Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sexy Voice and Robo

Sexy Voice and Robo by Iou Kuroda is a rare treat. It's also a rare format for manga - it's a thick book the size of other graphic novels on my bookshelf, easily overshadowing most other manga. Incorpoarted into this book is the assisted dating phenomenon from Japan, a strange form of prostitution that usually involves school girls (there's a great film by Hideaki Anno about this called Love and Pop.) Our protagonist, Sexy Voice, plays with this phone service sex-dating, putting her abilities to change her voice, as well as analyze other people based on their voices and remember each voice distinctly, to use amusing herself. Her talents are soon noticed, however, as she is hired as a sort of spy to do odd jobs for an old man who catches her in the midst of her games. Throughout all of this is a pathetic man named Robo whom Sexy Voice played with initially, who is drawn into the missions that Sexy Voice finds herself involved in. This is a great read, really different from most comics and even manga that I've read recently. It's a lot of fun, but maintains a sort of sophistication to its storytelling, providing for a lot of character internal conflict and strange, but touching, relationships.

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