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Pet Shop of Horrors
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 07/24/2001

Synopsis:
Enigmatic and effeminate, Count D is the proprietor of a mysterious little pet shop located in the heart of Chinatown. But Count D doesn't just sell ordinary pets, for he can procure the rarest and most exotic species not even recorded in reference books. His clientele are usually people from high society -- wealthy businessmen, showbiz personalities, government officials, etc. But Count D's pets come with a three-term contract, and if you breach even one of the terms, his shop can't be held accountable for the consequences. A young detective named Joel is investigating Count D and his shop, because victims of the most bizarre deaths all have one thing in common -- they are all Count D's customers.
 
Four half-hour episodes comprise this collection:
  • "Daughter" - A rich couple had just lost their only daughter named Alice. Fortunately, Count D was able to acquire a very rare species of rabbit that looks exactly like Alice. The couple is overjoyed and immediately take the rabbit home. But their love for Alice makes them breach one of the contract's terms...
  • "Delicious" - The popular idol singer Evangeline Blue and her manager Iason are about to be wed on a luxury ship when an "accident" throws her overboard. Eva disappears beneath the dark waters, and her body still hasn't been found. The heartbroken Iason goes to Count D's to pick up a pet that Eva had supposedly ordered. But to his surprise, the pet turns out to be a mermaid who looks exactly like Eva...
  • "Despair" - Actor Robin Hendrix is what one can refer to as a one-hit wonder. After the phenomenal success of his debut movie, Robin can't get any more acting jobs. It seems he's been stereotyped by the very role that made him famous. To top it off, his wife just left him. Robin loves keeping pet lizards, and so he goes to Count D's to pick up some more pets to cheer himself up. But Count D has something special for Robin this time... a very rare species of reptile known as Medusa. Medusa has the face and upper body of a beautiful woman, but the lower half of a large lizard. There is a condition though... Robin must never look into Medusa's eyes...
  • "Dual" - Robert Stanford comes from a long line of successful politicians. The problem is, he is considered the bad apple of the family due to his carefree and womanizing ways. But his faithful assistant Kelly Vincent is there to make sure Robert's political career is on the right track. Kelly is determined to make Robert the president of the United States, even if it means making a pact with the legendary animal called the Kirin, who grants the wish of its sovereign through the blood of others. Count D just happens to have one Kirin in stock...
Review:
I didn't really plan on buying this video. I sort of got pressured into it because the shop had very few titles available and this was one of them. Much to my surprise, I absolutely loved Pet Shop of Horrors. I've always been a Twilight Zone fan, and Pet Shop of Horrors is something of a cross between Twilight Zone and the Gremlins.
 
The stories are uncomplicated and yet very interesting and meaningful, imparting ideas worth reflecting on. The episodes are tied together by Count D and the detective Joel. Joel suspects something strange going on behind Count D's transactions but he can't get any evidence to prove anything. Count D is a very uniquely designed character. He is not a bad person, and he tells Joel everything that takes place in his shop... it's just that Joel can't believe the stuff he hears. Stranger still, Count D has a sweet tooth. Oftentimes Joel has to bring him various cakes in exchange for information. The pets are also something else. Count D claims that he is selling love and dreams, so I guess this is why the customers see what they want to see. Otherwise, how else could you possibly find a rabbit that looks like your daughter? When all is revealed, the special pets really are animals after all.
 
The art and animation are very good. I didn't get a chance to check out the English dubbing because I got the subtitled version. Another thing I just need to mention is Eva's song in the second episode "Delicious". It's a haunting melody that I can't get off my mind, which is probably why I'll be getting the soundtrack CD. Overall, I enjoyed Pet Shop of Horrors very much and I wish there were more episodes. This is a nice break from the usual anime I watch.
 
Miscellanies:
Count D's eyes have different colors. His right eye is gold, while his left eye is violet. The DVD release contains all the episodes.

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Pet Shop of Horrors
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Review Title:
Pet Shop of Horrors
Alternative Titles:
Petshop of Horrors
Type:
OVA
Episodes:
4
Duration:
100 Minutes
General Rating:
5 out of 5 stars
Aired:
1999
Suitable For:
Young Adults
Genres:
Horror, Mystery, Supernatural
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