Disclaimer: A Girl & Her Guard Dog is a romance anime that features a significant age gap between its characters – Isaku and Keiya. If age gap relationships are not to your liking, we highly recommend reconsidering whether this anime is the right choice.
A Girl & Her Guard Dog – Episode 1
The first episode starts with Isaku wanting to grow as a person and not wanting to be seen as a kid anymore. She decides to attend a normal high school far from her current home, hoping for a fresh start without any worries but most importantly, move on from her long crush Keiya. She talks about her desire to have a boyfriend, make new friends, and be an independent high school girl.
As she starts school, she unexpectedly falls down and is caught by none other than Keiya. She panics and pulls him away to another place, telling him to leave her alone. However, Keiya reveals that he wants to be with her, not just to protect her but also to ensure she doesn’t get hurt, especially by other boys he considers potentially dangerous.
Learning from past experiences through manga and anime, this romance features a female and male lead who have known each other for a while. It’s typical for the male lead to be heavily attached to the female lead, while the female lead gives up hope of having a romantic relationship and tries to detach herself from him. But in reality, he wants her to himself. I find it to be a silly trope. Do I find this trope enjoyable? Yes.
Later in the episode, they discussed Sports Day and the need for a class representative. One key factor was that Isaku was thinking of wanting to be one, hoping it would help her have a normal school experience, but she wasn’t sure. So Keiya decided to sign both of them up without discussing it.
As for Sports Day, there was a volleyball game, and Isaku wanted to play and be good at the game, hoping to help the girls out, even though she had never played before. So, she decided to practice at home with the help of other members of the clan. Keiya also helped but, of course, made sure she didn’t get hurt.
Ultimately, she did well but got hurt during the game. When she went to the infirmary, Keiya helped her and told her how he felt lonely, like the feeling when kids break apart from their parents once they’ve fully grown up.
This set of moments can create a relatable portrayal of trying to fit into a new environment, like transitioning from homeschooling to public school. Trying to fit in is reasonable, and many people can relate to that. In this case, the overprotecting behavior might be seen as siblings protecting each other, although it’s very different in A Girl & Her Guard Dog. Still, I find it easy for some people to view it as a related attempt to fit in as much as possible.
Overall, I thought this episode did a great job of providing some background information accessible even to viewers who haven’t read the manga. I look forward to further delving into the characters’ backstories in future episodes. The first episode offered a simple yet effective glimpse into the main character’s life situation, which I appreciated.
What’s really nice about this series is that character development starts right from the beginning. Unlike some shows that take their time with character growth, this one gets right into it, and I find that refreshing. The artwork is also quite charming, with a style that conveys the romantic themes of the anime. Plus, plenty of delightful and humorous moments help keep viewers engaged.
For now, I give this episode of A Girl & Her Guard Dog a 7/10 as the first episode. It isn’t bad, but I believe this has potential throughout the series.
A Girl & Her Guard Dog – Episode 2
Episode 2 starts with a 3-minute recap of the first episode! This continuation is about trust and friendship. Isaku is in class, and some of her classmates are leaving to say bye to her, a significant development as she now has people to say goodbye to. While Isaku is in class, Keiyu goes to the bathroom. During his absence, a boy named Tamaru, who is from the next-door class, approaches Isaku. He asks if Isaku and Keiyu are dating, and, understandably, she freaks out and says no. However, they later exchanged Instagram IDs. When Keiyu finds out, he becomes upset that a boy is talking to her and tries to figure out how to get Tamaru away from her.
I’m so glad that she’s starting to interact with people in her class more. It’s hard to talk to new people in a new environment without anyone’s help. She’s even talking to a boy and starting to learn how to connect more! Keiyu, on the other hand, remains the same old self.
As the episode continues, Isaku and Tamaru are DMing each other. Isaku talks about how she doesn’t know what to post on Insta, and so Tamaru invites her to hang out with his friends from another school. She agrees. Later on, she realizes that those people are not the people she thought they were; they were drinking and smoking underage. She feels uncomfortable and wants to leave. Tamaru gets drunk and is about to force a kiss on her. Before it goes any further, the guard, Keiyu, saves the day and bangs Tamaru’s head on the table many times. So, Isaku and Keiyu leave, but before that, Keiyu warns them never to do that again. As they head home, Isaku apologizes to Keiyu.
Sometimes, you just need to be cautious about whom you can trust. Never trust sweet words from someone you’ve just met, even if you want to reach out and make new friends. I’m glad she learned her lesson! Remember, don’t drink or smoke underage.
This episode is a remarkable opportunity for her character development. It’s truly commendable to see her taking steps toward personal growth. While it’s evident that she had to seek assistance from Isaku, it beautifully illustrates the depth of his care and support for her. This particular episode has the potential to resonate with many individuals who struggle with issues of trust in our complex world. One notable aspect worth mentioning is the consistently charming and cute art style that continues to enhance the overall appeal of the series. It maintains its endearing aesthetics throughout, adding to the overall enjoyment of the show.
I give this episode of A Girl & Her Guard Dog a 7/10, still the same as the last episode; I believe it will get better as time progresses.
Screenshots via Crunchyroll
© Hatsuharu, Kodansha/A Girl & Her Guard Dog Production Committee