ANIME & MANGA - Review
14:18 - 18th April 2013, by Lesley Smith

Tramps Like Us 1

The Japanese title Kimi wa Pet ('You're My Pet') summarises the first volume of Tramps Like Us perfectly. Doormat Sumire was enjoying her life, she had a good job and a boyfriend - and then things just spiralled out of control. She discovers her boyfriend is having an affair and gets demoted at work.

Every cloud has a silver lining, and Sumire's is a guy called Momo, a gorgeous young man she finds on the street and takes in. As far as visitors are concerned, Momo is just her pet dog (he even barks!), but this causes problems when one of Sumire's dates confesses he loves dogs and she has to borrow her friend's pooch while Momo hides. As befitting a pet dog, Momo is fiercely protective of Sumire, especially when she begins seeing other guys or having a one-night stand with her ex. Their odd relationship is, without a doubt, the crux of the story.

As is typical with TOKYOPOP translations, the book is presented in authentic right-to-left format, but some aspects of the manga have been tampered with. Sumire is a keen smoker and one panel sees her attempting to light her latest cigarette with a lighter, while a note to the reader explains that it's actually chocolate! There are couple of bonus features after the main story, a single page strip introducing the Japanese editor of the series, and a page illustrated by Mariko Nagakawa. Unfortunately, that's it for bonus content, which is a shame.

Aside from this, the artwork is clean and has a more rounded style than many manga. Sumire, doormat or not, has an interesting personality and Momo is definitely cute. He even refers to Sumire as his 'Mistress', just as she constantly refers to him as her pet. His unwaveringly loyal attitude is not surprising, as manga is full of characters who are hopelessly devoted to one another. However, Momo takes his roll as Sumire's pet to heart, which is odd, even by the standards of many manga.

The premise of the manga is intriguing (it even inspired a live action TV show starring Jun Matsumoto) although it seems hard to believe there are still 13 volumes to go.

SCORE: 3/5
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