Lassie (ラッシー Rasshī?) is a two volume manga series written by Yoshihiro Takahashi and published by Shueisha in 2001. Lassie follows a rough collie named Lassie as he searches for his beloved friend Akutsu, who he wants to be his owner. Though named for the famous fictional collie from books, movies and television series in the United States, Takahashi's Lassie is male, and has little in common with the American Lassie other than a shared name and being the same breed.
Though Takahashi is well-known for his dog-oriented manga series, particularly Ginga Densetsu Weed and Ginga Nagareboshi Gin, the Lassie series is one his lesser known series, even in Japan, and it has never been licensed for an English language release.
Lassie is focused around a male Rough Collie (named Lassie) and his journey to find a woman, Akutsu. Lassie spent much of his life in a pet shop, and the two developed a strong bond. When the two are separated, Lassie sets out on his journey to find her.
Lassie encounters and helps many people and dogs along the way. German, a German Shepherd Dog, is a newly made friend of Lassie's who recovers his trust in humans because of Lassie. Yaguchi, a young boy who would get harassed by bullies, was helped by Lassie. In turn, Yaguchi helped both German and Lassie when they were wounded and gave German a home. Chiyomaru was a Shiba Inu mix who was beaten and dumped by his owner's new wife. Lassie gives him help and the courage to face her and prove to his owner, Sanosuke, what she had done. After all these events, Lassie and Akutsu are finally reunited.
Throughout the series, Bull, an American Pit Bull Terrier, serves as the antagonist. He dislikes both Lassie and German. When he attacks humans, though, Lassie rushes out to warn him about what the humans would do. Despite this, Bull continues to dislike Lassie and is captured by animal control.
Lassie (ラッシー Rasshī?) is a good-natured male Rough Collie who is on a quest to find a young woman, Akutsu, who had promised him that she would one day buy him. He carries around a locket which contains a picture of Akutsu.
German (ジャーマン Jāman?) is a male German Shepherd Dog who is first seen at the beginning of the series. German doesn't trust humans because of a bad past experience in which a human breeder locked him away in a shed with many other dogs. He was the only one who escaped and didn't die. He later regains his trust of humans because of both Lassie and a boy named Shingo Yaguchi. He is named "Roku" by Yaguchi.
Bull (ブル Buru?)Script error is a male American Pit Bull Terrier and is the main antagonist. Bull was first seen trying to catch Lassie at the beginning of the book. Bull at one point (along with his pack) attacks some adults and children at a school. Bull escapes, and Lassie later comes to him to warn him that the humans were after him. Despite this, Bull attacks Lassie. Bull was then caught by the dog-catchers, and last seen being driven away in a van by animal control.
Chiyomaru (千代丸 Chiyomaru?) is a 7 year old male Shiba Inu mix who was once a stray. A woman named Masumi and a kind man named Sanosuke rescued him. Masumi and Sanosuke married and took Chiyomaru in and opening an Italian restaurant. Sanosuke began cheating on Masumi, and she worked herself to death. Machiko disliked Chiyomaru, and eventually beat him to a near-death state and abandoned him far away.
Pamella (パメラ Pamera?) is a female Toy Poodle owned by Machiko. Machiko gave her a piece of clothing of Masumi's to chew on. Machiko spoils her and loves her dearly, so whe Chiyomaru bit Pamella in an attempt to make her let go of the clothing, Machiko nearly beat Chiyomaru to death.
Akutsu (安久津 Akutsu?) is a woman who worked at the pet shop where Lassie was being sold. She and Lassie form a strong bond and she gives Lassie a locket with her picture in it. When they are separated, she never loses hope that Lassie is alive. She makes daily calls to animal shelters to check to see if Lassie has been found. At the end of the book, when she has returned to work at the pet shop, Sanosuke contacts her about finding Lassie. Lassie and her are finally reunited.
Shingo Yaguchi (矢口しんご Shingo Yaguchi?) is a young boy who was helped by Lassie when he was being harassed by bullies. Later, he and his mother find Lassie and bring him to their home. When German is injured and unable to walk, Lassie finds Yaguchi and he takes German home with him. He and his mother help German regain trust in humans.
Yaguchi's Mother is Shingo Yaguchi's mother. She is unnamed throughout the book. She is a single mother working hard to raise her son, but she still helps both Lassie and German when they are in need. She also feels respect towards Lassie, feeling that the family needed to repay him after he saved Yaguchi from bullies.
Sanosuke (佐乃助 Sanosuke?) is Chiyomaru's owner. He owned a restaurant with his first wife, Masumi. He began cheating on her and she overworked herself, causing her death. He later remarried to the woman he was cheating on, Machiko. He was unaware that Machiko was cheating on him and that she also abused and despised Chiyomaru. With Lassie's help, Chiyomaru reveals what Machiko had done.
Masumi (増美 Masumi?) was Sanosuke's first wife. She and Sanosuke's relationship started when they were brought together to help Chiyomaru. They took the dog in and later married and started a restaurant. She never loses faith in her husband. Eventually, she works herself to death because Sanosuke never helped; he'd been out with a different woman.
Machiko (真知子 Machiko?) is the human antagonist. Sanosuke was cheating on Masumi with her. After Masumi died, Sanosuke married Machiko. He had realized what he had done and tried hard to make sure it wouldn't happen again. Machiko, though, was cheating on him and abused Chiyomaru. She intends to run away with Yu-chan. When Sanosuke finds out was Machiko had done, he leaves her.
Yu-chan (ゆうちゃん Yū-chan?) is a male prostitute whom Machiko was planning on running away with for his money. Yu-chan eventually backs out, not really wanting to be married to her.