Otaku USA Magazine
Five of Anime’s Equal-Best Dogs

All dogs are best dog... Chikuwa included

Everyone knows all dogs are Best Dog, so it would be wrong to rank them… right? Of course right. Your dog is the best. So is mine. So are the ones in your favorite anime. So you’d better believe we’re not pitting these good boys and girls against each other.

However, we love them so much, we just need to think about them sometimes. So, today, here are five of anime’s equal-best dogs. If your favorite isn’t on the list, that’s okay — they’re still the best, too.

Here they are, in no particular order:


Black Hayate, Fullmetal Alchemist

When you’re a stoic gunner with a rough past and an equally rough present, you need someone who’s going to be by your side all the time, always caring for you, always ready to beat the snot out of whatever weird alchemy monsters come your way. And sometimes Roy Mustang can’t get to the phone.

Riza Hawkeye’s faithful Shiba Inu Black Hayate is not only a friendly and constant companion, he can bite a chunk out of a Homunculus when push comes to shove. There are several great dogs in the world of Fullmetal Alchemist (yes, including that one…), but Hayate in particular deserve special note.


Apo, Space Brothers

It takes a very special dog indeed to play companion to a pair of astronauts, and Apo — named, of course, for the Apollo space missions — fits the bill.

This friendly pug has been a constant companion to both Hibito and Mutta as they pursue their respective outer space dreams. Besides being a pug (which is already a bonus), he’s a friendly alarm clock — making sure Hibito gets up right when he needs to. And Mutta has his own reason to be grateful to the pug. But even without his attentiveness and heroics… just look at that face. How can you not love that face?


Menchi, Excel Saga

Sadly, not all anime dogs get the royal treatment they deserve. Take Menchi, the hyperactive Excel’s emergency food supply. This fluffy pup spends most of her time attempting to escape her fate at the hands of the loyal ACROSS operative — and almost succeeds a few times, too. Sadly, she always seems to find herself back in Excel’s clutches.

At least she gets to vent… at least, we think it’s a vent. The ending theme of Excel Saga is Menchi lamenting her lot in life, but the full version of the song has more sinister implications.


Chikuwa, Laid-Back Camp

Every club needs a mascot, and the Outdoor Activities Club has an enthusiastic one in little Chikuwa. The long-haired Chihuahua of Laid-Back Camp is usually seen in his own tiny camping vest (and occasionaly costume pieces), to protect him from the chilly outdoors. Ena Saitou’s faithful furry companion is practically a club member in his own right.

Best of all? The live-action adaptation features him too — and he’s just as adorable as you’re hoping.


Ein, Cowboy Bebop

Don’t worry, we didn’t forget!

Space good boy Ein has been back on our minds with the anticipated Cowboy Bebop live-action adaptation… though we’ve honestly always had a place in our heart for the bounty hunting dog. He can hack computers. He can bite a bad guy. He can even taste test weird mushrooms. (Note: don’t feed your dog weird mushrooms.) It may be a bit still until we see his live-action counterpart take the screen, but we’re more than ready.

Not mentioned but implied are, of course, all the good dogs everywhere.

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.