Ayame and Hyoue are the couple in class known for their PDA – Ayame cannot stop kissing Hyoue. Of course, there’s more to this couple than meets the eye: Ayame is a medium, raised in a remote mountain village, and Hyoue is her protector, a dog-spirit. Ayame, as all her ancestors have, made a deal with the spirit world and Hyoue – if he guards her, she will allow him to feed off of her life force, hence all of the kissing. Of course, Hyoue hasn’t been completely honest – kisses aren’t officially necessary, but who can pass up such a sweet deal?

A combination of supernatural suspense, school comedy, and a growing romance, Her Majesty’s Dog is an endearing take on the powerful girl/protector manga fantasy plot. Hauntings and exorcisms add a creepy aspect to the tale, but the real story is Ayame’s coming of age as both a medium and as a teenage girl. Sheltered from birth, adjusting to a typical city high school is not easy for her, and a new girl is an easy target for bullying. While Hyoue is a comforting, if occasionally bratty, companion, Ayame embraces the possibility for friends. Being a medium complicates her life, but she handles her duties with sensitivity and power that is a nice shift from schoolgirls fumbling newfound powers. As the series continues, only time will tell how long she can remain independent from the villagers who still try to control her, and whether all of Hyoue’s smooching will build to something more.

Her Majesty’s Dog Volume 1
by Mick Takeuchi
ISBNP: 0976895730
Go! Comics, 2006

  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

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