東京DOLL、石田衣良. Tokyo doll, novel by Ishida Ira
MG, Master of Game in shorter, is the creator a a famous series of RPG-strategy game called Urban Goddess (Megami-toshi) that have been solved at million of copies through Japan. In this game, Tokyo is divided into several areas. Each area is commanded by a God, and each God has its own vision of life. So basically the player has to choose an area and make his portion of Tokyo grow by fighting with the other Gods. This game have been very successful because it tends to make an exact copy of Tokyo but in the future. Until now, the first three episodes has been really successful, assuring fortune and success to MG and his colleagues and friends. At the beginning of Tokyo Doll, MG is starting to design the fourth episode of the series. In lack of inspiration, he doesn’t know from which point he should begin his work, until he meets a twenty-year old girl called Yori. This girl, whose body has perfect feminine dimensions, is extremely beautiful and it does not let MG insensitive. He decides to hire Yori as a photograph model for the game. She accepts, as it is well paid and with the money earned with this job she will be able to pay the fees to go studying hairdressing. Yori is going to have her image used as one of the Goddesses of Urban Goddess. Then, Yori, by investing more and more time in her model work, begins to have feelings for MG and reciprocally.
The starting plot of Tokyo is nice, a talented game creator in lack of inspiration needs a source of inspiration, preferably young and attractive, who will be the image of his design work. He finds this muse in a convenient store below his apartment building. From the moment of the meeting of Yori and MG, the story really begins… to slow down. In case you want to read this book and that you are allergic to the Shibuya or Harajuku young Japanese girl always saying Kawai-Kawai, just avoid it. Through the character of Yori, this book is full of references to this generation of Japanese girl focusing their attention on fashion and consumerism. Reading the full story will make you notice a lot of cliches returning to the typical Tokyoite girl fashioned teenager. Perhaps wanted like this, it makes the book story heavier than it has to be. The first pages make you think that the game design work of the talented artist looking for inspiration will be the main line of the story plot, but the complicated relation between the model and the artist is the real centre of the scenario. The target public of this book is certainly young in the teenage, and certainly feminine.
Then, a couple of words about the complicated relationship between Yori and MG. Like a muse present in the story to inspire the artist, who is the only creator in the book, Yori is pure and innocent. MG uses her innocence to abuse of the talents of his model (in all the senses of the terms), in order to achieve his goal of a game design at the image of Yori. The lack of deepness in the character of Yori can be understood as she has to stay at the state of image for the game design. The point of her having some supernatural prediction powers is also a bit too much. This doesn’t help the book to accelerate his rhythm but it makes it easier to read, perhaps because this book is primarily targeted to a young public. In conclusion, if you have an interest in trying to inform you about fashioned Tokyoite turning their mind to consumerism, love stories of an artist with his innocent and beautiful 20-year-old muse, you will perhaps find an interest in this book. In other cases, you should just avoid it.