Yuzu the Pet Vet Review

Yuzu the Pet Vet is definitely one of the most emotional manga titles around. It deals heavily with animals appearing in every chapter since that’s a big part of the plot so you can probably guess where this is going. The series is meant to be a fairly light hearted, but cautionary tale on how hard it is to raise pets but unfortunately that means showing us examples of lots of bad owners and so there are a lot of dogs that get injured in this one. I’d definitely say to give it a skip if you have a pet or even in general to be honest since there are just too many pets in harm’s way here.

The series starts off with Yuzu moving to her uncle’s place because her mother is very ill. Yuzu’s mom has been in and out of the hospital for a while now but it seems extra serious this time so Yuzu’s not in a great mood. Her uncle is an animal doctor and he treats all kinds of patients. He wants her to help out while she’s around the house but the problem is that she is terrified of animals. The more she helps her uncle, the more she starts to get comfortable around them though. Who knows, maybe she can even become a proper pet vet someday?

The cast is very small here because this really is an episodic kind of series. The only constant characters are Yuzu’s uncle, mother, and the dog Sora. Even Yuzu’s best friend only appears for around 2 pages in the whole series which is pretty crazy. It’s too bad because she seemed like a high quality character and yet there isn’t anything to say about her because that was just way too short of a period. What can you really talk about with a character who has appeared so briefly? I’ll tell you…nothing! That’s all there is to say there. Definitely a wasted opportunity.

As for Yuzu, well of course she’s not great when starting out but she does improve as the series goes on. She gradually learns how to be nice to animals and by the end of the series she is the one with the wise sayings keeping the other kids in their place. She really came very far by the end and I can definitely appreciate that. That being said, as a kid there’s still only so much that she can do to help. At the end of the day the Uncle still has to take center stage when the going gets tough. Once Yuzu is grown up I’m confident she will really be helping in the pet vet business.

I can’t ask much more out of a kid for now and it’s better to be scared of animals than to be mean to them. Even during the pre arc she never tried anything like that so I appreciated this. Her uncle is a solid character. He can definitely be a bit short tempered with the kids and gets super strict but considering how high stakes a pet’s life is, it’s the right move. I can definitely respect that extra fire he has. You need that in order to convince people that you’re on the right side. His advice is always correct to so that’s an important thing to keep in mind. Without him the town would definitely be finished since it seems like there are no other big pet doctors around.

Meanwhile Yuzu’s mom is a solid character. Her main issue is that she can try a little too hard to do everything at once and it often ends up with her getting even sicker. There comes a time where you have to know your limits and that’s her moral by the end. She still helps Yuzu out around the vet once in a while but makes sure not to over tax herself which is important. It’ll be nice to see her as a main character once she’s all better.

I should note that the uncle has a pet dog named Sora who is always around. He’s a bit of a mean pup though as he is always trying to bite Yuzu and cause problems. Not the best first experience for someone who is already scared of animals. Sora gradually becomes nicer and less violent as the series goes on. By the end I would say that they really are good friends.

The art is very clear here. I would say the quality is surprisingly high overall and there is never any moment where you are wondering what is going on. The artist does a good job here. Sure, there are no action scenes so it’s not going to be as difficult to keep things clear as with another manga but it still deserves some good props for pulling that off. It makes going through the volumes real easy.

Of course the only thing that makes going through them hard is how sad most of the stories are. Basically how things play out is usually the owner is being an accidental jerk and neglecting the dog. The dog gets sick so then they head over to the uncle’s place where he fixes up the dog. On a high level that’s usually how this goes and so the rough part is always the first half. For one reason or another the owner will usually say that he or she doesn’t want to go through with any operations or see the doctor. Usually the owner is convinced that his puppy will be okay and so the dog has to put up with a lot until he’s at the doctor’s.

The series also tries to teach us about loss so lets just say that not every animal survives here. Another big no no when you think about it. I don’t want to see any animals dying or even hearing about it. Again the series may be about animals but you don’t have to go this far with it. Having animals get injured or get super sick is just way too sad. The manga should have been about healing them before they get sick. Like have one of them get the ability of foresight and that would have been cool. Sure, the manga is slightly not realistic but you can still teach a lot of lessons to the kids reading the series. I think that would work really well and there aren’t many alternatives. Sure you could make the series about robotic animals I guess…but I feel like that would probably be a hard sell. I don’t see it working as smoothly as you might assume even though I would be all for it.

At the end of the day one of the biggest issues here is that you just won’t have any fun. Sure the chapters usually end on a positive note but only after you’ve been completely beaten emotionally. It’s hard to enjoy the payoff by that point. It’s like when you fall off a bike and injure your knee. Sure, it feels good when you get up and make it home, but the bump still stings. That’s what every chapter is like here and since having fun is one of the main objectives here, there’s just no way this would end up being a quality title. There isn’t really any good reasons to check this one out at the end of the day. I would recommend a ton of manga way higher.

Overall, The series is fairly short at 7 volumes and since it’s episodic by nature that makes it feel even shorter. The volumes are mainly all stand alones and even most of the adventures stop at just one chapter. So it’s not like the sagas are long either. Whether you like the series or not will depend completely on how much you enjoy the premise and the stories that are included here. Ultimately they didn’t do the trick for me. Even though the stories are about helping the animal in the end, the animal always had to go through a lot first which was no good. That’s what the series really should have avoided even if it means changing the premise of the series altogether. At the same time I think you could have pulled this off without injuring any animals. Have the missions be a little more low stakes and it all could have worked out.

Overall 1/10

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