Guru Guru Pon-chan (ぐるぐるポンちゃん?) is a manga by Satomi Ikezawa about a Labrador puppy, named Ponta, who turns into a human and falls in love with Mirai Iwaki, who's very popular in his school. In 2000, it won the Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo. It is published in the United States by Del Rey Manga.
Ponta, the Koizumi family's labrador retriever puppy one day eats the 'talking bone' that the grandfather invented to allow an animal who licks it the power of speech. Instead of just being able to talk however, she transforms into a human girl. When she rushes out into traffic as a girl, she is saved by the most popular boy at school and falls in love with him. To be near him she enrolls in school and tries to learn how to live as a human.
- Ponta Koizumi
- The lead character of the series. She is sweet, innocent, and loyal. Ponta's feelings for Mirai could be described as love at first sight, at least on her part. Grandpa Koizumi's invention transformed her from a puppy into a small child that Mirai believes is feral. After saving her, Ponta returns the favor by upchucking the bone onto Mirai's clothes, resulting in her returning to her canine form. Some time later, Ponta has grown into a teenage dog, and finally sees Mirai again. Overjoyed, she follows him back to his house where she rediscovers the bone, and Mirai discovers her secret. He doesn't fully realize it, though, until about one chapter later. As Mirai's sweetie, Ponta has had no shortage of rivals battling for the love of Mirai. Despite these obstacles, not to mention her slow learning of human life, she and Mirai have remained true to each other.
- Mirai Iwaki
- He is the object of Ponta's affection, and an all-around nice guy. Mirai was understandably frustrated when Ponta first became human, as it became his task to watch her at school so she didn't get in trouble. He even once snapped at her, causing her to believe that she was naughty. While they made up, it also showed Ponta that her actions do have consequences. Mirai is very patient, and while he would sometimes have reservations about dating Ponta's human side, loves her very much.
- Go Fujinaga
- Fujinaga loves animals, but does not get along with humans as well. He doesn't like it when people abuse animals. When he first meets Ponta and Mirai, she had transformed back into a dog while she was wearing a kimono. Fujinaga later met the human Ponta in school, and fell for her instantly. He wrongly believed, however, since Mirai was also with Yuka Koizumi that he was cheating on her. Fujinaga tries to break them up, but since he has no real malice in him, he does not resort to cheap tricks. He discovers Ponta's secret in the 2nd volume, while trying (unsuccessfully) to take Ponta to a movie.
- Yuka Koizumi
- Yuka is the granddaughter of the transformation bone's creator, Grandfather Koizumi. She is very sweet, but is also very sensitive. Yuka initially had a crush on Mirai, causing Ponta to fall into a deep depression, but later realized that her crush was only a crush, while what Ponta felt was true love. She later finds a nice boyfriend, and becomes a more minor character, showing up more in the manga when help is needed to find/conceal Ponta.
- Soichiro Koizumi
- Brother to Yuka. He has been seen, not heard, after volume 1.
- Grandfather Ji Koizumi
- Initially thought of by his family members as senile and crazy, after the evidence of the transformation bone's success his family just thinks he is crazy. He tries very hard to educate Ponta, and to teach her how humans act and interact within everyday life, which may stem from his career in education (he is the headmaster of the school his grandchildren, Mirai, and Ponta attend). All of these Koizumi-s, plus a mother and a father, live in a house next door to Mirai Iwaki. Most often, Ji Koizumi's character provides the comic relief.
- Hana Yamaguchi
- Mirai's scheming ex-girlfriend. She would stoop to almost anything to regain Mirai, despite that she was the one who broke off the relationship. Hana wanted to become a celebrity, and she didn't want to have anything to distract her. She is very suspicious of Ponta, and began to investigate her in order to learn how to defeat her. Hana has a suspicion that the human and dog Pontas are the same, but doesn't believe that such a thing is possible.
- Volume 1
- Ponta's owner, Grandfather Koizumi, has created a bone that he hopes will make dogs able to speak. However, his invention not only gives dogs the ability to speak, but transforms them into human form. Young Ponta, in human form, falls for Mirai, a local teenage heartthrob, almost instantly. Mirai discovers the secret of Ponta's transformation, and becomes the unwitting social tutor of Ponta. As time goes by he begins to return her feelings, despite his own misgivings about Ponta originally being a dog. However, Ponta's other owner, Yuka, also has her eyes set on Mirai. Will Ponta keep pursuing her feelings for Mirai, or will she give into her sense of loyalty for Yuka?
- Volume 2
- Ponta has been picked up by the dog pound on Christmas Eve. Will she have to spend the entire Christmas holiday in doggie jail? New student Fujinaga falls for the human Ponta, seeing her as his ideal girl. Will he discover her true identity? Ponta has remained ignorant of many of the human world's more complex issues, one of which is the need for money. When Ponta breaks a seemingly valuable vase, Mirai has to go out and earn the money to replace it. Ponta, always trying to help, tries to help raise money, but mistakenly takes a job as an escort.
- Volume 3
- Mirai's ex-girlfriend is back in town and looking to heat up her old relationship with Mirai! She's willing to do anything and hurt anyone that stands in her path. Ponta and Mirai go on a class trip into the woods, but after Mirai is injured looking for a lost Ponta, Hana attacks Ponta, accusing her of being a terrible girlfriend. Can Ponta stand up for herself?
- Volume 4
- Not wanting to believe Hana's words, Ponta sticks to Mirai like glue. When Hana tricks Mirai into breaking a date with Ponta, Ponta finds them together and mistakes it for a date. Trying to make up for it, Mirai takes Ponta to the beach, only to be rained out. When frustrations arise over Ponta's continued misunderstanding of the human world, Mirai yells at Ponta, and a good drawing of Ponta yelling back "I don't understand because I am a dog!!" Because of this, Ponta runs away, believing that it is better for her to live as a dog, since that way she thinks she won't break her heart over Mirai. Will the family be able to find Ponta? Will Grandfather Koizumi ever allow Mirai to see Ponta again when they do? Also, when Ponta is hit by a car, will she ever be reunited with Mirai?
- Volume 5
- Picking up where the previous volume left off, Ponta has an out of body experience where she not only visits her boyfriend, but possesses his ex! Luckily for her, Ponta is able to relay to Mirai via Hana where her body is. Also in this volume, Mirai begins to see the further complications of dating a human-canine crossbreed when Ponta goes into heat and is determined to have a baby. How can Ponta have a baby when she has no understanding of the "facts of life"?
- Volume 6
- Ponta finds herself with more troubles in this volume, as her Guru-Guru bone has started to malfunction! Now that she can no longer transform into her human self, Ponta can no longer talk to Mirai. If that wasn't terrible enough, now a beautiful dog owner has plans to steal Mirai away from Ponta!
- Volume 7
- The troubles continue for Ponta as the cute dog owner Aoka tries to work her way into Mirai's heart. To make matters worse, Aoka's dog Gang is attracted to her and won't take no for an answer. When Aoka decides that the best way into Mirai's heart is through breeding Gang and Ponta, can Ponta keep herself safe?
- Volume 8
- This volume deals with the question, "What would Mirai be like as a dog?" Can Mirai learn anything from this experience? Also in this volume Mirai and Ponta discover that there are some terrible repercussions from using the transformation bone.
- Volume 9
- With Ponta in danger of dying, Mirai makes the difficult choice of whether to leave Ponta as a dog or to let her live a shorter life as a human. Will true love conquer all, or are Mirai and Ponta merely star crossed lovers?
Del Rey licensed Guru Guru Pon-chan for an English-language release in North America and published the volumes from July 26, 2005 to July 31, 2007. In the United Kingdom, Tanoshimi published Guru Guru Pon-chan from August 3, 2006 to August 2, 2007.