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Manga / Inubaka

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Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs is a seinen manga by Yukiya Sakuragi. It ran in Weekly Young Jump from 2004 to 2010.

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.

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 Big Sister: Inverted. Kentaro's younger sister is a reserved honors student, while Kentaro himself is a laidback buffoon.
  • Ancestral Name: Zigzagged. Suguri names her dog Lupin after Lupin III because he's a Casanova Wannabe who is the third generation of a great figure—in this case the dog who rescued Suguri when she was kidnapped as a child. The unknown dog who rescued Suguri is thus called Lupin the First by the cast, even though it's unlikely that that's its actual name.
  • Animals Lack Attributes: Exaggerated for the most part, but occasionally downplayed. All of the animals that appear in the manga are drawn with no genitalia (probably for the best). However, there are exceptions, such as Aries, having visible nipples. There are also some cases in which a dog humps another dog or urinates, but we don't see anything.
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  • 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 is an overweight otaku who still lives with his parents, but he actually has a job in the government and hangs out frequently with the rest of the cast.
  • 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, previously thought as a one-shot characters, 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 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 value money and customer service more than trying to make the dogs they sell happy. But even though he's dabbled in corporate espionage (via Mikage), and tries to trick Suguri into working for Wan-Kaw, he is really well-meaning and genuinely loves dogs.
  • Dark Horse Victory: The K-9 dance arc focuses so much on the rivalry between Woofles's Suguri and Wan-Kaw's Yasmin, that one might forget that there are other contestants participating in the mix. Eventually, the event winner is a blind girl.
  • Dog Walks You: Lupin seems to like doing this to anyone other than Suguri.
  • Excrement Statement: Lucky shows his jealously to his owner by urinating and defecating all over the living room when he doesn't want to share with the new puppy.
  • Friendly Rivalry: A lot between Woofles and Wan-Kaw.
    • While they aren't exactly close friends, 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 only wants dance and have fun and is not at all concerned about competing with the other contestants.
  • 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.
  • Gene Hunting: After discovering just how difficult it is to find a good home for mutts, Suguri is determined to trace Lupin's pedigree so that she can have a better chance to get new owners for Lupin's prospective pups.
  • 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 where he rescued Kentaro's sister from being abducted by some shady guys.
  • 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 walks in on Momoko while she's changing clothes, and gets flustered about it. Suguri assumes that he has a crush on her, especially since he doesn't react when he later walks in on Suguri doing the same thing.
    • Another time, Teppei goes to visit Yamarin's home to demonstrate why she shouldn't get another puppy. Since Yamarin is a celebrity, a paparazzi takes a picture of them together and publishes 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.
  • 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.
  • Potty Failure: In the bonus chapter, 4-year-old Suguri has to go to the bathroom, but fails and pees herself off-panel.
  • Recruited from the Gutter: Kentaro was an aspiring musician who ran away from home and tried to live as a street musician. Left destitute when that gig failed, he was rescued by his old schoolmate Teppei, who offered him a job and a home. Kentaro has been working at Woofles ever since.
  • 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).
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: They're a bit more realistic than most portrayals, but Teppei and Suguri certainly qualify.
  • Senpai/Kōhai: When Ryusuke is hired, Suguri gets incredibly excited about finally being someone's senior.
  • Sex for Solace: After her dog's death, Kanako falls into depression and starts bringing home different men every single night.
  • Ship Tease: Chizuru and Akiba frequently fight and then make 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.
  • Toilet Humour: Since this manga is about dogs, there is a great deal of this, but thankfully, it gets toned down in later chapters.
  • Tsundere: Chizuru, although her "dere-dere" side comes out for her dog more than for anyone human.
  • Urine Trouble: Happens a lot, but appears less often in later chapters.
    • A Running Gag throughout the series has Suguri getting peed on by puppies, who are obviously not housebroken. Heck, even the first page of the first chapter had her getting peed on. And it's not just her either...
      "Don't worry! It happens a lot."
    • Lupin urinates on a car after he gets dizzy.
    • At one point, a puppy pees on their sibling off-panel.
    • Lucky pees on Mari when she doesn't give him a walk.
    • Melon marks his territory all over the living room and on Mizuru's DVD player.
  • 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.