Kyou no Cerberus Review
Kyou no Cerberus is a manga drawn and written by Sakurai Ato. It was published on 2013 and completed by 2018. Decided to read this on a whim one day, and moreover, the fact that a manga about a moe anime girl-anthropomorphism of the very same three-headed guard dog of Hades actually exists, no doubt grasped my attention even more. How does it hold up though?
Mikado Chiaki was bitten by a three-headed puppy as a kid and because of that, he lost a piece of his soul. As he grows up, he eventually finds out he can’t feel joy in anything he does, but one day, the very same three-headed dog comes back in an attempt to fix Chiaki’s soul — this time in human form no less! As if the girl with three different personalities in one body isn’t already enough, Chiaki finds himself in daily troubles of having to deal with countless other monsters and spirits as well. Along with the help of his confidants and dog(?), will he ever regain his smile?
You must have seen moe-anthropomorphized dogs by now if you watched enough anime, but Kyou no Cerberus decided to take it up a step further with a moe-anthropomorphized Cerberus. The idea is certainly novel enough to turn heads — it turned mine, at least. While the story itself is nothing to write home about however, and is your standard supernatural harem; the pace and mostly light-hearted nature makes it a very easy read, as it slowly builds up to the more plot-driven moments. Even then, I still find Kyou no Cerberus excels in the more quiet, slice of life moments rather than the action; no doubt because it’s carried by a cast of extremely good characters as well.
Indeed, what makes Kyou no Cerberus shine is all those little quiet, pensive character moments. While the characters are mostly nothing special individually and are about what you would expect in a harem manga, there’s just something about their relationships with each other in Kyou no Cerberus that evokes a certain emotional authenticity. Evoking that feeling of genuine friendship is perhaps this manga’s greatest achievement, considering it is -literally- about finding joy and happiness in one’s life. Even Chiaki’s played out role in the genre kinda works here due to the premise.
Nonetheless, the entire cast of Kyou no Cerberus works collectively and becomes very likable as a whole because of that. There are definitely some disagreeable things the story did with them, yet still find the characters the high point of the series.
The idea of a moe-anthropomorphized Cerberus grasped my attention, but what kept me back even before the story picked up was the artwork — especially the character designs. A lot of these designs are pretty much a recurring motif though, especially considering the subject matter — you will be seeing a lot of kemonomimi and shippo especially with characters like an anthropomorphized Cerberus, Nekomata and so on.
While the story contributed to this too, the artwork also makes those cute, romantic moments with the heroines even more so endearing. Kyou no Cerberus is definitely visually-appealing, if nothing else, and is equally good whether it wants to be fanservice-y or cute. Aforementioned, I don’t like the action parts as much compared to the slice of life moments, but the artwork also makes the action very easy to get through.
While novel in some small aspects, Kyou no Cerberus still doesn’t break any grounds, though it’s still a particularly fun and pleasant manga to read, especially with it’s characters and artwork. If you’re looking for a light-hearted romcom with decent character stories, and is just generally cute to look at — look no further.