K. O'Bibliophile's Reviews > A Drunken Dream and Other Stories

A Drunken Dream and Other Stories by Moto Hagio
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's review
Sep 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: graphic-novels

A collection of ten short stories by influential but unknown-in-America shoujo author Moto Hagio. More than just short stories, the tales contained here are three decades of haunting and touching relationships.

Hagio's art has a distinctly 70's shoujo-vibe to it, but the art is clean and easy to follow. The short stories could be surprisingly poignant, and many, though they felt complete, left me wishing for more. And as the stories progress, it's fun to see how she's improved over the decades in both art and storytelling. Of note were:

Hanshin: Half-God focuses on conjoined twins: one beautiful but weak and disabled, the second scrawny and ugly, but brilliant. The expected theme of yearning to be separate while living the only life they know as a set doesn't lessen the emotional impact.

Iguana Girl was probably my favorite story in the entire book, following a girl from birth through adulthood. Most people see her as a normal person, but from the day she was born, her mother saw her an iguana. You can't help but feel sorry for Rika when she's ignored or yelled at no matter the situation, and my only problem (although I'm fairly sure this is/was common in the Japanese familial situation) is that the father, who clearly has no problem, isn't around more and doesn't step in throughout a lifetime of neglect. But it's a hopeful, rather than depressing, story.

Not that the other stories aren't good, but those two stood out for storytelling and the characters themselves.

The book itself is also gorgeous. Hardcover, large-print, kudos to the publisher for designing something that shows off the art and doesn't detract.
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