Pet isn’t a show that gathered much buzz before it’s release. And I get it. The first episode was fairly by the numbers psychological thriller that seemed to be trying extra hard to be grim! I assume at least some of that comes from the source material. It’s not necessarily a broad appeal anime. But that’s what drew me to the series.
Not the fact that it looks duhark and depressing. The fact that it looked duhark and depressing yet shared a lot of key production members with Natsume’s Book of Friends. Trying to reconcile these two facts in my mind was fascinating and I wanted to see the results for myself. I should say that Pet is not made by Shuka, however, and it shows.
I’m not sure if these were also the factors that also fuelled Karandi’s interest. We were going to review it together when it was first announced last season. Alas, I’m the only one that has access to it at the moment so as a consolation prize, I’m going to review it here!
Ok so this is a really long wind up for a first impressions post. That’s probably because this isn’t a great series to do a first impression on. The episode did a pretty good job introducing the world and laws of the universe but in many ways, that’s all it was. A setup.
We open on a young boy and it’s inferred that he has some type of mental *difference*. He seems to be detached from his environment and unable to communicate but it also seems like he can pick up on other people’s thoughts. He meets a mysterious stranger at the hospital with what seems to be a similar condition that gives him some advice on how to deal with it.
At this point the Pet moves to a completely different setting and we catch up with petty criminal (I don’t remember his name – I’m gonna call him Max) whose partner has suddenly and unexpectedly moved to Bali, leaving him behind to take care of business. Max is an easy-going guy but when he sees his old friend is not only not on Bali but also completely delusional (driving off a cliff to his death when told he could fly) he realizes he’s bitten off more than he can chew and goes into panic mode. Planning to escape and leave his bar behind for his new tenants to tend. Unfortunately, it seems someone has gotten to his own mind and reality becomes very unreliable.
This opener felt very much like a stand-alone story. I doubt we will see Max again. In fact Hiroki and Tsukasa, the supposed tenants are probably the closest thing we are left with as protagonists by the end of the episode yet they played a fairly small role. The purpose of the episode was really to show us a world where organized crime can actually control your mind directly instead of using old school treats and murder. We don’t actually know how the opening scene is connected to the rest, if at all.
The premise is not bad to me although I think the writing was occasionally trying a little too hard to come off grim and oppressive. As a fan of thrillers and crime series though, I know not to put too much stock in an opening episode. Both these genres need to establish a lot to catch the audience up and in Pet’s case there’s a supernatural element on top of that. And despite the occasional lack of grace of the script, it managed to cover a lot of ground with very little exposition which is promising to me.
I will say my curiosity is sufficiently piqued and I am happy to continue with the series although I also don’t think this one will be for everyone.
For those of you that might be curious, I saw no Natsume connection in Pet at all!
Am I the only one watching this show? I’m actually curious. The few reviews I’ve read were less enthusiastic so I am not sure who will be continuing on….
Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!
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Images from: Pet. Geno Studeio. 2020. Oomori, Takahiro.