shortly about - Doll Star
“the story thanks to which you will never look at your beloved teddy/doll the same way as before”
/Polish publisher’s comment translated/
Doll Star is another - right after Tokyo Ghoul - manga which suits my coffee-and-cake afternoons.
Polish edition by Waneko looks exclusive and encourages to read - released as a standalone (both volumes in a single book), in a relatively low price (I would say a very low price for 400 pages, good quality paper and manga design). Inner cover is in light willow-green metallic with gentle white sketches. Outer cover is the art somewhat resembling Tokyo Ghoul style pacing by female vision and pretty much playing with imagination. Bonus A6 greetings art-card from the illustrator makes it once again similar to Polish Tokyo Ghoul editions - Sui Ishida sent the art-cards with autographs for Polish readers some time ago.
Doll Star is the manga first published in 2008/2009 by Kodansha (Tokyo). Its authors are working in a duo - Satomi Ran (screenplay) and Maki Ebishi (illustrations). I dare to say that type of marriage passed the exam in the same harmony as Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
Every chapter is split into sub-chapters and narrates its own separate story.
Volume 1 deals with typical Japanese urban or custom problems - too moderate law (family violence), school life (bullying), teenage (diet obsession), deviation aspect (stalking), self-understanding (crossdressing), general (the need to be accepted by the rest of society). Precisely created characters are playing suggestive roles on the stage, the situations are deeply depicted, the ‘bad ones’ are surprisingly not as bad in the bottom as they are on the surface, or on the contrary.
Volume 2 is dedicated to the protagonist and the after-effects.
Nonoka Magica Yugi Nonoka gives to that manga the Madoka Magica spirit. She’s is ‘properly dressed’ and got the power, in all of its meaning. She also seems to be a pretty good candidate for a psychologist and the victim of the trauma definition as well. Interestingly, she uses her magical power in a very human way reaching quite accurate results - the kind of balance where the friend is safe, the assistant stays ‘badass’, the antagonist remains annoying with a little ‘but’ somewhere under the curtain.
- beyond magic
Ordinary, extraordinary or just magic artifact, expression, emotion, everything important has in Doll Star a mascot form. The one belonging to the protagonist is indeed special. Such special and memorable, but still a fluffy toy.
I can’t help it, I can stop thinking about Mami and Charlotte (Madoka Magica again).
Technically Doll Star pretend to be seinen. I think that it’s enough to consider it worth reading.
Except the specific ‘dark’ moments I can’t see a horror genre there, I can see social psychology (e.g. antisocial personality disorder, dissociative identity disorder) and memory aspect (e.g. primal fear) settled in the easy on the eye, detailed manga panels and their second stage.
For whom is this manga? - For the reader not afraid to taste. I give it 8/10 in my
strict personal ranking system and really wonder about the higher score. So, tell me, what are you afraid of most?