Gia's List: 8 Anime Dogs You'd Want to Adopt

by Gia Manry, Oct 1st 2011

8. Ein (Cowboy Bebop)
Ranking number eight primarily due to the sheer popularity of the character, Ein is a scientifically enhanced "data dog" with impressive intelligence, although it's hard to say what exactly these two facts have to do with one another. The real tragedy of Ein's existence is that the crew of the Bebop seems largely oblivious to his contributions, even when Ed speaks for him. Still, a dog who can play shogi, manipulate livestock to help catch a bounty, and and hack a cult's website? Good luck finding one at your local shelter.

7. Sadaharu (Gintama)
At first glance, Sadaharu is just another adorable white fluffy puppy. Pull the camera out, however, and you realize there's more to him that just that: he's also enormous. Technically, Sadaharu isn't just a dog— he's an inugami, a dog-god, and among other things he can grow even larger by eating strawberries and milk. In this form he also develops a pair of horns. Sadaharu's favorite pastime, though, is biting the heads of various characters in the series, from the protagonists to the one-offs.

6. Black Hayate (Fullmetal Alchemist)
If a dog's personality reflects its owner's, it's no surprise that the smart, by-the-book Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye's dog is such a disciplined pooch. Sure, the strict pre-dinner routine (sit, shake once with each paw, and lie down) may not seem like a big deal, but Hayate has been known to jump in the line of fire to protect his master...as well as obeying pretty much every command she gives him. Then again, if someone was training you by shooting your outline in a wall every time you do something wrong, you'd probably become pretty obedient too.

5. Yatter-Wan (Yatterman)
A giant dog-shaped prototype robot, Yatter-Wan (the name is, naturally, a pun— "wan" is the Japanese equivalent of "woof") sports rescue sirens and lights, iron pellets it fires out its nose, fire hoses on its back, and a horde of mini-robots to help it fight off the bad guys. The dog was built by Gan-chan, a mechanic and son of a famous toy designer who came up with his original design. Gan-chan and his girlfriend Ai-chan join forces with Yatter-Wan to fight the evil Doronjo and her lackeys...and anyone else who pops up causing problems!

4. Friender (Casshern Sins)
Casshern Sins is far from cheery, and the same is true of its titular hero and, later in the series, its canine character Friender. Casshern originally meets Friender living in a community of robots that have decided to peacefully accept their fate: their eventual destruction from a robot disease. Friender, who has not yet begun to show signs of his own destruction, winds up following Casshern— not, as his name suggests, out of friendship, but in order to prevent Casshern from wreaking havoc when he goes berserk.

3. Akamaru (Naruto)
There's nothing like a ninja dog! Akamaru has heightened senses, including the ability to get a sense of an enemy's power and warn his master, Kiba Inuzuka, if it's too much to handle. Akamaru is also no slouch on the offensive front, and if he pees on a fleeing enemy he can track them far and wide (no joke). But the coolest thing about Akamaru is that when Kiba activates a particular jutsu, Akamaru can actually mimic Kiba's appearance, and the two can even join together to become a two-headed wolf monster.

2. Menchi (Excel Saga)
Menchi may not be as super-powered as some of the other dogs on this list, but she's an independent-minded pup and she may also be brilliant...or maybe she just seems that way next to her less-than-competent owner, Excel. Then again, how much owner responsibility do you expect a person to show to a creature they consider to be "emergency food rations"? Fortunately, Menchi manages to escape Excel's clutches a couple of times, adventuring with other dogs and even an heiress. Plus, Menchi's barking tune "Menchi no Aishuu no Bolero" (the show's ending theme) is adorable.

1. Gin - Ginga Nagareboshi Gin)
There are tons of dogs in anime and manga, but few of them are actually the protagonists of their own stories. Gin bucks this trend, starring in Ginga Nagareboshi Gin and producing a son to take on the sequel: Weed, of Ginga Densetsu Weed. It's tough to decide between the two, Gin earns the recognition with his courage, leadership, and by virtue of being the first. Plus, Gin— an akita —also manages to join up with a pack of real wolves to help them fight a major enemy.

Each list is accompanied by a new reader poll, as well as the results from last week's poll.

The new poll: The fall anime season is launching this coming weekend— what show are you the most excited for? Tell us now and check back next week to find out what everyone said!

The previous poll: We wanted to know what specific information about an anime led you to decide to go ahead and give it a try, and you gave us an overwhelming response— 56.2% of you said the biggest factor was reading about the show's story (and finding it interesting). The second most important factor, with 22%, was the show's look and visual style in images and trailers, while 8.7% of you prioritize the show's cast and/or staff (if it's someone you follow). Here's the full list:

  1. "The story sounds interesting" - 56.2%
  2. "I like the look of the series in images/trailers" - 22%
  3. "I like a staffer/cast member/studio involved in the show" - 8.7%
  4. "I can see the show as it comes out in Japan (e.g. there's a legal simulcast)" - 3.1%
  5. "Friends recommended the show to me" - 3.1%
  6. "It's based on a manga/novel/game I already like" - 3%
  7. "The show is legally available for free in its entirety online" - 2.3%
  8. "I can buy the show on physical media" - 1.6%

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