One of the better mangas I read early on, it holds up with its consistent dosage of simple to beautiful to gory art. The short story formula works a lot better for this series than it did with Jing King of Bandits. If it can keep itself from coming off as fillery it can likely go on indefinitely with a set number of volumes and fascinating tales.
There is a Petshop somewhere in the Chinatowns around the world or likely your very own. And in it are things beyond imagining, where your fears, dreams and simple harsh conclusions are realized. More often people stumble in and are simply victims of circumstance, a passing lion or some other beast you have never heard of. This series somehow manages to blend with reality and also blends occasional humor with serious supernatural life threatening situations.
Count D is a interesting character, almost similar to Neil Gaiman's Sandman where he is the common thread tying all the short stories together. Not to mention he comes off looking like your typical vampire who happens to have a ridiculous sweet tooth. He interacts with the police, gangsters and almost every other person from different walks of life. And yet, despite how cultured and worldly he is, to others he still comes off as uncaring about the human race, creepy and occasionally quirky.
The beasts range from being rare breeds, mythical with a moral lesson, to hyperbolic superstitions about common animals. Then there are some creatures completely unheard of or they are adapted to humanoid form from one or a mix of species.
This series kept me interested because of the short story hook. You can expect a horrible fate or a romanticized ending for all these stories. The drama and humor also has its strong moments. The only reason I do not return to this series more frequently is because I tire of the fairy tale foundation that more and more mainstream entertainment has gravitated toward. If you can't watch episodes of Supernatural then by all means seek this out as a substitute minus the biblical ties.
SCORE 9/10It has a really good method and execution as a series. The story strength will depend on the reader. Humor is on the funky strange side like Ranma 1/2 with cartoonish bits mixed with well drawn portions.The stories become less fascinating once you have read it once. The only reason to return is to relive the short stories.