First Impressions: Pet

Mindf*ck, the anime

It is easy to tell that Pet might prove to be a bit much for some people. It certainly doesn’t appear to be an anime that you’ll want to watch if your aim is to relax. If you are looking for something more digestible, might I suggest watching one of the abundant isekai/harem/shounen anime out there. I am not saying that shounen anime can’t have a good or interesting story but if you’ve seen a few, you probably know how they ‘work’. However, Pet and other anime like it, aim to engage the audience in a completely different way. Nonetheless, different is not necessarily better. It all comes down to the implementation.

4 characters forming a tilted diamond shape, blue background indicating that they are underwater, three fish (top right, mid center, bottom right)

Pet’s story might be difficult to follow and it is very likely that some people might find it tiring. To keep it short, I’ll only give a basic description of what Pet is about because otherwise I might ruin it for you. In the world of Pet, there are people that have the power to ‘mess’ with the minds of others. They can alter memories, as well as control their target’s perception of what is real or not. These powers, as you can imagine, are extremely useful to some people that wouldn’t hesitate to scramble a few brains in order to achieve their nefarious goals. Having watched the first episode, it is clear that this anime cannot be judged hastily.

Any anime, as well as the people that make them, aim to please us, the viewers. We, the viewers, are demanding and sometimes harsh. The result of this is that most anime that come out each season, although entertaining most of the time, are not really engaging on any sort of meaningful level. Why create something demanding when you can just use the same stuff over and over again only with slight variations? This problem is not really anime specific. All forms of entertainment have… deteriorated, so to speak. Of course, I am not suggesting that every single anime that comes out is shallow. That would be wrong. What I am saying is that we can all tell whether something is truly good or just some ‘cheap’ thrill. Imagine this if you will. Most anime are there for us just to have a bit of fun. Let’s think of them as one night stands. You know, the kind of anime that are great to mess around with but you wouldn’t want to introduce to your parents. On the other hand, we have anime that are looking for a more serious and committed relationship. These anime demand your patience. With each ‘date’ you become more and more engrossed with them. It’s a process. Obviously, as it is with real relationships, commitment can be scary. You might think, ‘why risk it all on one anime when I can be out there having the time of my life?’. The answer obviously is to just do both. (Disclaimer: Please don’t misinterpret this as actual support for polygamy or adultery. Respect your significant other.) Sure you might be afraid of anime like Pet because they don’t show their true colours from the first episode but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be disappointed. It’s part of their charm. They are made that way for a reason. Now, as I said before, it’s too early to tell if Pet will be good enough and I know that some reviews out there don’t look promising. But so what? Just watch it yourself. If you hate it, that’s the end of it. What you shouldn’t do is dismiss it entirely.


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