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by MrAJCosplay,

Lovely Muco!

GN 1

Lovely Muco! GN 1

In the beautiful mountains of Akita stands GLASS STUDIO amato, run by Mr. Komatsu and the shiny-nosed dog who loves him—MUCO!! Muco dreams of the day when Mr. Komatsu will become a dog, too, but in the meantime, she spends her days chewing up towels, jumping in the pond, and inventing new games…all called “Komatsu”! Based on a real person, a real dog, and a real glass studio, there's something here for everyone—even cat lovers! (Disclaimer: no actual cats are featured in this volume)

Lovely Muco! Was translated by Casey Lee


I like dogs. Most of the time, they're beautiful majestic creatures that would give their life for the simplest things, but I don't love them because they're often trying to be loyal. I love them because, from our perspective, dogs have perfected the art of finding joy in the most mundane and simplest elements of life. I wish all I had to worry about was how shiny my nose was in a world continuously ablaze with social, economic, and political unrest… but I digress.

Lovely Muco! is a very simple manga, and while I have used that word to describe many things in past reviews, this one takes the cake. Lovely Muco! is just an assortment of short manga chapters following our young pup named Muco, the loving dog of a glassmaker trying to make a living. The dog often narrates everything going on with a straightforward thought process, but that's where the charm is. Did you ever watch the movie UP, where the dogs had those collars that allowed them to talk, and we saw how they hyperfocus on incredibly random things? That is basically what this manga is, except only the audience knows what the dog is thinking.

It can be very repetitive, and this is not the type of manga you read all at once. Some manga out there feel better being consumed on social media or released once a week on an official website; Lovely Muco! is undoubtedly one of them. You read a chapter to get a little dose of pure happiness before you move on with the rest of your day. However, unlike most other manga structured like that, Lovely Muco! justifies its simplicity because the whole thing is supposed to be viewed from a dog's perspective.

Everything has this basic crudeness, which looks flat with barely any shading. The human characters sometimes have these comedic proportions, and Muco herself often cycles through the same three expressions throughout the book, whether she is excited, confused, or anxious. The panel layouts are incredibly basic, but I have to commend the book's lettering and how it distinguishes between Muco's train of thought and how everybody else talks in the book. It's the little things.

The structure doesn't build up to one definitive punchline but is more like a strung-together series of moments. It's just a day in this dog's life, and while there is something going on in the background with her owner trying to make his shop a bit more successful, it never really gets played off as this massive deal. If anything, it's an excuse to create a situation for the dog to interact with her owner regularly, and those parts seem very genuine even if the relationship isn't painted as this is a perfect boy and his dog kind of situation. He gets just as annoyed at her and her crazy antics as he gets enamored with her cuteness, making the relationship feel much more natural.

As I alluded to before, recommending a compilation of chapters that are structured in this way is difficult. The humor is repetitive, and something like this is best absorbed in chunks rather than all at once. It's like eating a small bag of chips after a long day of work; it's not going to fill you per se, but it might put a smile on your face because it feels like a momentary reprieve. But I think Lovely Muco! only manages to have that feeling because everything comes off as genuine and heartfelt. Yes, it is straightforward, but that simplicity has a certain charm.

Overall : B
Story : B
Art : B

+ Charm to its simplicity, relationship between dog and owner feels genuine
Very repetitive structure that probably feels better reading in chunks instead of all at once

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Production Info:
Story & Art: Takayuki Mizushina
Licensed by: Kodansha Comics

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Lovely Muco! (manga)

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