Mametarou lives a peaceful life in suburban Japan. He likes going for walks, hanging out with his girlfriend, playing with his friends, and being with his master. For you see, Mametarou is a dog.
Massugu ni Ikou is a manga about dogs from the POV of dogs. It stars a three year old cross-breed named Mametarou who lives with his teenage owner, Ikuko. Massugu ni Ikou was later adapted into a 9-episode anime in 2003.
Massugu ni Ikou provides examples of:
- Abandoned Pet in a Box: In episode 4, Mametarou and Hanako come across a puppy in a box. They end up acting as Parental Substitutes until it is taken home by a girl. They deliberately keep a woman from taking the puppy because she seems like she'd end up a neglectful owner and they only let a girl who seems genuinely into the puppy adopt it.
- Adults Are More Anthropomorphic: Three month old puppies can't talk like adults can.
- Affectionate Nickname:
- Ikuko calls Mametarou "Mame" while Mametarou calls her "Iku-chan".
- The dogs all call Sebastian "Onamomi", except for Sora (who takes offense to it). Sebastian's nickname comes from the fact he was covered in a weed called "onamomi" when Mametarou rescued him as a puppy.
- All Dogs Are Purebred: Averted. Most of the dogs are indeed pedigrees, but the main character is a mongrel.
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle: "Mame's Tips For Dogs" teaches viewers about dog care.
- Artistic License History: It's mentioned that Jack is from an "old breed". Rough Collies as we know them are assumed to have been around since the 1800s. It's a technically a long time ago, but it's not long by dog breed standards (with many other modern breeds also dating back to the 1800s).
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Hanako is scattered-brained and gets distracted easily. She is a dog, after all, and Kishu have a high prey drive.
- Chastity Couple: Iku and Junichi are both terribly shy and avoid displays of affection.
- Festival Episode: The end of episode 4 has the characters at a festival in order to mark the end of summer.
- Free-Range Pets: Played with. The dogs have to escape their yards to wander, yet at the same time no one seems to mind dogs wandering about.
- Hiding Your Heritage: Mametarou is embarrassed of being a cross-breed and tries to hide it from his sweetheart Hanako.
- Not What It Looks Like: In episode 1, Mametarou believes Iki and her boyfriend are going to have Their First Time. As it turns out, they were having their first... date.
- Seldom-Seen Species: Hanako is a Japanese breed known as a Kishu. They're well-known in Japan but not elsewhere.
- Slice of Life: There's not much drama to the series. It's about the everyday life of dogs.
- Super-Deformed: It's very common for the dogs to Art Shift into a simplistic art-style.
- Surprise Incest: Discussed. Cloudcuckoolander Hanako mentions that she has dozens of half-siblings throughout Japan and worries that Mametarou is one of them. This is despite the fact Mametarou is obviously not a Kishu.
- Token Minority: The protagonist, Mametarou, is a token mix-breed in a cast of purebred dogs. It causes him no small amount of insecurity.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Hanako loves melons and melon pan (which is bread shaped like a melon, though Hanako believes they're made with melon).
- Xenofiction: The anime is a down-to-earth series about dogs. The dogs have more human emotions and behaviors than real dogs, however they're still more-or-less dogs.