A very solid, enjoyable harem/comedy romp that unfortunately is hampered by its poor action tales.
Title: Today’s Cerberus
Genre: Comedy, Harem
Publisher: Square Enix (JP), Yen Press (US)
Story/Artist: Ato Sakurai
Translation: Caleb Cook
Serialization: Gangan Magazine
Original Release Date: July 21, 2015
Print Release Date: October 25, 2016
Print review copy provided by Yen Press
Did you want a manga that reminded you slightly of Rosario + Vampire but has a Cerberus female main lead? If you know what a Cerberus is, combine that with a male main lead incapable of feeling joy, and you get Today’s Cerberus. This manga mostly manages to find a balance between its comedic and serious moments in its first volume, though some of the fanservice and its fighting sequences, or attempts to do them, can be a turn off.
Chiaki Mikado has an issue: he can’t express who he is. Thanks to a childhood encounter with a three headed dog, he since has not been able to smile properly, be happy, or figure out what to do with his life. Enter Kuro, a Cerberus guard dog sent by Chiaki’s traveling dad. Kuro is determined to get Chiaki to be happy. The problem is with her appearance means more danger in regards to Chiaki’s life.
Today’s Cerberus was a pretty pleasant surprise. The relationship between Kuro and Chiaki is sweet and kind of neat. It helps that Kuro has two forms that she can transform into: one who destroys and is the tsundere (Shirogane), and the one who heals and wears a mask (Roze). Aside from Shirogane, they care about returning Chiaki to a state where he’s happy since they took that away from him.
It even had a story that instantly reminded me of The Morose Mononokean. This is not like that in any respect, but it has some solid moments like that story, and that is fairly impressive. Just deal with the Cerberus being scared by a pup, which is funny. (Reminder: She guards the underworld gates.)
There are things Today’s Cerberus has issues with. The fighting is the least effective part of the manga, and with the art style the way it is, that will probably be a problem the way this story is going. That story involves Kuro getting threats to go back to Hades, and threats that are now going after Chiaki because of her arrival. The fights so far have been mostly jokes, so the humor is there. If it does get serious, it’s not on pace to work out super well as the art ranges from cute and bright — at least in this volume, all the attempts to go from light-hearted to serious were mediocre.
The biggest question mark going forward are the stories. There’s one with an evil spirit eventually turning good that was done well, and one where the actual fighting was weak, which hampered the story. Today’s Cerberus will be a fun read if it takes the funny approach rather than the serious one. I fear it may not keep that approach.