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Monty

Manga about Dolls

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Monty

Recently I’ve become interested in manga about dolls - specifically ones related to the actual hobby rather than fantasy that happen to feature dolls such as Rozen Maiden.

For example, yesterday a new manga started in Manga Time Kirara - a magazine that typically features ‘cute girls doing cute things’ style manga. It’s called ‘Takase-san wa DoruKatsu ni muchuu desu’ (Takase is obsessed with doll activities/the doll life’). It mainly caught my attention because famous faceup artist Renya designed the main doll in it, which is modelled on a Kumako Egg. 


I thought others might be interested in it, although I haven’t read it myself yet. I have to admit that while the art is cute, it’s a little on the generic side for me, especially because the human girl looks far too similar to the doll (which begs the question - in-universe would that doll be considered ‘anime style’ or realistic?). I wonder if it will popular enough to get an anime adaptation, or a collab doll? It might be a cute read either way. apparently it will be a romantic comedy about doll owners.

 

Meanwhile, there’s an ongoing twitter webcomic causing a buzz recently called ‘Ojisan ga Doll Shuumi ni Mezameru Hanashi’, (Story of an Older Guy Awakening to the Doll Hobby). A 36 year old salary man (he does not look 36 lol but maybe the work life has aged him) by chance discovers an auction for a custom doll and is captivated. I really love the depiction of his facial expressions and his emotions, extremely relatable lol. I’m already very invested.

In the second instalment, he finds out more about the hobby while waiting for his doll to arrive, and the excitement even changes him into a kinder person. Although, when the package arrives…turns out he didn’t read the fine print and got something a little different (and smaller) than expected. Can’t wait for part 3.


I’ve been working on a webcomic about dolls myself on and off for a few years now, although it’s still a while before it’s ready. Seeing these two comics makes me eager to work on it more.

 

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CreationOdyssey

I saw the first one you mentioned on Twitter the other day and instantly put it on the Seven Seas Survey will probably send a request to Yen Press as well!! Would really love for it to be licensed in English it seems super cute

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maboree

I'd love to read more stories about dolls. One of my favorites about dolls has been Angelic Layer (nostalgia!!!), but there are other ones out there with doll-like androids, such as in Handmaid May, Buso Shiki and then the anime Frame Arms Girl(?) which saw a release of the official Smartdoll Gourai. I've never seen the last anime, but thought it was cool that Gourai was based on a mechadoll/ anime. 

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battrastard

I haven't read any of the above, but I have bought the Busou Shinki and Frame Arms Girl on Blu-Ray thru Amazon. (Also, Unbreakable Machine Doll, but I don't know if that's on-topic)

My opinion only here, yours may vary: I enjoyed both Busou Shinki and Frame Arms Girl, but, I seemed to realize that FA is more of a parallel/knock-off of BS. (but with a lot more booty-shots/fan-service) Also, in FA, you'll see a few nods to Danny Choo, due to a Mirai Suenaga Figma in some background scenes. 

Handmaid May and Angelic Layer are ones I'd like to see and possibly get in the future, though. 

Acrylic Eyes was another American Webcomic about BJDs, but I'm not sure if she's still posting new content or not anymore. 


"Madness takes it's toll, Please have exact change!"

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DreamsicleDollAqua

One of my favorites is the korean horror movie The Doll Master. Its actually really interesting and the main character is a girl who talks to her bjd. I love doll themed movies and shows. 

Also @Monty thanks for the great webcomic recc. Loved reading it.

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finnleo
7 hours ago, battrastard said:

Busou Shinki and Frame Arms Girl on Blu-Ray thru Amazon. (Also, Unbreakable Machine Doll, but I don't know if that's on-topic)

My opinion only here, yours may vary: I enjoyed both Busou Shinki and Frame Arms Girl, but, I seemed to realize that FA is more of a parallel

Busou shinki and Frame arms girl(s) are both Fumikane Shimada designed series, other favorites from the guy included Girls and Panzer, and everybodys fanservice favorite Stricke Witches (I still find it amusing they nixed the skirts from the protoype going into the first anime season) and also Sky Girls, if you want to recall that far back.

As a side note the latest iteration to the kotobukiya 1/12 scale mecha girls from shimada is "30MS / 30 minute sisters." which is again a bit of a rehash.

Machine doll is a bit of a edge case, because Yaya, and company are sentient automata, but its done to the degree where its just a plot point for having a character have superpowers, perhaps a bit more down to earth approach would be Kamisama Dolls where the automata are quite more crude in appearance.

the android angle with Metropolis, Hand maid May/Mai, Steel angel Kurumi, Chobits, etc. is a bit of a pondering one, again related to Machine doll that is it just a easy plot device to have a character have superpowers, but again something in this niche thats a bit more down to earth in my oppinion was Time of Eve, which might be a bit weird for some folk.

Edited by finnleo
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Monty

A LOT has happened since I posted this thread! All about OjisanDoll anyway - I have to confess that while I haven’t read it, I don’t have a lot of interest in the ‘Takase-san’ one…however OjisanDoll has completely won my heart and I’m following it very closely.
 

1) It is going to be serialised in the manga magazine Gekkan Comic Bunch! This was announced a little while back, but it’s finally starting in Friday. This means it will also be officially published too. The serialised version will have redrawn art, and there will be a few minor changes in content, most notably now that the lead character Masumi’s age has been bumped up to 42. The title has also been changed to DoruOji: Doru ni Hamatta Ojisan no Hanashi (AKA DollOji - Story of an Ojisan Obsessed with Dolls) Calling it DollOji is easier so that’s what I’ll be calling it from now on. A twitter account for the serialised version was also made.

The web manga version will still continue.

3. Chapter 6 came out today - although it’s labelled chapter 7. This is because chapter 6 is going to come later, as a bonus. Volks even tweeted about chapter 6!

Something was discussed with them (probably permission for photos) but Volks’s input is also relevant due to the events of this chapter - the characters visit ‘Doll Spot Akihabara’ and actual photos (with filters/drawn over) of Doll Point are used. Satou Haruna also seems to have received permission to use the photos. But more on that later.

 

3) A lot has happened in the plot. I had posted about this comic in my Instagram stories and a few people replied that they really wanted to read it but couldn’t read Japanese. I don’t really have the time to translate it completely (it would be fun though) but I can at least give a quick synopsis of each chapter for those interested, starting at chapter 3 as I talked about the first 2 earlier in this thread. (but recap: single salaryman spends absurd amount on mysterious ‘ether doll starlet’ head despite not knowing a thing about dolls, does not expect her to be just a head and not like the photo)

 3. Masumi is devastated to have only received a head in the auction, believing he was deceived by the seller, but it was in the auction description all along. (He drowns his sorrows in cola though) In a previous chapter he had followed an account (perimeni (pelmine?))he saw in the ‘my child is cute’ hashtag (#うちのこかわいい is one of the most popular hashtags for sharing doll pics). He suddenly receives a notification that this account followed him back, which prompts him to glance at the account and see them tweeting about how they changed their dolls body. This makes him realise bodies are something you can buy separately, and he ends up looking for them but only becomes confused at all the options (see how many doll bodies you can recognise). He messages the account asking for help with what body will fit his doll, ‘Ether Doll Starlet’. Pelmeni is extremely excited to meet the winner of that auction, and asks to meet in person. 

4. Masumi expected Pelmeni to be a woman, but they turn out to be a young man named Hoshino, and Pelmeni is the name of his doll. At first Masumi is surprised that a man is behind the doll account but then remembers that he himself is also a man interested in dolls, and ends up a little relieved that he isn’t alone. Hoshino takes him to a special cafe for doll owners (run by rather eccentric staff) where he can take out his doll and freely discuss things with Masumi. It seems like Masumi is still extremely self conscious about being interested in dolls. When he shows Hoshino Starlet’s head he confirms its authenticity - and is very surprised that Masumi bidded on her without knowing exactly how special she is.

5. (This is a LOT so this is somewhat brief) Hoshino explains that ‘Ether Doll Starlet’ is a one of a kind bisque doll, made by a previously unpopular doll maker. While he gained some fame from her creation, he also separated from his apprentice due to creative differences, and his beloved wife died, leading to his own death (rumoured to be suicide, but the cause never made public). After his death, Starlet was stolen, disassembled and sold off piece by piece, which is why the auction attracted so much attention. (Masumi panics a bit that he has stolen goods.) Hoshino mentions that the maker had a daughter (perhaps it was her that sold Starlet?). However, there are people currently searching for Starlet’s scattered parts. (I didn’t expect all this additional drama in what I thought would be straight-forward slice of life!)
Anyway, Hoshino has brought Pelmine’s old body for Masaru to put Starlets head on - Masumi had thought getting her a body was impossible if her original was lost, but Hoshino explains the customisable nature of dolls. (But since Starlet is bisque, he first puts some leather cushioning around her neck hole to combine it with the resin body - the first gen MSD body.) Hoshino is disappointed that it had yellowed more than he thought so doesn’t match Starlet’s head, while Masumi is just overjoyed to see her stand. Hoshino arranges to take Masumi to ‘Doll Spot Akihabara’ to get Starlet clothes and a wig. 
(Pay attention to the pic of ‘Doll Spot’ at the end…you can see Kaito’s display lol)

7. Again, this is labelled 7 because 6 will be something else inserted in between the chapters. Masumi is a bit disoriented and confused in Akihabara, as it’s nothing like he remembers it (Akihabara used to be much more famous for its computer parts stores than anime culture/maid cafes). He tells Hoshino about the memories he has of accompanying his father to the parts stores and watching him build a custom PC. And then they go to ‘Doll Spot’, which are some of my favourite pages so far. You may recognise most of the dolls that appear as being slightly altered existing Volks dolls (you can even see bizarroverse Rin and Len in the first big panel). Masumi is surprised how big the dolls are (+ joke about what exactly he was saying was big…but he meant their size, since Starlet is closer to MDD size). Hoshino explains what clothes will fit Starlet and leaves him to choose her something, but he doesn’t have the confidence to choose due to not knowing anything about girls clothes. After a pep talk (and some jellybeans, as he hasn’t eaten), Masumi is ready!

Sorry for a big long post/infodump but I hope it was useful to some. I really like this manga and hope more people can check it out. It being serialised makes me really excited, it would be awesome if it became an anime one day. Volks RTing it is exciting too.

Edited by Monty
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Jezrah

That's so fun! I do hope it gets an anime someday, but if not I can hope that the serialization gives a higher chance of eventually having translations published too. @onion25@

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32717445532_3aa446bd94_m.jpg

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MonochromaticNocturne

Awww, I'm loving DoruOji (even if I can only enjoy the art and @Monty 's synopsis, thank you so much for doing that!), I hope it gets an English release someday, I'd love to own it.

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Xiongmao

I don't know if it's a manga but the anime My Dress-up Darling features hina dolls. I didn't really know anything about these so I found it quite interesting. There's also a lot of dress making in the plot.

Angelic Layer also features dolls. I think the dolls featured in it would be DD sized.


Xiongmao-Signature-Vinyl-Dolls-December-2023.jpg.092aa55b9a3c11160633f60ad1610e7c.jpg 

My Dollfie doll family 😊.

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Monty

I haven’t posted about DollOji in a while, so it might be worth mentioning that the original webcomic version no longer updates and the serialised version has now overtaken where it’s up to. However, you can still read it for free online - the free chapters are posted on the official Twitter two months after they are published in Comic Bunch. 
One of the chapters I really like is chapter 10, which features an Assault Lily doll. Unlike the name changes and photo edits for the Volks stuff, they do mention Assault Lily by name and even explain a bit of the ‘plot’.

https://x.com/dollmeetsmiste1/status/1715207502219087953?s=61&t=Yu0eGVZRpH3eaiC2l3hzGA

Anyway, the first collected volume came out in September so I had my sister pick it up for me while she was in Japan recently. 
spacer.pngIMG_9843.jpeg.91814755e2d757b46ace4ed013702b23.jpeg

Looks like Rin likes the pages where Masumi visits ‘Doll Spot Akihabara’, can you guess why?

IMG_8492.jpeg.07e2688b25c95bda264632756878f67e.jpeg
IMG_9844.jpeg.eed41d054cb9cbf8246953354ec2faa8.jpeg

 

Meanwhile I really like the pages after he finally gets Starlet dressed up and puts on her wig, thus gets to see her ‘complete’ for the first time, and tries to take a photo but can’t because he’s overcome with emotion and shaking too much. Relatable lol.

IMG_9845.jpeg.91533095b7258190f75dd76a68a93bf0.jpeg

Edited by Monty
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Rajke
On 12/29/2023 at 8:09 AM, Monty said:

I haven’t posted about DollOji in a while, so it might be worth mentioning that the original webcomic version no longer updates and the serialised version has now overtaken where it’s up to. However, you can still read it for free online - the free chapters are posted on the official Twitter two months after they are published in Comic Bunch. 
One of the chapters I really like is chapter 10, which features an Assault Lily doll. Unlike the name changes and photo edits for the Volks stuff, they do mention Assault Lily by name and even explain a bit of the ‘plot’.

https://x.com/dollmeetsmiste1/status/1715207502219087953?s=61&t=Yu0eGVZRpH3eaiC2l3hzGA

Anyway, the first collected volume came out in September so I had my sister pick it up for me while she was in Japan recently. 
spacer.pngIMG_9843.jpeg.91814755e2d757b46ace4ed013702b23.jpeg

Looks like Rin likes the pages where Masumi visits ‘Doll Spot Akihabara’, can you guess why?

IMG_8492.jpeg.07e2688b25c95bda264632756878f67e.jpeg
IMG_9844.jpeg.eed41d054cb9cbf8246953354ec2faa8.jpeg

 

Meanwhile I really like the pages after he finally gets Starlet dressed up and puts on her wig, thus gets to see her ‘complete’ for the first time, and tries to take a photo but can’t because he’s overcome with emotion and shaking too much. Relatable lol.

IMG_9845.jpeg.91533095b7258190f75dd76a68a93bf0.jpeg

I definitely hope there comes a translated version available here. Really want to read this manga. 

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Tasuke
Posted (edited)

 

i'm going to have to get that... Translated or Otherwise~

Also; anyone here familiar with the old 1994 "Dolls" by Yumiko Kawahara?

 

Dolls_Manga_Volumes_1-4_Yumiko_Kawahara_

 

 

Edited by Tasuke

 

2020164095_ANightatKonomi12-18-23550px.Horizont..png.35eaba54e8b03fbe6a7f7cd252209e94.png

 

 

 

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Rajke
4 hours ago, Tasuke said:

 

i'm going to have to get that... Translated or Otherwise~

Also; anyone here familiar with the old 1994 "Dolls" by Yumiko Kawahara?

 

Dolls_Manga_Volumes_1-4_Yumiko_Kawahara_

 

 

Not yet, looks interesting. 
@onion14@


Can you tell some things about this manga? (How is the drawing, story etc.)


@onion20@   This is a signature.

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Kissamaagi
On 1/1/2024 at 5:52 PM, Tasuke said:

 

i'm going to have to get that... Translated or Otherwise~

Also; anyone here familiar with the old 1994 "Dolls" by Yumiko Kawahara?

 

Dolls_Manga_Volumes_1-4_Yumiko_Kawahara_

 

 

I'm also getting interested! The art looks absolutely beautiful!

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