Pet Shop of Horrors, Vol. 7
1 journaler for this copy...
Later: In an unusual twist, the first story focuses on Orcot, who lost a partner in a shootout with an old-friend-turned-criminal, thanks to what he believes was his own mistake. He comes to the pet shop vaguely seeking comfort from Count D, who gives him a little gift - a butterfly that lets Leon glimpse an alternate reality, one in which his youthful self warned his friend not to turn criminal. At first it seems heartwarming, but then things take a typically-Count-D-involved turn, and Leon finds that his new life isn't the ideal he thought it was.
Another tale involves a visit by D's sister - a surprise to everyone including D, and a point of great interest to Leon, who's always found D attractive (though he denies it to himself) and is thrilled to see an obviously-female version. But the story is about a potential heart transplant from an ape to a dictator, with a poor man's daughter also in need of a heart - and D's sister has her own role to play in all this, bringing in hints of extreme tension in D's family. (The creatures on the cover are from this story; they leap in to defend D from perhaps the most serious threat he's faced in the series to date...)
In the third story, young Chris - Leon's little brother, who's been staying at the pet shop and who can see the animals in their human form - is just hanging out with the menagerie when a killer breaks in taking D hostage. Turns out he's a child-soldier trained as an assassin, and has no clue what he's done by threatening D! This one's quite poignant - and has a more upbeat ending than many of these stories do.
The final story involves a girl who wants to lose weight to - she hopes - attract the boy she likes, a professional model who's desperate to maintain her own figure, and a boxer who's worried about his weight as well. D introduces the young girl to a beautiful woman who suggests helping her to a balanced diet and exercise - the sensible route. The model comes to D for a special pill that she's heard about, that lets her eat what she wants and still lose weight. (I think we can guess where *that* subplot is going.) And the boxer gets a new pet parakeet - which talks trash to him to motivate him in his training. And... while all three learn something about their mistaken goals, only two of them survive, and both of those come out with a satisfying change of perspective. (D's musings to his animals about human preoccupation with arbitrary weight are quite on point.)
[There's an entertaining TV Tropes page for the series, but beware of spoilers!]
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