TITLE: Imperfect Girl vol. 1ue #9
YEAR: October 2017
COMPANY: Vertical Comics
Written by NISIOISIN
Art by Mitsuru Hattori
Nisioisin is a well-known manga writer and novelist. Best known for his “Monogatari” novels, he already has created many series such as “Zaregoto”, “Ningen”, “Sekai”, “Densetsu”, “Boukyaku Tantei” to name a few.
In 2016, Nisioisin collaborated with Mitsuru Hattori (best known for “Concerto”) for “Imperfect Girl” which was featured in “Weekly Young Magazine”.
The series revolves around an author hoping for a big break, but for each manuscript he has sent, he has not received one reply.
One day, while riding on his bike to get home, he sees two girls walking and one is hit by a truck and is killed. The other he sees saving her video game and rushing to her friend and then rode on.
The following day, while riding on his bike, the author gets into an accident as a recorder is stuck inside his back wheel and was able to survive thanks to his judo classes.
While the author gets home to check things on his computer, he feels a stabbing pain on his calf. When he goes to check, he sees the girl (that survived the crash) under his desk and sees her stabbing his calf with a blade.
She explains to him that her name is “U” and because she saw her, she is taking him. With the blade to his back and repeated punctures, she forces him to her home and has him go into the closet and locks him in there. As he ponders to get help, he realizes he would be a laughing stock if he told people that a young-girl has kidnapped him.
As the author tries to think of what “U” is trying to accomplish, he overthinks things, about her intention, about his life and by the time he wakes up, he realizes that he hasn’t eaten.
He is thinking it’s probably a game and her parents would come back home and he would be released…but why isn’t her parents home yet? Why is he being locked in a closet? What will happen if she leaves him locked up?
As a reader and viewer of NISIOISIN’s “Mongatari” series, there is always something fascinating about his style of work and the characters.
So, I was looking forward to reading his three volume series “Imperfect Girl” and checking out the first issue. And I found the storyline to be surprisingly wicked.
A story about an author who has limited thinking and hasn’t had a successful novel, sees a girl get killed and her friend checking on her.
But instead of stopping, the author just keeps riding his bike and more or less is an observer that tries to use what he observes to incorporate to a future novel.
But the following day, he gets home and the girl he saw earlier is stabbing his calf with a blade. And now she has him by knifepoint and forces him to her home and she locks him up in his closet.
I found the whole story interesting and what if it was all in his head, what if he’s too stupid to do anything…break the closet down or whatever. Why does he just stay in the closet and not fight it? What is wrong with this guy? But as you read on, you start to realize, this little girl that has more or less kidnapped him, is wicked and unafraid and quite deadly.
There is one action that you see at the end that is something that you can’t conceive but it happens and then you wonder, this young meek guy is probably going to die. He has no instincts, he is constantly questioning her intentions and his life that this can’t be happening. It has to be a dream! Or is it?
As for the story and artwork, the collaboration between NISIOISIN and Mitsuru Hattori is solid. Some of those experimental art that you often see in NISIOISIN’s work, you tend to see experimentation with artwork and in the pages, while dark in a horror-like way, you also get a few experimental art that really looks cool.
Overall, I’m not sure where this story is going. If a young girl with a knife will literally have this adult as her hostage that she can toy with and torture, it’s unusual and quite dark. And while this is only the first issue, I am interested in seeing where this manga goes for issue #2. So, if you are in the mood for something dark and twisted, definitely give “Imperfect Girl” a try!