You know: in a foolish, undiscriminating way, I've been happy these last few months. I don't know why. I just am. I love my friends; I love my pupils; I love what I read; I -- dammit -- love my thoughts. I love the taste of oranges.
Thornton Wilder in a letter to Gertrude Stein, Aug 14, 1936

Saturday, November 12, 2011

MANGA MANIA: MPD PSYCHO VOL 1 by Eiji Otsuka and Sho-u Tajima

Nutty and outrageous. The hero is a police detective with multiple personality disorder who is convicted of a string a killings while he was not himself, or rather while he was one of his more violent selves. After what seemed like a surprisingly short prison term, he is hired by a policewoman friend to set up a detective agency specializing in profiling killers. In this first installment the bad guy is a world-renowned architect with a passion for kidnapping beautiful women and planting flowers in their brains while they are still alive. Given the roller coaster pacing of the series it would be rude to question exactly how this is done.

Takishi Miike, that Japanese movie-making machine, did at least two TV episodes based loosely on this series. Reviews of the DVD's complain that the gore sequences have been pixilated out of the prints, I suppose in deference to the TV censors. But since one of the episodes involves a killer who cuts the fetuses from pregnant women, I surprised that is was on TV to begin with. I like to imagine a Japanese mom calling out, "Hurry kids. Dinner is ready and MPD Psycho is about to start!"

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