Original Run: January 3, 2020 - March 30, 2020 Number of Episodes: 13 Genre: Mystery, Supernatural Based on the Series Created By: Ranjou Miyake
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Pet. Reader discretion is advised.***
The mind can only exist when it is in balance. Although memories range from joyous to horrific, they are the foundations of a person’s personality. Therefore, even the smallest tweak can result in devastating consequences.
In the underworld, there exists an organization simply known as the Company. To achieve its goals, the Company employs special operatives to enter a target’s mind. These operatives can add new thoughts, delete past experiences, and, when necessary, destroy a person’s very consciousness. Called Crushers, these people are among the Company’s most valuable assets, and its main three are Tsukasa, Hiroki, and Satoru (voiced respectively by Kishou Taniyama, Keisuke Ueda, and Yuuki Ono).
Being able to play with the mind can be dangerous. Therefore, bonds between Crushers can mean the difference between life and death.
I don’t often mention a series’s opening song in one of these reviews; they never have any bearing on how the subsequent show is going to go. That said, some openings are more memorable than others. Pet’s wasn’t anything special, but boy, it sure as hell sounded familiar.
Supposing you can’t quite place what you’re hearing in this show’s theme, it’s called Cho no Tobu Suiso. That isn’t anything special, but the artist, TK from Ling tosite Sigure, was also responsible for one of the most recognizable opening songs in anime – Unravel from Tokyo Ghoul.
Admittedly, all of this has been trivial information, and I wouldn’t expect anyone to get any sense of what Pet was like by knowing it. However, I will say this. Although this series might have sounded like Tokyo Ghoul, it most definitely wasn’t Tokyo Ghoul. And to kill any remaining uncertainty:
Pet was booooring.
Now, I don’t want to delve into this series’s dullness just yet, but it won’t be much longer. There wasn’t much I liked about this show. Therefore, anything I am about to mention is stretching at its finest.
To give Pet at least some credit, I did like this series’s depiction of how the mind worked. In a nutshell, every person’s consciousness consists of valleys and a peak. Valleys are low points in someone’s memory, be it a traumatic childhood experience, the loss of a dear loved one, or any other horrible event. Alternatively, a peak is the manifestation of a person’s happiest memory, a.k.a., the most defining positive moment one has ever experienced.
Everyone has their valleys and their peak, and together they form a person’s personality. These two extremes are in balance with one another, and the slightest change to either can have serious consequences. This dynamic was essential to Pet because many of its characters could enter minds. Once inside someone’s subconscious, it then became possible for memories to be altered. These alterations, particularly if they happened within a peak, could be deadly.
To this end, I understand how Pet worked. The problem I had with this series was, it was never clear why I should have cared.
In any story, there needs to be something to latch onto; there needs to be something worth rooting for. Often, this anchor-point falls to the protagonist. After all, this is the character who is pushing the narrative forward. This role can be filled by an individual or by a group. Many times, this position is reserved for “the good guy.” But that is not a set-in-stone rule. A bad guy can just as easily be in the driver’s seat.
The sky is the limit, but there does need to be something. For if there is nothing, then you get Pet.
Be that as it may, I am not saying this series didn’t have a protagonist. The reality is quite the reverse. Pet had several protagonists in the forms of Tsukasa, Hiroki, and Satoru. Hell, you could argue the list is even longer than that. Nevertheless, the quantity wasn’t the issue. The biggest thing going against this series was a gross lack of investment.
The central antagonist of Pet was the Company. Putting aside the laughably generic name, what exactly was the Company, and what did it do? The best answer I can give you is “mob stuff.” Okay, that’s a start, but unfortunately, that was all it ever was.
Through and through, Pet was the story of an internal dispute between like ten people. Power moves didn’t really mean anything. The Company’s politics were hollow. There were never any outside rivalries. Everyone kept plotting against one another. Advantages, if they existed at all, were fleeting. It was amazing how little there was going on, despite so many different moving parts.
Oh, and people were whiny. Holy s#$@, people (Hiroki) were so goddamn whiny the entire time.
I don’t want to label Pet’s characters as flawed since flawed characters can be exciting. What this series had was a collection of people that didn’t have any influence on the world around them, and yet, if you asked them, many would have thought they were the center of the freaking universe. That unearned importance was annoying since if anyone in this show had failed at what they were trying to do, nothing would have happened.
Please, if you have an answer, tell me in the comments below, what was at stake in Pet?
I already said it. This show was boring, and it was simply thirteen episodes worth of forgettable background noise.
I will admit that this series was working with an okay premise. Nothing came of that premise since this show also had some of the blandest characters ever.
This story had no hook. There was nothing worth your time. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if this review was the only exposure you had of this series. You certainly don’t need to watch it.
I must encourage you to take a hard pass with Pet.
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Pet? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.