Hokay. I'll say it up front. I have yet to see a work by Mitsukazu Mihara I like. That said, I really didn't enjoy this one at all. I know Mihara is supposed to be some kind of genius, but her work just leaves me sort of flat. The short stories in this book are usually relentlessly depressing and almost hopeless. I understand that writing dark stories about damaged people is "art", but, come on. The two exceptions to this, the opening "Keep Those Condoms Away from Our Kids" (which is merely elegiac) and "Alive" (an interesting meditation on the meaning of life in a time when humans are cloned), are just not enough to save this one from sinking into the Pit of Despair. I ended this one wanting to call a therapist for the characters.
From mangafox:A cyber-punkish collection of stories revolving around the theme of the "DOLL."
1. Keep Those Condoms Away From Our Kids
The tale of boys and girls who have lost their sexual desire.
Mihara Mitsukazu's debut work.
2. The Iron Maiden
The tale of the strain a girl experiences from having grown up in a home without love.
3. The Sunflower Quality Of An Integrated Circuit
Vanilla is a robot made by the SG Company. She's loaded with all the latest functions and completely subserviant to humans. And you even have the separate option of upgrading her to a lover robot.
One Vanilla is a maidroid in the home of an elderly master and his younger wife. The atmosphere in the house is cold and stiff because the wife is having an affair with a younger man. The lonely master comes to look upon Vanilla as his own dear child. He suggests that when the sunflowers bloom, they go outside together to watch them. "Is that a command, sir?" asks Vanilla. "It is not a command," he replies. "It is a promise." And so forms the piercing and painful integrated circuit--the alternating current of intercourse--between a lonely old man and the emotionless Vanilla.
4. The Other Side of the Rose Wire
What was the thing a girl like an angel endlessly carried?
5. Fish Out of Water
A girl who lost her memories when she was dragged into a llake with her suicidal mother... awakens from her dream.
6. Mister Mineral
Inside the body of a cute girl who's just like a doll... are internal organs, and blood, and...
The sad tale of a human and a clone who pass right by each other.