Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo Volume 4 Horror Book Review
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Horror books Review
The fourth volume in Matsuri Akino’s “Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo,” continues to deliver that particular bishonen/supernatural fantasy for which Matsuri is known. If you are picking up volume four, then you are probably already familiar with the series and know what to expect.
Volume four continues the play between the mysterious Pet Shop owner Count D and the head of the Chinese mafia in Kabuki cho, Woo Fei. I am hoping a few of the sub-plots come to a head soon, because Woo’s disbelief is getting hard to believe. He has been presented with water dragons and kappas right before his very eyes, but he still thinks Count D is running some sort of prostitution/human trafficking business.
There are five customers in volume four, and so you get five short stories. A Romeo/Juliet situation, with the children of two rival gangs falling in love with each other, and seeking refuge at Count D’s mysterious Pet Shop. At first, the connection between these children and the animal’s that make up D’s world seems tenuous, but by the end all becomes clear. Next, a more heart-tugging story has a male calico cat being the only thing keeping an estranged husband and wife together, along with the ghost of a small child that haunts their apartment. Can Count D help the family? Then, unlike Woo Fei’s misdirected suspicions, a tale of true human trafficking comes to a head when a poor Chinese girl who has been taken advantage of by her pimps and brokers is caught and deported. What will become of the girl’s beloved chipmunk? This is followed by a wonderful tale of an aging snake woman and a fox shrine, as well as a beautiful actress and an iguana.
There was a lot more “horror” pumped into volume four, which I like to see in a series that has “horror” in the title. There are some elements of Japanese mythology here, but nothing really overwhelming. Probably the story at the Fox Shrine is the only one that might be mildly confusing. I really enjoy how Matsuri puts a few animal notes in the back of the book, talking about the real animals featured in each story. I had no idea male calico cats were that rare!