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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Dolis by Kusumoto Maki 
22nd-Jun-2007 09:06 pm
Kusumoto, Maki. Dolis. Trans. Naomi Kokubo. Los Angeles: TOKYOPOP, 2006.
          Summary: Kishi's new girlfriend Mitsu is the perfect woman--if "perfect" means having no identity of one's own. Traumatized by her experiences as a model, she has become self-destructive. The couple's relationship is emotionally intense and ends only when Mitsu is hit by a car.
          Comments: No one is more renowned in manga for a goth-punk style than Kusumoto Maki, and no one draws women who are more blatantly anorexic. The blocks of color used in lieu of monochrome are just icing on this low-calorie confection. The title and its meaning were the most interesting things happening. Dolis sounds a bit like "doll," which is what the designer was ruthlessly using Mitsu as, and also like "Doris," a generic, unremarkable name for a woman. Both are evocative of a trivalizing of the self, and there's clearly some commentary with regards to the price women pay for trying too hard to be fashionable--to becoming objects of the gaze.
          In any case, I knew it was just a matter of time before TOKYOPOP picked up a Kusumoto Maki title. After stuff like Paradise Kiss and Princess Ai? Please. They pale by comparison. Perhaps now VIZ Media will bring out her most famous work, Kissxxx, for their Shojo Beat line or something.
          Notes: oversized paperback, 1st American edition (first published in Japan in 1998 by Shodensha)
          Rating: 5.5/10 - Style over substance at its very best...except that there's just a smidgen of substance to keep you from tossing the book away in disgust.
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