their dogs.
The anime shows examples of the following tropes:
- Animal Talk: Despite humans not being able to hear them, every animal in the show, most notably the dogs, are perfectly able to speak to and understand each other.
- Butt-Monkey: Dach usually gets mixed up in a lot of misfortunes. Freddy definitely counts as one as well.
- Darker and Edgier: While there were some episodes in the first half that dealt with admitedly uncomfortable issues and themes, the second half of the series, which revolves around Alex/Freddy trying to save the Fortune Tree is most definitely this. The final episode is probably the darkest chapter in the entire series.
- Dub Name Change: In the Latin American Spanish dub, Dach is named Dodge.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Dach enjoys yelling angrily and bossing the other dogs around, but he does show he genuinely cares for his friends' well-being, especially Freddy's.
- This is cracked Up to Eleven in Episode 13, where he secretly softens up to an old man who confuses him for his previous dog.
- Nice Guy: Freddy, being a puppy, is very innocent and kind to anyone he encounters. Ai also qualifies as a Nice Girl.