In these haunting tales, Dolls– human-like androids– have an uncanny way of working themselves into the lives of their masters.
DOLL examines the question of what it means to be truly human.
Candy’s Rating: 9/10
Candy’s Thoughts: Sooo, when I realized that Dokuhime and Shigeshoushi was written by the same author, I knew I had to go read more of her stuff. Unfortunately, DOLL isn’t up on any sites, so you actually have to buy volumes 3-6 of this bad boy, and honestly, I’m super happy I did. This was soooo good. Like besides the fact I adore this woman’s art, the story was just, my type of story. I loved all the ways she made the dolls get used, abused, and cherished. Like there’s sweet with so much terrifying mixed in, but the sweet moments are oh so precious. Then you get all the twists that come because you know, pure happiness does not exist int his manga, there has to be something wrong, but they’re done SO WELL! Just the way the stories were told was absolutely magnificent to me, plus they all got you thinking, what is truly human?Because I swear man, these poor dolls, they suffered.
Okay before I start giving spoilers away super early on, basically this manga is a series of stories, each with their own beginning and end. Each focuses on pretty much a new doll and their story. Each doll has their own programmed function, some are nanny’s, housekeepers, or even sexdroids. Due to this, we get a wide array of stories being told, that actually end up focusing on human issues. Like honestly, reading this manga, you realize how utterly horrible some people are, and you end up feeling SOOOOOO bad for the dolls, and then you have some stories where a doll saves a human (either physically, mentally, or spiritually,) and you’re like, my god, they’re actually saints! that makes it even harder to watch them be used and abused, because they can’t cry out, they can’t say stop, and worst off, the can’t leave! It will make you feel man. This manga does have a lot of poetic justice, with those getting what they deserved. Honestly one of the worst stories was a human being turned into a doll by a crazy stalker. He like injects nano machines into her blood so she literally can’t leave him. The sexdroid story was also really sad because there’s a DOLL, trying and wishing so hard to feel as his partner is destroyed. Then as you read further into the manga, you’ll realize some characters are reappearing, giving the, what seemed to be separate stories, and actual connection. I really liked that aspect because it ends up giving the manga an overall plot and a reason for some of the really tragic stories.
Like I mentioned, this manga does indeed have an overall plot, but I’m not sure if explaining it would be spoiling or not, so for simplicity’s sake, let’s just say, it’s a revenge plot. It’s really nothing out of the normal, and truthfully I had no clue how one characters actions were supposed to be revenge for what happened to them, but in the end, it doesn’t matter. Everything that needed to happen to make a great, substantial story, came together extremely well. Like literally, everything is revealed int he last volume so I can’t say anything without spoiling, so it hurts me ;—–; One thing I can mention though, is the illegal remodeling of the dolls. this comes up a lot throughout the manga, and serves multiple purposes. One is for the sake of the plot, and the other is too make the reader think. Some dolls would be given senses, so they could feel pain, purposely by their owners, just so they could abuse them. At that point, they’re basically abusing a living being, but telling themselves it’s okay because it’s a doll. Like I said, there are some really fucked up stories in this one.
The art is absoultely stunning, to die for goregous. Mitsukazu Mihara has yet to let me down with her beautifully, Gothic inspired art. The designs for the outfits, characters, and backgrounds are just to die for. Like I honestly can’t get enough. The pages before the story began would take up so much of my time because they were just beautiful pictures done by her. Her art and storytelling are so unique, like go away, she’s amazing, and you say otherwise <3
Literally impossible to talk about the characters in this manga since its a series of interconnected stories, but I do want to mention some of the standout stories. One of the early ones (which actually is important later) Of a woman who had an older model doll, and had a life we;re basically she was used for her money. She questioned the deepness of a relationship between a doll and a human, and honestly it gets you wondering if these dolls can actually feel. In the end, she passes away and just wants her doll to be taken care of, instead her asshole family destroys the doll and buries it with her. Well, that caused them to get none of the inheritance, so sucks4them! See, poetic justice is alive in this manga. She slept peacefully with her doll, the only one who actually cared about her. But do dolls actually care? Throughout the story, another theme is, are dolls just moving, caring, being considerate and loyal because of their program, or is it more? The chapter about the doll destruction, makes it apparent that dolls cannot disobey, they cannot hate, and they do not resent. That makes it even harder to read then. They take it with no anger or hatred towards their owners. When they are no longer wanted, they’re scrapped like they’re nothing, or worse, remolded to become something that hurts, beyond being destroyed.
If this sounds like something you’d be into, go buy the manga, it’s soooo worth it. If you’re not sure, read the first 2 volume that are uploaded online. They will definitely give you a good overview of the whole manga.