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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
MPD-Psycho Vol. 1 by Otsuka Eiji and Tajima Sho-U 
21st-Oct-2007 11:18 am
Otsuka, Eiji and Sho-U Tajima. MPD-Psycho. Vol. 1. Trans. Kumar Sivasubramanian. Milwaukie: Dark Horse, 2007.
          Summary: An ex-police detective afflicted with multiple personalities gets out of jail and joins a private agency as Amamiya Kazuhiko. Soon, he's caught up in an investigation of serial killers of assorted varieties who all have one thing in common--a barcode on their left eyeball. Seems that Amamiya's got one too...
          Comments: Who would have thought that the overblown, "dark" fantasy shounen silliness of the 80s (a la Madara) would lead to the aesthetic cruelty of MPD-Psycho in the 90s? Though I suppose this was a time when male artists were being encouraged to beautify their art and their protagonists in order to appeal more widely (a.k.a. to women). Not to mention that it comes in the wake of things like, oh, Silence of the Lambs (also popular with women). Unlike Hannibal, however, who was an equal-opportunity killer, I can't help but notice that everyone who gets graphically and creatively killed (or kills oneself) on-page anywhere is female. The only way we can get nudity in this manga is through the gross violation of the female body, you say? Color the token woman reader delighted. I'm sure, that, for its intended audience, the ongoing eye bank/eyeball barcode mystery pales in comparison to, oh, the "artistic" rendering of three voluptuous, naked women on their knees in bondage gear with plants growing out of their exposed brains. No one is going to convince me that this manga is not profoundly misogynistic until I see mutilated male bodies on display in a similar fashion.
          Notes: paperback, 1st American edition; first published in Japan by Kadokawa Shoten in 1997
          Rating: 4.5/10 - You know, I'm sure there are people out there who adore and worship this manga. But I can't help but wonder what it says about you if you're one of their number.
21st-Oct-2007 03:32 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I kind of prefer my naked people not dead, tortured, and mutilated ^^;
22nd-Oct-2007 02:46 pm (UTC)
I almost gave up on it after Volume 1. I didn't like the fact that only the ladies were part of the more forensic crime depictions...but Volume 2 was easier to digest. :/ I liken MPD-Psycho to the Russian alphabet: it's trying to make sense, and somewhere in my brain it does make sense, but damn if it'll ever make itself clear enough for me to understand. (^_^)
*adores Shinji Nishizono*
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