(ADV Manga, 2004)
ô and © 2003 Hiroyuki Eto

In this weird, whimsical fantasy, Shuichi, who loves machines as much as he loves fixing them, meets a girl who tends to break them. Their meeting, over a malfunctioning piece of consumer electronics, leads to first contact with extraterrestrials (who obviously have a lot of free time) who are trying to get them together.

Or the whole thing could just an elaborate metaphor for a boyís first contact with a girl. Itís kind of hard to tell how seriously readers are supposed to take such surrealistic scenes as the one in which, on the coupleís first date, an arcade claw machine gives ďbirthĒ to a doll that they treat like their baby.

One traditional complaint about manga is thatís itís hard to tell just how old some characters are supposed to be. That certainly holds true here, since the art has a strangely stunted style that renders every character so as to look like bigheaded, squat, barrel-chested creatures that are a lot more like toddlers than teens. As odd as it is, though, itís just that ingratiating.

ó S.A. Bennett

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Graphic novel; Reads right to left; B&WHiroyuki EtoHiroyuki Eto