Anime Meta-Review


Petshop of Horrors


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-4 of 4
  • type: TV
  • genre: shoujo
  • grade: worthy
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

This is an interesting little piece. This makes it all the more valuable but it also means that this review is unlikely to do it justice. The setting is in america where a petshop in chinatown will sell you the pet of your dreams. The pet selected by the very strange, atmospheric and effiminate count D seems to fit the needs of every client. Many of the customers are a bit strange themselves, but count D always seems to have the magical pet that echoes their need or hope. However each pet also comes with strict instructions that must be followed, after all these are exotic (very exotic) pets. And should the instructions not be followed then the pet shop simply cannot be responsible for the outcome.

I don't watch that many movies, but the plot is fairly classical (as well as being the basis for `gremlins' and the copy cat movies) and you get the feeling you've seen it before. What sets this apart is that the atmosphere is very strong and the ensuing `event' often turns out to echo or enforce something about the buyer or humanity in general. In other words there's a moral / philosophical angle to what happens in addition to the expected subtle horror of a dream turning dark. Added to that is the fact that the count is a wonderfully realised character, along with a `straight' policeman for him to play against. Some of the dialog is very nice and helps explain and frame the `magic' of the creatures themselves. Sadly I can't help feeling that the need to cram all this in a single episode limits the writing, but there are still some nice scenes in this atmospheric example of gothic horror.

The animation is not that impressive, having the appearance of a good quality TV series. It does seem to have a good eye for character, especially on the leads, although it sometimes results in some very strange images for lesser characters. The pace is very patient (some will say slow). The environment is somewhat basic and the monster design and action is fairly limited. Of course this doesn't really matter for this sort of brooding atmospheric `creepy' horror. There is some violence and death, but the gore and violence is not the focus. In other words action fans, effects fans and those who dislike `weird stuff' are probably not going to think much of this. The voices for the leads, especially count D, are very good (I saw subbed).

There's an immense review at Akemi's AnimeWorld which gives praise (the characters and atmosphere) and criticism in all the right places. There is another lengthy and solid review from Lord Carnage who finds it freaky but to his tastes. Both of the reviews only give it average ratings however.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:23 WST 2009