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Series are multiple stories that go together; the order they are listed in on the tables of contents and directory pages are their chronological orders within the universe, not the order they were written or posted in. A tilde (~) denotes an original fiction series, while an abbreviation such as HP denotes a fanfiction series.

Pet Shop of Horrors

-Warning: Spoilers ahead-

The series Petshop of Horrors is described as a horror manga, and indeed involves a lot of death and tragedy. In the beginning of the series, there was little tying the individual chapters together aside from the fact that all of the dead had bought pets from D’s pet shop and a certain hotheaded cop was trying to figure out what was going on, but it grows to have more of a plot as the series progresses, and turns into a nice subtle shounen ai series. Throughout, D is beautiful and mysterious, and some of the artwork – especially D and the animals – is amazing.

My analysis is based on the original series manga and OVAs, and does not include PSoH: Tokyo, as I haven’t had an opportunity to read it. Please keep in mind that though this is only my own opinion, I have tried to be very objective. If you disagree, please don’t be offended, I only call it like I see it.

The Basics:

Plot

Bonding

8

Isolation

8

Backstory

2

World

Setting

7

Company

4

Ratio

9

Characters

Variety

4

Age

10

Bishi

9

Canon

6

Possibilities

7

Chemistry

9

Total

7.6

In Depth:

Plot

Bonding – Does the plot force male characters to become close friends or allies?

Yes, on almost all counts. Chis becomes closer to Leon, D, and Toutetsu. Leon and D share a lot and become much closer through the series. It’s good, but because the bonding-web isn’t compellely fleshed out – Toutetsu becomes no closer to D or Leon, and D’s family do nothing in particular – it only gets an 8.

Isolation – Are the male characters isolated together for any length of time?

Most of the characters, including Sofu D, are holed up in the shop most of the time, although Leon comes and goes. This gets an 8 as well.

Backstory – Do the characters have a past that implies sexual tension or chemistry, or otherwise ties them closely together?

There is no backstory between the two main characters before the series begins. There is almost no backstory between Leon and Chris, his little brother. There are intriguing hints with D and his father and grandfather, but they are relatively minor and not too likely to lead to yaoi, so this scores a 2.

_ – =*= – _

World

Setting – To what extent does the setting allow or encourage yaoi?

The series is set in Los Angeles, Ca., USA, a huge city in arguably the most morally liberal and homo-friendly state. As evidence by the way the minor characters who work with Leon easily accept his crush on D, a homosexual relationship would not raise many brows. L.A. gives PSoH a 7.

Company – Are there other, canon, yaoi couples?

Sort of. At one point D is almost raped by a gang, and Toutetsu either is or passes for gay when he appears in his human form. Lack of consistent company means only a 4, however.

Ratio – The female to male ratio of the main characters of the series.

There is only one major female character to the five persistent male characters, giving this score an easy 9.

_ – =*= – _

Characters

Variety – The number of different male main characters available to mix and match for yaoi.

PSoH’s cast is actually fairly small, and recurring male characters are limited; the series gets a 4 for variety. What they lack in numbers they make up for in interaction, however.

The characters I used follow, with basic pros (anything that can be exploited for) and cons to (anything that stands in the way of) their use in yaoi. All ages come from the inferences based on their surroundings, since aside from Chris they are never actually stated.

What you do with the characters is your own business, but I feel legally obligated to list being under the age of 18 as a Con.

-

D
Age: unknown – appears to be a young adult, considered “20” for the purposes of this. His personality and what’s revealed about his past indicate he is as old as he appears.

Pros: androgynous, beautiful, wears makeup, demonstrates potential to change, is involved in near-yaoi situations several times

Cons: is not human, has controlling parental figures

-

Leon
Age: unknown – is considered “25” for the purposes of this, because it would take at least that long to become a detective

Pros: seems to genuinely fall for D, is hot-headed and manly

Cons: is a womanizer

-

Toutetsu
Age: unknown – is considered “18” for the purposes of this, but is probably older
Pros: hotheaded punk, dominant, seduced D
Cons: is not human, seduced D to eat him

-

Chris
Age: 11
Pros: sees the animals as people, lives with D and the animals sometimes
Cons: is 11

-

Sofu (Grandfather) D
Age: unknown – at least 50, appears to be 20ish, like his descendants – considered “50” for the purposes of this
Pros: is magical, is somewhat controlling, is pretty
Cons: hates humans, is usually a bunny

-

Age – The average age of the main characters thought of for the “variety” rank. Between 18 and 30 is ideal.

The average age of the characters is 24.8, giving a score of 10.

Bishi – The rating of how beautiful and fascinating the bishounen are.

D could easily place in any bishounen pageant: his poise, his mismatched eyes, his exotic clothing that is easily taken for a dress, his mysterious past, not knowing just what he is, and the fact that he actually wears lipstick and fingernail polish give him many points. From what was seen, his father and grandfather look a lot like him and are just as mysterious. Toutetsu plays the part of badass nicely, and the other male animals are all intriguing. Leon is D’s opposite, a tall, manly, blond, abrasive, hot-headed man who fills out the set. I can’t say thatevery character is perfect, but it deserves at least a 9.

Canon – Are any of the main characters gay in canon? If one character is designed by the creator as gay or bisexual, this is automatically a five.

D and Toutetsu seduced each other – each toward their own ends, Toutetsu for D’s blood and D to have a Toutetsu in his menagerie, to be sure, but it was taken as a very real relationship. Leon is also commonly taken to have fallen for D, and they do have a complex relationship. This series passes the hurdle of having canon homosexuality that stalls other series at 4 and gets a 6.

Possibilities – How possible or likely is it for the characters to actually make a yaoi situation work, within their world?

Very easy. There are many possibilities for characters to get lost within the shop and spend a night together, or go out on the town, or even share a dream. An easy 7.

Chemistry – What sort of chemistry do the male characters have with each other?

To be honest, the series is written so that Leon and D have chemistry, and it succeeds. Chris and the animals, including Toutetsu, become a little emotionally flat, but the elder D’s both succeed in having chemistry with D and even some with Leon, if contempt or hatred can be called “chemistry”. Series gets a 9.

_ – =*= – _

In Addition:

Based on solely personality and character interaction, these are my picks for the top pairings. Again, my own opinions, but again, I tried to be objective. They aren’t necessarily all normal pairings, but they’re ones that actually seem like they would work well.

-

1 – Leon X D

Who is seme: Probably Leon – he’s time and again shown to be the manly one of the pair. D could probably be surprising, but if he happened to get rambunctious and broke a nail, Leon would have to take over…
What it is: Classic and borderline canon. They were intentionally written to have chemistry and a near-relationship, and they’re so easy to write.
Why it wouldn’t work: D sees humans as any other animals, so it would be beastiality. His grandfather would never stand for it, either.
How it could work: D sees animals as people, so he might not see anything wrong with beastiality…

-

2 – Sofu or Papa D X D

Who is seme: The elder D.
What it is: Probably not consensual. Neither of them seem particularly interested in D as a person, more in his continuation of their (separate) ideals. Neither of them seems particularly forgiving, either.
Why it wouldn’t work: It seems pretty unlikely that their race reproduces sexually, and neither of them actually showed signs of being ‘abusive’.
How it could work: As a dominance ritual such as is found in the animal kingdom, perhaps.

-

3 – Toutetsu X Chris

Who is seme: Toutetsu, being much the elder and such a dominant creature to boot.
What it is: Beastiality shouta, to start with. Consensual? Possibly. Cute? Probably not.
Why it wouldn’t work: Toutetsu is more interested in eating people than having sex with them. And Chris is his friend, but mostly just a kid he cares about.
How it could work: If Toutetsu were to get tired of his life in the shop and leave when Chris is grown up and an FBI agent, maybe to start his killing spree all over again…

-

Bonus – Ten-chan X anyone

Who is seme: Depends on what the ‘anyone’ needs.
What it is: Convenient. Ten-chan is a shapeshifter, after all…
Why it wouldn’t work: Good question. Ten-chan probably doesn’t want to be seen as a sex toy.
How it could work: Leon wanders to the shop, frustrated, and Ten-chan decides to play into his desires… D is lonely, and Ten-chan becomes who he needs… Chris is getting curious, and Ten-chan decides to help him out…

-

*note* I wanted to mention Toutetsu X D, but it felt over-heavy with “_ X D”s; he’s too easy to yaoi for his own good. Just keep it in mind, though…

_ – =*= – _

In Conclusion:

Pet Shop of Horrors is very yaoi-able, but lacks the variety to make it perfect. If you want to do the pairing intended in the series, you’re in luck, but if you don’t, you’re stuck with either technical bestiality or incest – both of those can work in fanfiction, but if that isn’t what you want, you’re a bit s-o-l.

My advice is to make the best of the potential there is. There are interesting things to be done with the fact that all three D’s look very similar, or the fact that Ten-chan is a shapeshifter, or D and Toutetsu’s initial relationship. If you don’t mind creating characters, play with the other animals in the shop. And if all else fails, D and Leon are a pretty good pair after all.

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