Leave It To Pet! Volume 1
VIZ Media
Creator: Kenji Sonishi
Release Date: April 2009
200 pages
Age Rating: Ages 4-8
ISBN-10: 1-4215-2649-2
ISBN-13: 978-1-4215264-9-2
ICv2 Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

This manga volume consists of a large number of short chapters, 6-8 pages in length.  Each chapter has its own series of gags leading up to a punch line, some of which are funny.  Some of them translate well to an American audience, but others do not.

The basic story is that the main character, a boy named Norobu, recycled a plastic bottle one day.  Somehow that plastic bottle got recycled into being a powerful but impractical little robot named Pet [short for PolyEthylene Teraphthalate, a kind of plastic], with more optional attachments than sense.  The robot feels compelled to do some kind of good deed for Norobu every day.  Norobu should quickly come to dread this, since these all go wrong, but for reasons of comedy he keeps calling for the robot’s aid.  The humor is largely based on mayhem, which some parents will find unattractive.

The artwork is sketchy and simplistic, even in the “bonus tracks” at the back of the volume, a series of puzzles and games.  There are a handful of crafts sprinkled through the book, but the basic message of the story is “recycle a bottle at your own risk.”

Aimed at children, rated all ages, but there’s a lot of cartoony violence, including some directed against children.

-- Nick Smith