Doomsday With My Dog Volume 1 Balances Existence and Laughs

Doomsday With My Dog Volume 1 cover of Shiba Inu Haru with his master standing behind him.

Doomsday With My Dog Volume 1 follows a teen girl and her dog, Shiba Inu Haru, as they traverse the world after it’s ended. This nameless girl is the only human left. Though alone, with her conversational dog, they discuss a slew of topics. There’s no telling if the story is in chronological order; instead, it all feels like snapshots of moments ranging from profound to hilarious to dull. Due to inconsistent tone and pacing, Doomsday With My Dog Volume 1 slogs initially as readers try to glean what is going on before finding its stride.

Created by Yu Ishihara and translated by Athena and Alathea Nibley with lettering by Elena Pizarro, Doomsday With My Dog Volume 1 is existential discussions between a girl and her dog. Serialized in English by Yen Press, the full-color illustrations strengthen the desolation. Told in 4 or 8 panels, you’re thrown into the deep end with little explanation. Suspension of disbelief is essential to make it through the series as everything pops up. Aliens, goddesses, and talking owls claiming to be the devil all make appearances. 

Doomsday With My Dog Volume 1 Is Slow-going Initially

As it is more akin to snapshots, adjusting to the material and pacing takes longer. Each panel differs from the other. Imagine a film that is random conversations between two people at any given moment, then visualize one of them as a dog. Occasional panels occur back-to-back in order, but most lack a clear timeline. Although, as the only human left in the world with a dog for a conversationalist, time doesn’t matter. They’re not on a deadline, after all. But the absence of clarity made it challenging at the start.

The girl whose name we never get as her dog, Haru, calls her “master” dims next to Haru. He’s intelligent while maintaining the attributes expected of a dog. Thanks to that, there are funny moments. More introspective, Doomsday With My Dog Volume 1 causes reflection on personal views about abstract concepts. This is not a series jam-packed with action and suspense. There’s no tension as you turn the next page, as the entire panel often begins and ends on the same page. The only tension arrives near the end of the volume.

Hilarity With Animals

Doomsday With My Dog Volume 1 cover of Shiba Inu Haru with his master standing behind him.
Doomsday With My Dog Volume 1 cover

Laughter has layers, especially since the pensive discussions are never between two humans. Haru philosophizing creates hilarity, but some of the funniest moments are their encounters with other dogs. After all, since the rest of humanity is gone, the rest of the pets are alone. Like people, other dogs look down on Haru, yet their jealousy is easy to observe. They yearn for connection just like any other animal or person.

Some panels shine brighter than others. Like when the girl uses a dog translator device to see what her Haru thinks. At times, it’s like Haru is trolling his master to see her responses. Any pet owner knows their pet is smarter than people believe. They are sweet, mischievous, combative, etc. Hilarious jabs about the more obedient nature of Westernized dogs versus the independence of Eastern canines sparkle too. I can’t forget the hijinks with the raccoon’s multiple attempts to replace Haru. The first volume has priceless amusement that brings to mind The Great Outdoors and The Incredibles 2

Doomsday With My Dog Volume 1 resembles an anthology film. So not every panel knocks it out of the park, but there’s enough the further you delve into the volume to make it rewarding. Discussions about culture, existence, and love mixed with comedy are where this series resides. This series might not tempt you if you’re not into series with next to no action. Still, there’s a hint of something toward the end that raises huge questions, but overall it’s all chatter. Like a fevered fantasy, Doomsday With My Dog Volume 1 winds up a compelling read if you love reading tales that cause introspection. 

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