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One day, social worker Okutsu receives a case about an unidentified man and dog found dead in an empty car abandoned in the wilderness. Forensics show that the man died a year and a half ago, while the dog outlived him by many months, never leaving his side. While researching the unidentified corpse, Okutsu feels sorry for the canine that stayed faithfully nearby, not understanding that his master had passed, which triggers a flood of memories of his own beloved companion that helped him through the difficulties of his upbringing.
On the way home from a business trip, 48-year-old Hiroshi Nakahara boards the wrong train and finds himself in the town of his youth. After visiting his mother’s grave, Hiroshi is transported back in time to his fourteen-year-old self – a time when his family was strong and his father hadn’t abandoned them yet. At first he’s thrilled, but soon comes to realize that he isn’t able to return to his wife and children, and must continue living in the past. However, Hiroshi is now left with a life-changing decision – should be try to change the past, without knowing what it will do to his future?
Both of these seinen manga are about an average middle-aged father who is dissatisfied with his life. How the stories progress beyond that basic premise are wildly different, but both have a similar atmosphere and intended audience.
Having taken a moment to look up at a bird, a young kitten is separated from its mother; not knowing which direction home is, it begins to wander around in the hopes of finding its family. After getting nowhere fast, the kitten is taken in by a small boy called Youhei and his family; but as their apartment complex doesn't allow pets, Youhei's parents decide to try and find a new home for the kitten. However, when - after some toilet training problems - they inadvertently name the kitten Chi (meaning pee), Youhei and his parents begin to grow attached and decide to keep her. Will Youhei and his family they be able to keep Chi's presence a secret from the landlady, and will Chi be able to adapt to her new life and surroundings?
Chi's Sweet Home focuses on an adorable cat experiencing new situations from her perspective, while Stargazing Dog deals with more complicated matters from an adorable dog's angle. Stargazing Dog is less kid friendly than Chi's Sweet Home due to its serious subject matter, but from an adult that enjoyed both stories, give the other a try if you've liked either. There's a lot to like in either story, even for adults.
Before any canine can undergo guide dog training, they spend the first year of their lives living with a volunteer family known as "happy walkers". Hitomi has always wanted a dog, but since her father’s work requires that they move house regularly, her home life is never stable enough to own a pet. Then one day, Hitomi learns of the "happy walker" scheme, and signs up. That is when she meets Eye, a timid puppy and the runt of his litter. After immediately bonding with him, Hitomi spends every free moment raising Eye to be the perfect guide dog and soon finds that the loyal pup has just as much to teach her as she has to teach him. However, when their year together is up, the pair must bid a tearful farewell and hope that one day when Eye has fulfilled his duty he will return home to her once more...