What makes a doll different from a beautiful human girl? Maybe not as much as you think. Somewhere in a big city, behind an unprepossessing storefront, a mysterious man sells “plant dolls,” living organisms that look just enough like real little girls to cause no end of trouble. Once they are “awakened” by a patron they take a fancy to, the dolls subsist happily on a diet of milk, cookies, and unconditional love. A plant doll may seem like a new start for a lonely widower, a sister for a lonely orphan, or a gambler’s good-luck charm, but if you want one of these delicate creatures to smile at you, you may have to pay with more than money. Most of the short stories in this volume center around the doll shop and it’s owner, but the last two are pure ghost stories reminiscent of Charlotte Bronte and Edgar Allen Poe. As astute readers may have already noticed, Dolls is eerily similar to Matsuri Akino’s Petshop of Horrors series, minus the crime fighting subplots. For fans of Count D and his menagerie of beasties, Dolls makes for darker and equally interesting reading.
Dolls, vol. 1
by Yumiko Kawahara