An adorable talking dog that solves crimes with it's owner. I thought it was gonna childish, instead we have a surprisingly mature story with deep emotions. Along with a few disturbing scenes I wish to forget.
Story: So... *cough* The talking dog is very entertaining and certainly makes a good detective. The whole first volumes was one arc. While not revealing anything about the "main plot-line", the first arc was indeed well made, had a good pace and ended in a satisfying way. They threw in many serious and uncomfortable dilemmas straight away, making in hard to stop reading, but also feel a bit conflicted about
what is right and wrong. (trying very hard not to spoil here!!!) The following volumes was in the same format, one arc usually being over a hundred pages, with the occasional short stories.
Is the story good / interesting / awesome? Yes to all. But do not expect a story that really shows justice to the mystery-detective books out there. While it is serious enough to show plenty of violence, blood and murder, it's still about a cute lil' doggy and it's owner (a high-school student, obviously!). As long as you can accept the fluffy dog, you will have a good time.
Art: Considering that the manga is already 8 years old (why am I only finding out about this manga now!?) the art is detailed and consistently high quality for it's age. The dog's fluffiness is indisputable. Which is nice. The human characters doesn't have as much impact, though that might be expected from having a such a silly detective as one of the main characters. Suspects makes their super-creepy faces that makes me shiver, so the art is indeed good, but that is a bit hard to actually compliment....
Characters: Are you a Holmes fan? If so, this cute doggy must be a real slap in the face for you. Me, I actually prefer this version more than any of the live-action Sherlock's I've seen, mainly because I never liked him. So, it's up for debate whether or not it's a respectable character, but the dog's cute and smart so that's enough for me. The male protagonist Takeru (wow, how original) is fairly likable, not the typical boring goody-goody character, so it's an acceptable prospect with hopes that he becomes a fine man with Sherdog on his side.
Overall, this manga is very cute. The writing is good and the art is great. While I do like the story and characters, it all comes down to the dog. If it were a human boy, then it would be a weak and boring story, but it's a dog. With a hat, smoking a pipe. That's the selling point. The questions is, can you enjoy a character like that? I sure did.
Note: In the 7th (last) volume, the main arc was about to begin, the big climax which was hinted about so many times, it was finally here! But for some undisclosed reason, it was said in the afterword that the manga will be put on hiatus. Thus throwing a bucket of cold water on this burning passion I had for this manga. So for that reason, I cannot recommend this manga for anyone. Even though it was oh so good.