For any fans of Tales from the Crypt, this is most definitely the anime for you. Each episode follows a different character who has visited the pet shop. This 4 episode OVA is filled with creepy and spooky tales, and at the end of the episode, you may just learn a lesson or moral from each story.
Pet Shop of Horrors is about a strange gothic young man named Count D who manages a pet shop. However, this is no average pet shop. At this pet shop you can find a wide variety of 'rare' and 'exotic' animals. All you need to do is sign a contract with this man, and it's yours. However, you may find these rules hard to abide with, and end up with a disaster in which even death may occur.
I'm a big fan of episodic series, so this anime was definitely a hit for me. Each stroy ws creepy and interesting, and the animal the characters ordered corresponded with the owners inner demons and troubles.What really got me interested was that at the end of each episode, a very interesting moral was taught. That was probably my favorite aspect of the show, besides the spooky ominous feel to it.
I also found the concept of this series very unique. The idea of a creepy 'animal' from a pet shop to move a long an entire story really intrigued me. I love animals, and like to learn about mystical creatures, so when I saw the title, I was automatically drawn in. This series definitely did not dissapoint. Even with my high expectations, Pet Shop of Horrors exceeded them with its eerie tales of the characters dark pasts and their new pet which may in the end teach them a lesson.
Pet Shop of Horrors was released in 1999, so the animation is quite dated. I went into the story with low expectations of the art, but I was actually suprised. Yes, the animation was definitely not the best, but it was fitting, and was actually very well done for its time. It was also very unique in a way as well. There was no set style or pattern I could find. For example Count D and the detective Leon, have a totally different style. With the Count, his features were very pointed while Leon's were much more realistic and better shaded. This goes for not only these two, but for many other characters as well.
The character designs were pretty interesting as well, especially the Count. His tall, yet feminine figure added to his mysterious personality, along with his painted long nails, dark lips always in a small smile, and his hetereochromic eyes narrowed at you. The creature designs were interestng and haunting as well. This anime would have been a flop without the creepy and spooky animation.
There's not to much music in this anime, but nothing felt out of place or unfitting. When there was music, it only added to the dark atmosphere. No music needed to be added or deleted, and it felt as if everything was in order.
As for voice acting, it was very well done. I personally watched the dub, and each voice matched the character perfectly. I especially liked the Count's voice actor, as he sounded very calm and collected even while delivering disturbing lines, which built up the Count's character even more, and added to his eerie aura. Considering the importance and amount of dialogue the Count has, it was very important to have an excellent voice actor, which is another thing Pet Shop of Horrors did very well
Since Pet Shop of Horrors is episodic, there is a large variety of characters, but does not feel overcrowded since each set is different in each episode. The only characters which remained throughout was Count D, the tall dark mysterious pet shop owner, and Leon Orcot, the hot headed detective suspects the Count for the recent string of murders, and is determined to expose Count D for his crimes.Leon acts as an extra viewpoint, and as a piece to help dig up the other characters backgrounds.
As for the customers and main characters of an episode, they all seem to have a dark past or secret which indirectly causes them to end up at the Count's shop to fufill their desires through their new pet. As each episode progresses we learn more and more about each character, and finally discover who they really are. At the end of each episode, these characters' backstories and mistakes serve as a lesson or moral to the story.
Overall, Pet Shop of Horrors gets a solid 9 out of 10. This short series was a psychological horror masterpiece, and deserves to be appraised for its thought provoking spooky stories. This show is definitely one of my favorites and is a must watch for any psychological or horror fan.