Her Majesty’s Dog 10-11 by Mick Takeuchi: B

Amane has returned to the Kamori family island to take up her position as clan leader and dutifully accept the marriage arranged by her family. After several volumes of build-up, the identity of the traitor who has been hiring a renegade koma-oni (guardian demon) to perform violent acts is finally revealed. Guess when a surprise is not a surprise. When there’s a great big spoiler on the front cover, that’s when!

The traitor interrupts Amane’s succession and takes control of the clan and Hyoue. Muddled plotting, in which character motivations and revelations concerning Amane’s family are rather confusing, follows. Amane briefly returns to Tokyo in defeat, but after encouragement from her friends and some special training to perfect her skills, returns to the island to get Hyoue back.

I’ve found the biggest flaw of this series is its tendency to undercut serious scenes with “comedy.” This has happened so many times in the preceding volumes that one starts to think, “Here’s a pretty cool scene. I wonder how it will be ruined.” Anytime something pivotal occurs, I’m half afraid to turn the page to see what gag awaits me. Thankfully, these incidents are few in the final volumes, and eventually some satisfying stuff between Amane and Hyoue is allowed to happen without interference.

The best part of these final volumes is finally getting to see Amane grow as a person and as a character. She has been attempting to squelch her emotions for a long time, which has hindered her ability to use her powers fully. Finally, she faces up to the ugly side of herself and confidently makes a decision* about what it is she really wants.

On the whole, Her Majesty’s Dog isn’t a bad series, but if, like me, you get annoyed when dramatic moments are sabotaged by cheap gags, then it may not be for you.

* Includes a speech about precious memories.

Review copies provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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