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Manga / You're My Pet

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You're My Pet (Kimi wa Petto) is a 14-volume Josei manga series by Yayoi Ogawa detailing the life of Sumire Iwaya, a journalist and career woman.

Sumire has worked hard to get where she is: an 'elite', a successful career woman with degrees from Tokyo University and Harvard, self-sufficient, competent and reliable. Unfortunately, although she's very attractive, she's also taller than most of the men she knows, which results in her boyfriend of five years leaving her for his mistress, saying she's too intimidating. Sick of putting up with male inferiority complexes about her success, Sumire decides that from now on, she'll only date men who have the 'three highs' (height, education, salary). Thankfully, an old flame from university, Shigehito Hasumi, has just that.

Hasumi is Sumire's first love. Dating him brings her right back to the insecure, shy woman she was in university. She can't tell him her true feelings on anything and their relationship stays fairly formal even after they start having sex. Sumire spends the next two years trying to build a relationship with Hasumi, but the two are constantly thwarted by Shiori Fukushima, who wants Hasumi for herself, their own hectic careers (which includes a transfer to Hong Kong for Hasumi), and... Momo.

Momo is a younger man Sumire finds injured in a cardboard box outside her condo. She takes him in and feeds him. When Momo begs to stay, Sumire relents, but on one condition - he live as her pet. She is shocked and disappointed when he agrees, but grudgingly keeps her word. She soon discovers that Momo has no 'male pride'; despite being much shorter than her, having no book education to speak of, and being completely broke, Momo is happy to live with Sumire and accepts her exactly as she is. Sumire soon finds that the only person she can express all her fear and insecurities to is Momo.

The manga came to an end in 2005. A ten-episode live-action series was produced in 2003. The series examines the dilemma of Family Versus Career and Being True To Yourself, and comes with a lovely Happily Ever After ending.

The manga is currently being published in English by Kodansha; it was previously published by Tokyopop under the title Tramps Like Us.

This series provides examples of:

  • Age-Gap Romance: Momo is seven years younger than Sumire. Gender-inverted from the norm since the woman is the older one in the relationship.
  • Agent Scully: Literal non-example: Sukenari called Emma "Scully" when she wouldn't believe his theory that Sumire was an alien princess. How he came to that conclusion is anyone's guess.
  • Author Avatar: Many of the throwaway and background characters have the same design Yayoi Ogawa uses for herself in the author's notes, and are referred to as 'So-and-so Ogawa' (i.e.: Genevieve Ogawa the horoscope columnist).
  • Badass Family: The Iwaya family. Sumire demonstrates absurd strength, Shinobu and Akane both kick ass, and their grandfather and mother are both implied to be very strong as well.
  • Be a Whore to Get Your Man: Yuri, for all her good intentions, tries to get Sumire to do this in regards to Hasumi.
    Sumire: W...well, those things happen eventually and naturally...
  • Be Yourself: The overarching moral that fuels a majority of the conflicts in the story. Indeed, the fact that Sumire reverts back to the shy, insecure woman she was in university when she is around Hasumi is the biggest hint that they're not right for each other.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Eddie developed his theory that Sumire was a beautiful, tragic alien princess, he suddenly got a spurt of "adrenaline". Sumire gets one in a later chapter when she's told the rumor that her grandpa's basement is full of hidden treasure. It's revealed on the next page that it's not.
  • Dream Sequence: Whenever Sumire's particularly stressed about something, she'll have a weird dream that gives her the answer she subconsciously already knows.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Actually a stylistic choice of the mangaka. All of the characters when in a neutral mood are drawn without lights in their eyes except Sumire. Momo gets them for a panel when he discovers that Sumire is pregnant with his child.
  • Dysfunction Junction:
    • Sumire feels she can't be herself around Hasumi because she wants to be the woman he thinks she is (i.e. unrealistically perfect), plus she's got major family issues and no friends besides her best friend, boyfriend, and pet.
    • Momo is an ill boy who has no problem sleeping around, even with girls who have boyfriends.
    • Shiori has her Dark and Troubled Past with her father and no self-esteem to speak of.
    • Yuri's husband cheated on her.
    • This isn't the first time Hasumi's engagement has dissolved because of a change in feelings.
  • Easy Amnesia: One chapter has Sumire getting bonked on the head by a glass jar. After the doctor assures Momo her memory should come back and the amnesiac period will be forgotten completely, Momo tells Sumire that they're dating.
  • First Girl Wins: Subverted. Although Momo shows up first in the manga, backstory reveals that Sumire and Hasumi first hooked up in university. Momo doesn't end up with Rumi, Sumire and Hasumi end up with other people after dating for two years, in fact, no one ends up with the first love.
  • Foreshadowing: In chapter 13, during Sumire's daydream, the pet salesman, when speaking of the variety of pets he has, mentions a pig. Kind of odd, right? When Emma is introduced, guess what kind of pet she has.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: a real-world version. Shiori's a manipulative little skank who will fake and blackmail her way into Hasumi's life/pants/apartment, but Sumire herself is keeping a young man in her apartment and never does tell the man she dates for over a year and agrees to marry at one point about it, even when they break up, which actually makes it all the sadder when one considers that Hasumi thinks so well of her for forgiving him for lying to her about Fukushima staying (read: blackmailing her way into) in his apartment.
  • Happily Married:
    • The penultimate chapter is set about 15 years in the future and features Sumire and Momo's daughter, and Yuri's two daughters. It's implied that Momo and Sumire are still happily moving all over the globe to follow his career as a dancer and hers as a freelance journalist.
    • Yuri and her husband, Shinichi, appear to be this. Until you find out he's cheating on her with his flight attendant.
  • Housepet Pig: Emma has a pet mini-pig, which Hugh doesn't understand the appeal of.
    Emma: He doesn't understand why I have a pet pig. How can I marry a man who doesn't understand my pig?* Hypnotize the Captive: A chapter late in the series has Sumire being victimised by a psychologist turned hypnotist-rapist. Unfortunately Sumire's emotions are so conflicted at this point that she happily takes the chance to check out, and can't be woken until Momo comes to rescue her.
  • Identical Stranger:
    • A new character is introduced in Sumire's department who decides she is envious of Sumire's success. Cue a change of makeup, perfume, and hair colour to look as much like Sumire as possible.
    • Also, the young boy named Yuta from Miss Takeuchi's story. As an adult, he looks exactly like Momo.
  • Is That Cute Kid Yours?: In the sixth volume, plus a twist on the whole Christmas Cake Eater aspect; the woman in the park who comments to Sumire about how cute her 'daughter' is also comments on how nice it must be to have such a young, energetic husband to keep up with the kids.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • Shiori tells Sumire to stay away from Hasumi unless she can promise to "live happily ever after" with him.
    • Momo also fully supports Sumire's relationship with Hasumi, even though he likes her.
  • Karma Houdini: Shiori. Guilty of stalking, blackmailing, guilt tripping, and manipulation. Still gets her man in the end.
  • Kissing Cousins: Hasumi's impression after he finds out that Iwaya is marrying her "second cousin".
  • Like Brother and Sister: Sumire and Momo for the early part of the series. Momo even introduces himself as Sumire's second cousin.
  • Magical Realism:
    • Also, the "Karatani Incident." Either Momo really did witness Karatani's suicide and was in a coma in the hospital for a month and no one noticed, or he was in the hospital for a short amount of time after being visited by a ghost. Evidence seems to point to the latter.
    • And the mermaids. They did see them... didn't they?
  • Quitting to Get Married: Sumire is concerned about whether Hasumi would expect her to leave her job after marriage. She resigns briefly after her proposal, but after it is called off, she returns. When she marries Momo, she continues to work
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: Sumire and Momo take a trip to a hot springs resort to follow up on a story Sumire was sent about mermaids. The legend says that mothers who die and leave children behind turn into mermaids. The story starts out as Our Mermaids Are Different, but is actually a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax that almost turns into a Suicide Pact between two of the previously referenced orphaned children.
  • Shout-Out: Sumire and Momo like to hum anime OPs and make numerous references to real life comic books, TV shows, celebrities, actors, models, singers, pro wrestlers, etc. After Sumire broke up with Hasumi after realizing she loved Momo, there were several mentions of Sgt. Frog.
  • Slasher Smile: Momo pulls one while threatening someone with a knife. Seriously. Momo.
  • Suicide Pact: Between the two children in the mermaid village. Luckily, Sumire found them in time and slapped some sense into the teenage one.
  • Take That!: From what we've seen of the little comments in the margins of the comic, it appears that Ogawa likes to take stabs at her own characters; when Sumire and Hasumi are hugging, the former thinking about her own confused feelings, the latter thinking about sex, it says, "These two will never learn."
  • Take That Me: If one of the Author Avatars shows up in some form, one of the characters will probably snark about it, like when Emma saw an ad on her TV for a mixer that was developed by "Caroline Ogawa" and she immediately thinks, "She looks like a flake.")
  • Team Dad: Umino-san for his dance troupe. He looks out for Momo especially, getting him a part-time job and choreographing a dance piece specifically for him as a present.
  • That Didn't Happen: It's implied that Shiori and Hasumi had a night together, and Hasumi thinks they did, but Shiori later admits nothing happened.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 52; Sumire agrees to marry Hasumi after she finds out Momo wants to study in Belgium.
    • Chapter 67: Sumire finds the picture of Hasumi and Shiori that Momo took in the airport.
    • Chapter 69: Sumire and Hasumi break up.

Alternative Title(s): Kimi Wa Petto, Tramps Like Us