Doll 6

October 16, 2005

Okay, yes. I liked the goddamn thing in the end. I wish I had the first two volumes with me so I could go back through and read the entire series again from start to finish. I want IC in a Sunflower. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!

I don’t know how this happened. It’s like… the series knew how I liked my endings, and executed such a perfect one that not only did it redeem the entire thing, it made me want to read it again in an age when I don’t have time to read the new stuff I buy, let alone go back through and read the old stuff.

No specifics, no specifics. I can’t even recommend the series. It just ends perfectly, and I’m so angry it did this that I’m just gonna put something incoherent in here and leave it at that.

No, seriously. It had the necessary overarching plot care of the Remodeler and his ultimate revenge, it had sadness that registered as sadness, it had characters that, once revisited, took on new meaning and made me want to read their stories again (they turned out to be the stories I wound up liking anyway), and it had all the nine original dolls. I didn’t see anything coming, there was a death (which I love in my endings), there was sadness, bittersweetness, and tidy wrappings. It was PERFECT, and I LOVED IT despite my hate for the rest of the series. Goddammit.

Doll 5

September 4, 2005

Does anyone know this series has censored covers? Two of the covers have been censored so far. Volume three’s cover had bare breasts which were covered up with ivy, and this volume has the doll’s bare ass covered with flowers and the logo. I really don’t care in the least, quite honestly, and respect them for preserving the original covers, but I’m sure there’s someone out there who cares.

Wow. How about this. So I read through this volume figuring I’d dislike most of the independent stories but like the one about the Remodeler. Not only was that by far the best story in the volume, it threw in some plot twists, and surfaced to be the actual plot of the series. Apparently volume six will be entirely dedicated to the Remodeler and his vendetta with the SG Corporation. As a result, I will be looking forward to volume six and the end of the series to see things pan out. On one hand, I’m glad the remodeler bits turn out to be the actual plot. On the other hand, that was one chapter in each volume, and it’s sort of bad when that’s how much plot was included in each volume.

I liked this remodeler story particularly well. It focused a lot on his doll and had his doll ask him some questions about how dolls are manufactured, about the 9 original dolls, and about some markings all dolls have on them. I liked the 9 doll thing for some reason, and I liked how the story panned out.

I really liked the farm story in here. Mostly because it had a happy ending and there was nothing too overly tragic about it. It was a nice story about a community of old people who were being mistreated finding a doll and having it help them in their endeavors. Simple and edifying. It was great.

I sorta liked the piano player story too. I don’t know why, because I was sorta creeped out by the schizo angle, but on the other hand it wasn’t about a doll being mistreated and abused, and I liked the backstory with the kid and his mother, so it was pretty good.

The other two stories were typical Doll trash. Too over-emotional, about the same sad, depressing tone all the stories have had throughout the series, and just not all that well-written, sympathetic, or good in any way. But one really great story, one good story, and one okay story is about the best I could’ve expected, really.

Also, the cover illustration is painful. PAINFUL.

Doll 4

March 28, 2005

This one came in about three weeks before the rest of the Tokyopop titles. It was probably the single April title I was looking forward to least, but I bought it anyway just for the novelty of having it so early.

The last volume of Doll was different. I don’t know if it raised my extremely low opinion of the series, but the really abrupt shift to extreme sex and violence was definitely a welcome change from the rather trite angsty personal stories of volumes one and two. This one goes back to the trite stories, but I don’t know if I’m getting used to them or the series is getting better, because they aren’t quite as offensive anymore. There’s several in this volume that are poster children for heart-wrenching angst with no substance, but there was two I liked really well.

One was about that reprogrammer that appears in every volume, perhaps the only continuity the series has outside the SG corporation and the Dolls themselves. We get some background on him… some rather gruesome background (cougheunichcough), and I like him well enough, so I enjoyed the story. The other story I liked really well, for no particular reason, was that one about the bulimic author. Typically the ones I like least are the ones with overly-happy endings, but this one was good… maybe because I liked what she pointed out: that her doll didn’t judge, and would cook her a meal and lay the towels out in the bathroom for her to vomit it up later. Whatever it was, I really liked it.

And we get more run-of-the-mill stuff, Doll sacrificing themselves for human, dolls being scrapped by cruel owners, blah blah blah. Stuff they go over in every volume. The artwork also features some of the most consistently ugly faces I’ve ever seen in a manga, but that may be growing on me too. Grotesque, but lovable. Aww.

Doll 2

November 2, 2004

I bought the first Doll because it was a hardcover, and only because it was a hardcover. I flipped through it in the store, and even went so far as to read the first chapter, and several red flags went up in my head, but I proceeded to buy it anyway because the presentation was amazing. And I stand by that. But now is not the time for volume one.

I bought volume two simply because I had volume one. I do that a lot. This one didn’t even have color pages. So I really messed up, basically.

I don’t even know what to say about this. It doesn’t have any redeeming qualities, really. The art’s terrible and plain, and I don’t see the “fancy gothic lolita” qualities that everyone else finds in it. The costumes are good, yes, but only on the dolls, and the characters are just downright appalling ugly, even down to their bad proportions. The stories are also flat. I give them credit for having a twist ending, but even that’s done poorly in some cases (List 9).

My favorite story was probably… hm, the second one (List 8), the one with the secretary. That one struck closest to home and the most actually human, where the rest were mostly brief and awkward and lacking many of the qualities advertised. Some started out mildly interesting, but crashed and burned. The fifth story (List 11) is just downright creepy, I’m not sure if it was good or bad, and I’m not sure if I liked it… it just sort of happened, and it did make good use of the twist ending. I guess I liked it. Maybe.

This was just mostly bad. I’ll probably buy volume 3 though, God knows why.