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Manga / Inumimi

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"It's been a while, so I hope they are doing well."
Yuichiro Kinosaki

Inumimi ("Dog Ears") is a romance manga series by Rei Nakajima that ran in Young Animal Arashi from 2005 to 2007, about dogs with human bodies, a scientist who can do anything, and awkward subtext.

Yuichiro comes home from an exchange program in Canada and finds that his father has given human forms to his three dogs, Elga, Luna and Rino. As he becomes accustomed to his new sisters, Yuichiro also has to deal with his neighbor, Emina, and her opinion of his and his dogs' proximity while the girls now have to learn how to live as humans.

The series manages to avert or avoid a surprising number of tropes considering the premise. Although there is still plenty of Fanservice, the Innocent Fanservice Girl behaviour drops off as the girls learn about wearing human clothing. Yuichiro is not romantically interested in any of them, and in fact feels uncomfortable around them because they are so human, proving that not All Men Are Perverts. Yuichiro's neighbor Emina warms up to the three girls without a whole lot of angst, quickly starts treating them like sisters and is (relatively) understanding and willing to give Yuichiro the benefit of the doubt for Not What It Looks Like. Many other tropes suffer the same fate, making it a playful and sweet Slice of Life story.


The manga contains examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert: What with trying to teach the girls things like "how to take a bath" and "wearing clothes", he never catches a break. They don't care. Emina on the other hand...
  • A-Cup Angst: Emina, but only because she compares herself to Elga. In reality she's only just smaller than average.
  • Angry Guard Dog: Rino can be really defensive and cautious towards strangers and is really protective about the other dog girls.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Rino, to some extent, for Yuichiro's dad.
  • But Now I Must Go: Toyed with a bit. Elga turns back into a dog near the end, in order to stay with Yuichiro. She gets changed back at the very end though.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Emina and Yuichiro, to each other.
  • Cat Smile: Ironic, considering that they're dogs.
  • Cute Little Fang: Emina.
    • And, well, Luna, Elga and Rino...
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  • Fanservice: Yes.
  • Fantastic Arousal: Averted; because the girls spent a good deal of their life as dogs, they're generally used to petting and react to it... well, like dogs. Do not touch Elga's tail, though. (Unless you're Yuichiro.)
  • Genki Girl: Elga.
  • The Glomp: Elga's favorite way to greet Yuichiro.
  • Humanity Ensues: The story starts with our main character meeting his pets in their human form for the first time.
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: Yuichiro frantically tries to avoid physical contact with Elga when he learns that she is in heat.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: All three dogs, at the beginning. Elga remarks at the end that she's so used to clothing she feels uncomfortable when she's naked.
  • Interspecies Romance: Averted. It's clearly spelled out by Rino that any kind of apparent Romance is based on the unconditional, but platonic, love between a dog and her master. Especially Elga's feelings towards Yuichiro.
    • Rino is absolutely devoted to Yuichiro's father for having rescued her from the pound, where she had been sent by an abusive previous owner. Getting letters or presents from him while he is gone is one of the few things that makes her dere.
  • Little Bit Beastly: The dog girls look extremely human, if you ignore their ears and tails.
  • Lethal Chef: It's not per se lethal, but Elga's "cooking" usually involves dog food, so it's probably not safe for human consumption.
  • Mad Scientist: Yuichiro's father.
  • Nearly Normal Animal: Elga becomes one when she gets reverted back to her animal form. She can still completely understand human words and use the toilet on her own.
  • No Social Skills: The girls, having been dogs, have little idea of normal behaviour at first.
  • Obliviously Beautiful: Elga and Rino are the bustiest of the three girls, and neither of them understand other guys' reactions. Rino and Luna comment on it on occasion, mainly when Emina is comparing herself to Elga and gets jealous. And every guy in town hates Yuichiro for the way Elga constantly glomps onto him.
  • Oblivious to Love: Yuichiro seems to have no idea Emina has feelings for him. And vice-versa.
    • A special instance is Yuichiro not being able to figure out that Elga thinks he doesn't love him because he won't pet her and be as affectionate anymore now that she's human. (He understandably feels uncomfortable treating her the same now that she is a very cute and very busty girl.) Rino calls him out for not understanding that Elga just wants him to show her that he still loves her the way he used to. Yuichiro fixes the situation.
  • Skinship Grope: At first the girls don't know any better, but even later they still try to make Emina enjoy showertime skinship.
  • Sleep Cute: (Not the exact trope, but I couldn't find an appropriate one.) Elga and Luna sleep haphazardly across Yuichiro's bed (and often Yuichiro) while Rino sleeps on the floor next to it like... well, again like they did when they were dogs. Often leads to an innocent Bedmate Reveal with either Elga or Luna snuggled against him with her pajamas in disarray.
  • Slice of Life: A boy and his nearly human dogs.
  • Thanks for the Mammaries: A notable example is when Elga's bikini top comes off at a public pool and Yuichiro uses the closest thing at hand to cover her up.
  • Token Mini-Moe: As a human, Luna is 12 years old.
  • Tsundere: Emina Kusunoki and Rino.
  • Twice Shy: Emina and Yuichiro.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: When Elga accidentally reveals her ears and tail in public, rather than being shocked or even surprised, the townsfolk guess "You must be Elga!" and are upset that Yuichiro hadn't brought the girls out to meet everyone sooner. Yuichiro's Mad Scientist father told everyone about them before Yuichiro came back home. They obviously felt this was one of the less weird things he's done.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Elga has been afraid of mice since she was a puppy. Seeing one was enough to scare her to the point that she loses her speech. It takes Yuichiro to do some comforting for her to recover.