Count D, a quite interesting pet shop owner from an area called Chinatown, sells rare and hard to come by pets to people longing for something special, but with each sale comes a contract. If the rules of the contract are followed, everything goes fine, but if someone should break the rules of the contract, the pet shop cannot be held responsible for anything unfortunate that might happen. Leon Orcot, a homicide detective, has linked many odd and unexplainable deaths together; they all were customers of Count D's pet shop, and he intends to find out why.
A short anime about a creepy pet shop in Chinatown. You can certainly say that I was quite interested when I heard about Pershop of Horrors. And it was just 4 episodes so I decided to give it a try. It was indeed quite interesting, but very inconsistent. The 4 episodes were 4 different story's and they are very different both in themes and quality. So let's look at this promising mess.
Count D (yes, that's really our main characters name) owns a pet shop in China Town, and as if that isn't weird enough he also looks like a gothic emo with… interesting eyes (if you have already watched this anime, you know what I mean). Oh and he sells mythical creatures and the customers have to sign a creepy contract to buy these creatures. And if they break the contract, disaster and even death follow. Intriguing to say at least, our other main character, a police man named Leon, seems to think the same thing and is quite suspicious of this "pet shop". When clients of the pet shop die one after another, he tries his best to figure out what's going on and he kind of fails.
There are 4 different stories about people who buy "pets" in the pet shop and then break the contract. Every story was very different, because of this the viewers have no time to learn more about the characters and by the end of the story you still don't know what was really going on. Why did Count D sell these mythical creatures? Where did he find them? There are so many unanswered questions and the anime was just way too short. Another problem was that the 4 story's all have a different atmosphere, the first two were darker than the last two. Because of this, it felt like the creators just picked 4 random stories added a creepy pet shop and then put them together in one anime.
The story had a lot of potential and it was very interesting. But it was way too short and it turned into a mess, an intriguing mess. A lot of questions remain unanswered and the story was very inconsistent, even though the themes were really interesting. It just could have been some much more if there were more episodes.
The art just screams 90's, especially the character designs. But only Count D and some of his pets looked interesting, most of the other characters looked bland. The makers tried to create a dark, creepy and spooky atmosphere. Because of this a lot of dark colors were used, the animation itself was not that bad for an anime made in 1999, but it's certainly not good. Some of the character designs and the backgrounds were just lazy. Come on Madhouse, we all know you can do better than this.
The animation is mediocre and the character designs could have been better. It isn't extremely bad for a 90's anime but people who watch anime for the art and the pretty colors (I really hope that these kind of anime fans are a small minority) will be disappointed.
To say the music was not the best part of this anime is an understatement. The opening and ending song were both extremely forgettable. For the background music and sounds, the sounds sometimes just disappeared and the background music was weak, though the music managed to create a spooky atmosphere now and then. And the English dub is officially one of the worst dubs ever made, just don't watch this anime with the dub when you care about your ears. The Japanese voice acting was better but still pretty weak.
The music and the sounds were by far the weakest part of this anime, the opening, ending and background music were forgettable and the dub is horrible.
There is literally no character development, normally this would have been enough to give the characters a 2/10. But the anime is just 4 episodes so I can't really blame the creators for having no time to properly develop the characters. Most characters only appear in one episode, these characters aren't particularly interesting but they serve their purpose and are more or less plot devices. Count D is quite charming and Leon is bland. There isn't much to say about the characters because there are only 4 episodes. But it's not a very strong aspect of this show.
The characters aren't well-developed, but this anime is only 4 episodes so that's logical. Count D is an decent character and everyone else is just very bland, but the characters aren't really bad, just boring.
It was so promising and so intriguing, if there were more episodes and a better theme exploration this anime could have been great. Now, it's an interesting anime with a lot of flaws, bland characters and questions. But it's very enjoyable to watch and especially the third episode made me feel genuinely sad. I believe that this anime could be really good if it had more episodes, sadly enough it only has 4 episodes and it's just an advertisement for the manga.
It could have been so much more, damn you Madhouse. The music was a serious problem and the animation was weak. Also it was way too short, why was it only 4 episodes long?! But this anime is still pretty interesting and because of the fact that it only has 4 episodes, I still advice everyone to watch it, but only if you're really bored or when you have nothing better to do. read more
This anime should be watched expecting nothing at all, it may not be developed as other series and it seems like if the budget was really limited but keeping all those issues aside, it’s a really interesting anime to watch.
It doesn’t compare to the actual manga, but the chapters selected for the anime are the more interesting. Though there are two main characters, count D (do not mistake him for Dracula) and detective Leon Orcot (those two have a really funny love/hate relationship), the real characters are those involved with the story of each episode.
Each episode has a different story line, they may be short but are profound and always giving a message at the end. It’s a dark and full of mystery anime, but the stories provide a positive impact.
The technical features may no be great (animation, sound) but are well done and I think it should be continued. read more
When compared side-by-side with the manga of the same name, the Pet Shop of Horrors anime suddenly looks shoddy and duct-taped together. However, as a stand-alone anime it is very unique.
Each episode can be watched without having any background knowledge of the series, as they are all their own story, similar to anime such as pokemon were it is easy to jump in at any point in the series. However, this is also a drawback, as were there should be a pause to explain something further or in more detail, the show chugs along over it, crossing its fingers and hoping that the audience will understand.
As dark anime go, Pet Shop of Horror doesn't necessarily have a unique concept, but the overall story is unique. It's easy to become lost in the episodes, which provide a unique "this-could-really-happen" sense that few others manage to achieve.
The animation leaves something to be desired, however, with even the Japanese, English-subbed version looking like a terrible American dub. The background music is interesting, but the anime also keeps things quiet were there should be ambient noise such as birds, cars, even the wind.
Character development is limited, but as the series is so short it's not so much that they didn't bother, its that there simply isn't enough time to get to know the characters and watch them grow.
Overall, if you watch anime for the music or animation then this isn't for you. Fans of the manga, be prepared as these episodes are based almost word-for-word on stories from the first three volumes.read more
Ever since The Twilight Zone, there have been countless anthology shows consisting of supernatural parables made to be lessons and food-for-thought for the viewer. This trend is even present in anime. Case in point Petshop of Horrors, a 4 episode OVA produced by Madhouse in 1999. This collection of horror stories is quite Twilight Zone-esque in nature, with each episode being a stand alone parable. While the shows does have some things working against it, it is still a treat for fans of this type of show.
The 4 stories are connected are by a petshop that secretly deals in strange creatures that come with a set of rules that the owner must follow... or the shop will not be held accountable for what happens to them. Yeah, this sounds a lot like Gremlins now (the shop is even in Chinatown), but it works well as a set up for the stories. The costumers of the shop include A mother and Father who have recently lost their daughter; a man whose wife had died on their wedding day; an actor down on his luck; and the campaign manager of an aspiring politician. All of them have issues that come to light when they bring their new pets home. There is also a little extra continuity tossed in with a detective who is suspicious of the petshop and is constantly at odds with its owner, Count D.
The first two stories unfold like like a mystery. In both cases the shop's costumer has suffered a loss of a loved one, but there is more to it than just that. There are circumstances behind the loved ones' deaths that are revealed as the story unfolds, which lead up to the parables' morals and, in both cases, grisly conclusions. The third plays out more like an inevitable tragedy with a cynical bit of irony at the end. The forth tale is by far the strangest, as we watch one of the character's desires being played out in a somewhat perverse way at the end. The show takes from both eastern and western mythologies for its supernatural elements, involving creatures such as mermaids, medusa, and kirin; which of course act as the catalyst of the story. Each story has interesting themes and is well paced, making the best of the time it has.
This is not to say everything about this show is good, it certainly has some big shortcomings. The first of which is rather obvious, its length. With the show being only four episodes long it does not have the luxury to cover the wide array of topics a longer anthology could, and is consequently less impacting. There is also the issue with the stories themselves. It is true that they do work well as parables, but they have little to no subtly. The characters are fairly one dimensional (though not necessarily uncompelling) mostly there just to make a point. The delivery of the messages is pretty heavy handed, cut and dry with little left to think on. Finally, there is that little bit of continuity with detective Leon Orcot (I did not name him earlier) and Count D, which unfortunately goes nowhere. Neither character has any meaningful development, and only serve the role of someone for the viewer to follow from episode to episode, and say the moral of the parable out loud.
On the techinical side of things, Petshop of Horror is heavy with creepy atmosphere. The color pallet aims for both ominous and mystifying, and fulfills its role quite well. Character designs are fairly typical of 90's anime, though Count D and the 'pets' he sells look quite striking. Backgrounds aren't anything special, but get the job done. Honestly, the show looks best when it is being mystical and creepy; the opening scene with the tiger painting or the climax of any of the stories will attest to that. The music also goes for the spooky vibe, and while not anything special on its own, works well with the visuals and story to create an ominous atmosphere. One example of this is the insert song in the second episode, which is not particularly good, but is memorable because it was used to great effect.
While not amongst the elite of its kind, Petshop of Horrors is certainly worth the small amount of time it takes up. Its stories are uniformly good, and have some interesting ideas which at the very least might make for good conversation material. If you are in the mood for something short, spooky, and just a tad thoughtful, then I recommend picking up this OVA.read more