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Eighteen-year-old Suguri Miyauchi heads for the city to strike out on her own with only her loyal dog Lupin for company. But one fateful afternoon at a rest stop, she finds Lupin getting to know another dog a little better. The dog in question is Noa, a purebred Labrador on her way to be bred with another pure Lab, and Lupin's intrusion has ruined everything. To make up for it, Suguri offers herself as an employee to Noa's owner, Teppei Iida, who runs a pet shop called Woofles.
Suguri simply adores dogs and takes to her new job at once. However, it soon becomes apparent that she has an amazing way with dogs, almost enough to know exactly what they're thinking...
A fun slice of life manga, Inubaka is being developed into a live-action movie. While the quality of that movie is yet to be seen, the manga is highly recommended to anyone who likes cute slice of life stories. And if you don't think dogs are cute now...you will. You will.
The manga provides examples of:
- Accidental Pervert
- Art Evolution: Mainly noticeable in the dogs. While not bad to begin with, comparing earlier chapters to more recent ones makes it clear that the dogs are becoming more realistic-looking as time goes by.
- Author Appeal: The author makes no secret of how fond she is of her dogs, and it's reasonable to view the entire series as the author's excuse to draw as many dogs as possible. Plus, the inclusion of photos of readers' dogs at the end of every volume after the first.
- Canine Companion: Well, it is called Inu-baka, isn't it?
- Cannot Spit It Out: Kim, towards Suguri. Arguably Suguri, towards Teppei, although it's not quite clear if she realizes just how she feels about him.
- Coming of Age Story: A large theme of the story is Suguri finally leaving her overprotective parents (though given she was kidnapped at the age of four, not completely irrational in that regard) and growing up by living on her own. She also comes of age in regards to dog ownership; while always able to make fast friends with them, she learns more about how to care for them.
- Dogs Are Dumb: Definitely averted, but occasionally played straight with Lupin.
- Dog Walks You: Lupin seems to like doing this to anyone other than Suguri.
- Fan Service: A ton of it.
- Genki Girl: Geez, does anything ever truly get Suguri down?
- Handsome Lech: Lupin is this in dog form.
- Heroic Dog: Lupin's grandfather, who rescues a four-year-old Suguri from a kidnapping.
- Lupin himself has a moment or two.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sometimes Teppei comes off as this, though he's far more gold than jerk.
- Meaningful Name: Lupin's name alludes to Lupin III: he's quite fond of women, but he's also the third of his line.
- Mismatched Eyes: Lupin's sister Amuro has one brown eye and one blue eye.
- My New Gift Is Lame: Suguri's mom keeps sending boxes of osenbe (a kind of rice cracker); Teppei amasses quite a pile of them.
- When finally asked to bring back something other than the onion senbei from all the other appearances of her family, she brings back onion udon (thick noodles), which go over just as well.
- Never Work with Children or Animals: Subverted; model Yamarin shoots a commercial with a Papillon puppy whom she later adopts.
- Oblivious to Love: You'd think Teppei'd clue in already, though Suguri isn't as obvious as she could be...
- Suguri is equally oblivious as to Kim's affection towards her.
- Otaku: Akiba, who (mostly) switches from idol-otaku to dog-otaku.
- Pet the Dog: Hibino, who despite working for a giant faceless corporation, truly loves dogs and works for their well-being
- Pretty Freeloaders: Suguri, and later Momoko
- Puppy Dog Eyes: Well, yeah.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Puppies!!
- Take a Third Option: Faced with having to choose sides on the Wan-Kaw/Woofles issue, Mikage instead leaves to study veterinary medicine.
- Triang Relations: Two different instances of Type 5 - Teppei isn't romantically interested in anyone, Suguri is interested in Teppei, and both Kim and Fujita are interested in Suguri (obviously, the former is presented much more positively than the latter).
- Say It with Hearts
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: They're a bit more realistic than most portrayals, but Teppei and Suguri certainly qualify.
- Sempai-Kohai: When Ryusuke is hired, Suguri gets incredibly excited about finally being someone's senior.
- Shown Their Work: The manga shows an incredible level of detail in depicting various breeds, the birth of puppies, etc.
- Slice of Life: A usually light-hearted example.
- Sitting on the Roof
- Sneezing: Both dogs and humans will sneeze when someone elsewhere is talking about them.
- Stalker with a Crush: Fujita-san, especially with his Jail Bait Wait. Has obvious designs on becoming a Bastard Boyfriend.
- Tsundere: Chizuru, although her "dere-dere" side comes out for her dog more than for anyone human.
- Urine Trouble: Puppies get so happy when Suguri's around that they pee themselves with joy.
- Visible Sigh: Often from dogs, particularly Lupin, and Zidane, who snorts.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Kim is initially rather frightened of dogs, due to being regularly chased by feral ones during his childhood. He eventually gets over it and becomes a full-blown dog lover after adopting Chanta, a shiba puppy.