Lovely Muco! Vol. 1

Kodansha/Vertical. (Lovely Muco!). May 2023. 220p. pap. $16.95. ISBN 9781647292393.
Gr 5 Up–Muco is a lovable Shiba Inu who is very energetic and enthusiastic! Owned by Mr. Komatsu, creator of Amato Glass Studio, Muco spends her days vigorously wishing that he was a dog like her while she gets up to funny shenanigans. Most child-friendly manga tend to feature an animal of sorts getting into high jinks, and Lovely Muco! fits that bill. The chapters are short and written in a slice-of-life style, and the story is not complicated; the focus is on Muco and her perspective on everyday life. The artwork can be a little overly simplistic, with Muco’s gape-mouthed expression never really changing. The humor is present throughout and will be appreciated by the young readers, although Muco and her shticks could become redundant chapter after chapter. Despite its flaws, it’s a story that possesses charm with a cute animal character leading the charge, and while it’s far from a pioneer in its field, it should please readers that are looking for a cheerful read to cleanse their palates.
VERDICT While Lovely Muco! isn’t the deepest book out there, its adorable protagonist will likely delight fans that enjoy manga titles that feature a cute pet.

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