Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Suki Suki Daisuki Cho Ai Shite Iru

Maijo Otaro is, as always, a consummate nutbar.
Tackling the theme of love - or more specifically, man in love with dead or dying girls - he occasionally seems to be taking a lurching stab at emotional voyeurism, tediously detailing the emotions of his largely personality free male leads. Maijo isn't exactly known for bland writer stand-ins, and these sections tend to come across like him marking time until something more interesting comes to mind.
The book basically consists of a three part story wrapped around three shorter stories. The three part story is the least interesting of the bunch; a novelist whose girlfriend has died of cancer, getting letters from her that she arranged to have delivered after her death. It only really shines when describing the hilariously insane garbage he writes, particularly the never ending mystery novel series which always involves a cast of six girls; one detective, one killer, one victim, one pure love advocate, one who looses her mind, and one who gets abducted by aliens.
The opening story manages to undercut the less interesting sappy love side because the girl is being eaten alive by a swarm of insects. When another girl comes walking across the ceiling and whispers in her ear, all the insects begin to glow. Which neatly plays into a story written by the writer in the main narrative, about a girl with a flashlight inside her.
The second of the stories was largely my favorite - a boy is taught the secret of dreams by a man named Mister Sister - who happens to look exactly like Disney's Captain Hook. Except without a hook. Which makes him Captain...what? Very enjoyable, except I had to actually flip through the book to remember what it was. Not a good sign.
The true mainlining of crazy comes from the third short, in which Adams extract ribs from their Eves to pilot them in the fight against God. The narrator is an Adam, and his Eve is a thirteen year old girl, and their relationship is not really working out so well. One epic snarling argument later, the Adam is quite surprised to discover that she had actually died in single combat with God, and God was just fucking with him by pretending to be her.
I think.


  1. I read this a few weeks back and absolutely loved it, but I've already forgotten the details of the the main story. I mostly remember the six girl mystery series bit making me laugh so hard I cried on public transport.

    Apparently this is his response to Sekai no chuushin de ai wo sakebu, so I guess it's better if you know enough about these things to see that in it. I definitely read it as his take on/examination of love stories but I don't think I got it as fully as I could have knowing the background. Either way the short stories are way stronger than the main one. The third story completely blew me away - unlike his other stuff I've read so far it was completely fantasy all along, rather than starting out in (almost) everday reality and getting weirder, which for me gave it a totally different feel and a different kind of crazy. I was almost holding my breath as I was reading it, probably my favourite short story I've read for a long while.

  2. That makes a lot of sense; I certainly could tell it was his take on the dying girl romance novel, but I suspect it is a bit more satisfying tied to one in particular.
    I had to read the opening paragraph of that third story several times before it even began to make sense.
    "To fight God and crush the new world, I took control of Chowagaoka Niomi. Niomi had just turned thirteen, and was not used to fighting God. She was not used to rib fusion or me, either. She never looked at my eyes. At this rate Niomi would die soon. If Niomi died, I would just be given my eighth Eve, but I liked Niomi."
    And so on.
    I actually considered translating that entire chunk on the six girl mystery series, but it had a similar effect on me, also on public transport, but I do have quite of lot of paid translation on my plate.