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Helter Skelter: Fashion Unfriendly

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  753 ratings  ·  77 reviews
If you are aware of fashion in Japan you must have seen Liliko's face. For the last few years she has been at the top of the modeling world, with her face and body promoting the biggest brands. But as everyone who is in this world admits, staying on top is a constant and never ending battle. There are always new faces introduced to the public. Younger models and new looks ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 20th 2013 by Vertical (first published January 1st 2003)
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  753 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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David Schaafsma
I basically have no interest in the fashion industry or famous models-come-to-ruin. Too obvious and cliched to spend time on. Not click bait for me. And this one, a josei (or adult-level) manga, which purports to be the first of a series, but didn't get followed up on (?), at a glance fulfills every pop culture doom and gloom expectation: Beauty has a short shelf life. Beauty kills. Fame kills. Yawn. So Ririko gets involved in basically total body reconstruction through plastic surgery and in th ...more
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga
Okazaki Kyoko's Helter Skelter is so many things at once, it is a challenge to describe it. It's beautiful and ugly, erotic and repulsive, poignantly shallow, and all around shows easily how at odds reality is with itself. Let's start with the art: It's not as polished as one might be used to, but that style is very reminiscent of other 90s josei. It looks more quickly drawn and less reworked* than shoujo and shounen series of the same time frame. Intentionally or not, it helps to make the world ...more
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-to-film
I have never been one to read manga or graphic novels. I think in my whole life, including Helter Skelter now, I've read a total of three. And only then because I was deeply interested in the subject matter (My Friend Dahmer because of my interest in Jeffrey Dahmer's life, and Ghost World because I loved the movie growing up). Similar to Ghost World, I decided to read Helter Skelter, after realizing my library had a copy of it, because it is the inspiration for one of my favourite movies.

Seth T.
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Helter Skelter by Kyoko Okazaki

When reading, one of the several pleasures I indulge is finding I enjoy a book beyond prediction. The defiance of expectations. The unraveling of prejudices. The low-level epiphany on which my emerging hope for humanity is fastened. And it’s all just a sham, really. Approaching an unread book and believing it to be anything other than an undiscovered experience is an unhappy arrogance common to too many of us. I loathe the presumption that assigns the value of a book before even cracking its cov
Jan 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
[Will eventually add some things now that I've read the Vertical translation, but the following still covers most of what I'd say.]

Ririko is a Japanese supermodel, a beauty by virtue of reconstructive surgery, dieting, drugs, eating disorders, enormous amounts of pressure from herself and others, and experimental and dangerous medical regimens. She's had so much surgery her body's begun to break down -- and her mind is going with it, not helped by the amount of alcohol and illegal drugs she's ta
Ben Cheng
This book exposes the ugly side of the beauty industry, effectively comparing cosmetics to crack, and putting a deep emphasis on beauty being fleeting. When I first saw this book at the library I thought the art would be really stylish and there would be a bunch of memorable quotes. However, I don't know if it's the translation from Japanese to English that cripples the dialogue of this book or if it's just bad writing but a lot of it feels rather tripe. I feel as if the text used in the book do ...more

A truly creepy commentary on body image and how society as a whole has damaged scads of young men and women into believing that their entire worth is based on their looks. Our main character, Ririko, is a world-famous model who is slowly starting to break down in more ways than one. Her body and her mind are decaying at an accelerated rate, thanks to the dubious experimental cosmetic surgery regimens she takes part in. She rages and seduces and cries and is very, very cruel to her assistant, the
Helter-Skelter is a very interesting manga that has a lot to say. Ririko, desperate to become beautiful, submits herself to several expensive full-body surgeries--all paid for by some mysterious woman who exploits her for all she's worth, but keeps her as an 'investment'. Ririko, of course, becomes a famous model, but starts to realize that it's going to end sooner than she feared as her new body starts falling apart.
Ririko starts to desperately pursue anything she can to hang on to her fame as
Russell Grant
Aug 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
It would be a 3.5 if the site allowed it.

Blind bought this one mainly due to my complete trust in Vertical that they are going to put out manga I like. I was not disappointed. This is a nicely twisted commentary on fame and the culture around it. It's an ugly little book, but a delightfully ugly book. The most striking thing I found in this work was the art. Typically manga can look overly polished and manufactured, which leaves it a bit cold. Not here, the lines look rushed and it gives the mat
Jun 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: watched
This is what you call; ugly beautiful.
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Al fin un manga con el que obsesionarme.
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
lavish hysteria at its finest
Paulo Vinicius Figueiredo dos Santos
Alguns quadrinhos ou mangás a gente acaba pegando no bolo junto com outros objetos de desejo. Helter Skelter entrou na minha wishlist há vários meses e por lá ficou por muito tempo. Em uma dessas compras grandes, acabei pegando o mangá junto e ele novamente entrou na pilha de leituras futuras. Um dia desses decidi pegar alguma coisa diferente para ler. E qual não foi a surpresa de o mangá ser absolutamente arrepiante...

Deixa eu tirar de cara o único ponto negativo de Helter Skelter para tecer só
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga
Helter Skelter is another great manga by Kyoko Okazaki. While I didn't think this was as solid as Pink, it is very close in quality. For the most part, it is just as good, but the art suffers from what appears to be some rushing (apparently this manga didn't go through the cleaning process that manga usually go through before being collected in tankobon due to Okazaki getting hit by a car near the end of the publishing process). In Pink, I praised Okazaki's deliberately messy style, but here it ...more
Quynh Than
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dạo này mình chuyển sang đọc graphic novel, tình cờ mượn được cuốn này sau khi nghe danh lừng lẫy đã lâu. Thật không biết phải diễn tả thế nào cho đặng, một viên ngọc quý đầy những phù phiếm và nông cạn, kinh hoàng và buồn bã, hoa lệ và trống rỗng; một bức tranh hiện thực đau lòng với những nhân vật đáng ghét lẫn đáng thương. Cộng thêm nét vẽ không trau chuốt và nhiều biến dạng làm mình nhớ đến Mind Game và The night is short, walk on girl (một phim hoạt hình mới đây mình thích phát điên lên đượ ...more
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
so I guess the review I wrote earlier didn't here's a botched version of the awesome review I wrote that didn't post.

Helter Skelter is more proof of Okazaki's genius when it comes to capturing what women in Japan think, do, say and so on - especially in the late 80s-90s. I picked up Pink by chance a few weeks ago, enjoyed it (but was also a little shocked at the content) and sought out more Okazaki works to read. one compliant about Pink I noticed in GR reviews is that the manga was
Ok, I can appreciate what this manga tried to be and the questions it tried to raise. There are some really important subjects in play here: suicide, rape, what the beauty industry can do to one's mind, to name a few.

That's the only reason why I don't give this a lower rating. Because everything else is just... terrible. Part of me thinks that it's terrible on purpose, but even so, I couldn't bring myself to enjoy this story.

Helter Skelter follows Ririko's story (more closely than any of the oth
John Pistelli
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Continuing my beginner's exploration of manga. Kyoko Okazaki's aptly titled and subtitled Helter Skelter: Fashion Unfriendly is a remarkable narrative. Set in a vaguely science-fictional world of high fashion, wherein supermodel celebrities are owned outright by corporations and constructed head-to-toe by plastic surgeons, the graphic novel details the delirious decline of a model named Liliko. This decline encompasses her assistant, Hada, as well as Hada's boyfriend, both of whom the "gorgeous ...more
May 30, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been meaning to getting around to this in a while, and finally finished it today.
For people who don't know, the title "Helter Skelter" is an allusion to both the Beatles song and also the incident involving the Manson murders, where Charles Manson ordered his cult to kill people for him.
Allusions in this book definitely refer to this (e.g Polanski reference and Tanabe's attack).
I personally loved the way the art was drawn because it wasn't what is usually considered "aesthetically pleasing"
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women, famous people, fame seekers, plastic surgeons, etc.
After watching the excellent movie adaption, I felt it was time to revisit the manga, and after my local comic book store had it for sale I snatched it up in a heartbeat. But I already knew I would not regret the decision.
See, Helte-Skelter has been with me ever since I first read it several years ago.

The story is haunting, and horrifying and will keep burrowing into the back of your skull, but it's a sweet pain, because the reason it is so unforgettable is because it rings true with our fame
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My second time reading this manga, and I love it even more. I love the story of Ririko's gradual descent into depression, apathy, and madness, and I love how it's told. To say the artwork is stunning would be inaccurate and reductive. The artwork can be unpolished, disgusting, terrifying, and erotic, embodying the manga's haunting opening sentence: "A laugh and a scream are very similar." Kyoko Okazaki really captures the shallow world in which Ririko lives, focusing in on celebrity culture and ...more
Miss Susan
Nov 09, 2014 rated it liked it
this is the kind of story that makes you want to say stop

helter skelter follows liliko, a supermodel who's had plastic surgery done on nearly every part of her body. she works under the direction of her 'mama', a woman who picked her up and pushed her forward in her career. liliko's body is beginning to breakdown and the volume follows her as she careens towards self-destruction in a blaze of cruelty, abuse, sex, and pretty much every bad idea in the book

it's a commentary on beauty-obsessed soci
Wow. Just... wow.

Basically, this chronicles the decline of a model/actress/singer/idol. It shows the worst of human society and nature, especially what we value and what we're willing to give up to obtain it.

Each character is more of a caricature than a fleshed out creation, but that's okay. It works especially well for this manga's purpose. Each character is created with a specific purpose in mind, either for you to sympathize with (as in the case of Hada) or for you to loathe and pity simultan
Nicole Bunge
The stark line-drawing, cartoony art takes a bit to get used to, but damn, what a ride.
It's a disturbing cross of what would happen if John Waters and Takashi Miike got together to do a film dedicated to Andy Warhol. Because all I could think of while reading this was "Eat Your Makeup" and "Multiple Maniacs" and "Audition" (and several other Japanese horror films about women and the beauty ideal they'd kill to get.) So a trippy, violent look at the fashion industry as the main character's mind
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Woah. This manga was deep. A fantastic, explicit account of how beauty can be all-encompassing and destructive. It tells the tale of a model who has had head-to-toe plastic surgery, and how she copes (or doesn't cope) when her beauty starts to turn against her, and her career starts to deteriorate. This manga speaks loudly about the way our society values beauty above everything, and are so fickle when it comes to our attention on celebrities - how we love a scandal and a story of destruction. T ...more
Carolina Gonzalez
Si te llama la atención la sinopsis, te va gustar leerlo. Cumple lo que promete, además esta muy corto. Aborda temas de la industria de la belleza y esa fama fugaz que se sostiene en la superficialidad, los cosméticos todo lo que una persona puede llegar a hacer con tal de alcanzar y retener la fantástica meta de la belleza ideal.
Esta entretenido para pasar el rato y casualmente es un manga de categoría Josei de la cual no había leído nada antes.
Al principio, debo ser honesta, me decepciono much
Cody Billings
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this one. The art style is fantastic, uncommon from most manga art. The story is interesting, revolving around drugs, sex, and themes of fleeting beauty and fame. Very few women's comics, or Josei Manga if you rather, makes it over to the English speaking world so this is very nice to have. It's an important work from an important author. Unfortunately, it seems this was one of the last things she was able to write before her car accident in 1996. Compared to Kyoko Okazaki's other ...more
Reli ele hoje e a experiência foi muito melhor

É a beleza da literatura japonesa: as coisas acontecem e o autor (ou autora, nesse caso) não fica se esforçando para falar pro leitor que "viu, isso aqui é ruim!" e nem os leitores acham que o autor apoia coisa X porque ele demonstra isso na sua obra

O traço cresceu em mim e a narrativa é fantástica - como pode algo assim existir eu não sei, mas é o mesmo estilo slice-of-life triste de Oyasumi Punpun, com uma pegada um pouco diferente. Vale muito a pe
Cody Billings
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this one. The art style is fantastic, uncommon from most manga art. The story is interesting, revolving around drugs, sex, and themes of fleeting beauty and fame. Very few women's comics, or Josei Manga if you rather, makes it over to the English speaking world so this is very nice to have. It's an important work from an important author. Unfortunately, it seems this was one of the last things she was able to write before her car accident in 1996. Compared to Kyoko Okazaki's other ...more
Jyotirmoy Mandal
Not just a marvel in it's demographic, Helter Skelter captures a really important topic, beauty, in a very brutal way. The setting is very normal and real. It is the development and the narration which goes on with it that impressed me greatly. The main character while being very intimidating is also pretty realistic. Her change in psych is so brutal that it reminded me of Nikolai Gogol's "Diary of a madman".

This masterpiece is just another josei work by Kyoko Okazaki who defined the demographic
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Kyoko Okazaki [岡崎 京子] a Japanese manga artist whose manga are popular for their unorthodox style and controversial topics, for instance sex, sadomasochism, drugs, homosexuality, rape, murder and prostitution. The Tokyo born Okazaki often focuses on urban Japanese life in the capital from the 1980s and 1990s. Her writings are often studded with modern jargon. Okazaki's manga are not typical, in tha ...more
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“I hear a ticking sound.
Something inside of me is
going to end very soon.
But I'm not afraid.
I knew about it all along.”
“A word before we start: laughter and screams sound very much alike.” 3 likes
More quotes…