Story and Art by Shirow Miwa
Published in the US by Viz
Slugline: Percussively putting the pieces into play.
Dogs Prelude introduces four loosely connected characters that live in a noirish near future city. Each has their own drives and personality, and we see three out of the four at emotional turning points in their lives. For the fourth one, well his emotional damage is that he likes to shoot things when he goes into nicotine withdrawal. There is no unifying story in the volume, but because this is a prelude it is possible that the subtext of the four character's stories might be woven into a single overarching one. While there is a bit of over thinking and melodrama, the characters are interesting on the individual level and even if their stories are needlessly confused in order to make them more 'noir,' they are still engaging enough that I care that the characters' care about what is happening to them. This is reminiscent of Cowboy Bebop in tone, though no of the characters seem like direct analogues yet, though that comparison might give you an idea of whether you will appreciate it or not.
Dogs Prelude, vol. 0 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga