It is the year 2055, and Yoshiki Ishikawa and his younger sister Akira are having a difficult time living together. Their mother has passed away, and their scientist father Hidetoshi must spend most of his time turning the moon into a colony where mankind will soon be able to live. Yoshiki has inherited his father’s scientific genius, but this has also made him into an antisocial technophile who is difficult to have around the house. Poor Akira finds that she has to act more like Yoshiki’s mother or wife than his little sister, as she is responsible for all the cooking, laundry, and grocery shopping, not to mention the stress of being in high school. Yoshiki hopes to help her out with this, so he shows Akira Sally #1, a hinadori (fledgling personality) robot their dad had been working on but had not had the time to finish. Fortunately or unfortunately, Yoshiki decided to put the finishing touches on her and start her up (without permission of course). Sally is a robot who looks exactly like an 8-year-old girl and has been programmed to help around the house and hopefully make Akira’s life a bit more manageable. Alas, Sally’s lack of experience ends up creating chaos and mayhem galore, and Akira’s patience is worn thin.
For the rest of us, however, seeing Sally’s antics, Akira’s frustration and Yoshiki’s laughter shows that everyday life can be quite entertaining and fun to watch, even the most mundane tasks. Sally is a fairly new technology, however, and there are those who would do anything to get their hands on her and steal her information from the Ishikawas. The main villain turns out to be Tsukiko Hoshizaki, one of Akira s high school teachers, and she is continuously coming up with new disguises and plans to steal Sally. It is obvious to everyone except Akira and Yoshiki who she really is, and that adds to the hilarity of these situations, as do Tsukiko’s numerous spectacular failures.
Hinadori Girl is chock full of laughter and comedy, taking everyday life (albeit in the future) and turning it into a hilarious and gripping adventure. The story is cleverly written, the artwork is simple yet also detailed and pretty, the humor is perfectly timed, and the characters are all deep, multi-faceted people. By the end we feel that we have gained some new friends in the process; even side characters are given plenty of time to develop and make significant contributions to the story. Everyone here is likable, even the villains, and when all is said and done you are left with a fantastic read that will leave you eager for the sequel.
Hinadori Girl Volume 1
by Mari Matsuzawa
DrMaster Publications, 2005