By Inumajin and Kochimo. Released in Japan as “Wanwan Monogatari ~Kanemochi no Inu n shite to wa Itta ga, Fenrir ni shiro to wa Itte nee!~” by Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Jennifer O’Donnell.
Well, that had all the strengths and weaknesses of the current light novel glut. Everyone want to write an isekai, usually with reincarnation, as that’s what sells. But there’s already too many of the normal adventurer sort, so you try to find a gimmick. We were a bit spoiled by having the Vending Machine isekai come out earlier, which already stretched disbelief to the snapping point. Woof Woof Story does not quite go that far, and instead sticks with our hero Routa as a “dog”. Unfortunately, the goddess who reincarnated him in this world is just as flakey as the goddesses in KonoSuba, and so he ends up being Fenrir, the strongest animal in the world. To his horror. Now he has to pretend he’s just a happy-go-lucky puppy so that he can keep his wonderful relaxed life with his adorable teenage master Mary, who has no idea he’s a monstrous wolf. He’s just a big doggie.
Let’s get one thing out of the way, as I suspect it will irritate some readers. Routa is a dog, and as such speaks in dog sounds. However, the book needs to have him actually converse with other animals, witches, and yes, occasionally his master, who seems to understand what he’s saying in a “dog” way. So we get Routa’s dog sounds, followed by what he’s actually saying in parentheses and italics. This can take some getting used to. The plot itself mostly involves Routa discovering his true identity and trying to hide it while also trying to protect his master, who tends to do things like go swimming by the dangerous lake with monsters around it, or come down with horrible fevers that need a special medicine only found in a faraway cave. But she’s cute and scritches him. And he gets lots of yummy food. In fact, sometimes he eats the larder and is forced to go hunt new food. Oh yes, and the resident knight wants to kill him as she’s the only one who gets that he’s a legendary wolf monster.
If you leave out the ‘I’m a dog’ part of the story, this has a lot of standard isekai/reincarnation tropes. The knight, Zenobia, is a garden variety tsundere, as is lampshaded by Routa himself. Sadly, I expect her role in this story is to be useless. Routa also has a number of other wolves who call him their king, one of whom is female, but, as he insists constantly, he’s not a furry. Routa may be reincarnated as a wolf, but he still has human memories. As such, “I’m not a furry” is the equivalent of “but I’m not into little girls” that we see in so many other isekai to take the curse off the hero being surrounded by young girls. That said, the book is pretty fun, and anyone looking for a lighthearted romp should enjoy it. But honestly, even the vending machine novels had more depth than this.