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DOLL (ドール Dōru?) is a series of short manga stories written by Mitsukazu Mihara. In the United States it is published by Tokyopop.

Summary

DOLLs are human-like androids manufactured by the SG Corporation. A DOLL can fulfill many varied needs and serve any number of purposes, including personal assistant, secretary, cook, maid, laborer, companion, lover... and, of course, status symbol.

Like any successful company, the SG Corporation does not rest on its laurels. It is always working to develop newer, more diverse, and more sophisticated DOLLs. Kaoru and Motohiko Kirishima, two pioneers of DOLL development, were the co-creators of the prototype "Sterol-2" DOLL. With Kaoru as the project leader and Motohiko as the research assistant, the Sterol-2 was to be the most advanced DOLL ever created, capable of preserving the world's greatest minds... even after death. To Motohiko, the Sterol-2 DOLL was also to be the newly married couple's first "baby".

Well into the development of the Sterol-2, Kaoru developed a mysterious, degenerative mental condition with symptoms that are similar to Alzheimer's disease. Despite access to the top doctors in Japan's foremost neural hospital, nothing could be done to help Kaoru's condition.

Desperate for some way to save his brilliant wife, Motohiko used the Sterol-2 prototype to try to house a copy of Kaoru's mind... though he quickly realized the error of his ways. Soon afterward, Motohiko resigned from the SG Corporation to take care of Kaoru full-time. Leaving all the project notes so that others could pick up where he and Kaoru left off, Motohiko stipulated that no part of their work could be used to create likenesses of actual people... and that no human memories would be implanted into a DOLL.

Before leaving the SG Corporation, Doctor Kirishima built nine prototype DOLLs and gave each a repeating-digit serial number. 111 was a test model. 222 was a boy doll, name and description unknown. 333, 444, 555, and 666 were domestic models. 777 and 888 were sexaroids. 999 was the SG Corporation's own watchdog, designed to hunt down illegally remodelled DOLLs. Like all DOLLs, each has an identifying barcode behind its left ear.

There are others who push the boundaries of DOLL developments... though in a much less official capacity. "Remodellers" are people who illegally alter DOLLs. Sometimes, people want DOLLs that are either unavailable - or unaffordable - and that's where the Remodellers come in. Special orders are their specialty... though, like any illegal deals, there are no receipts and absolutely no returns.

Ichiro is a remodeller whose grandfather was president of the SG Corporation. Ichiro demonstrated his genius level I.Q. even as a child... which led to constant abuse at the hands of Ichiro's stepmother and her children. Ichiro's only relief came from a domestic DOLL that belonged to his family... and the DOLL showed Ichiro more warmth and kindness than any of his relatives.

When Ichiro was designated to be the next president of the SG Corporation, the other members of his family were so resentful they used Ichiro's beloved DOLL as a means to castrate the young man. Unable to produce an heir, Ichiro could no longer be president though he was more upset by the loss of his DOLL than the loss of his future or his manhood.

Though Ichiro has been challenged by other Remodellers, including the upstart female Remodeller known as Psycho Candy, none have been able to match his skill or ingenuity. Ichiro's only companion is SG-888, a sexaroid that Ichiro remodelled to be his masterpiece.

Like most machines, DOLLs were created to make humanity's existence better or easier in some way. However, the true test of any device's benefits is not the intent of the designers... but rather the actions of the users.

(This is an extract from DOLL vol.6 itself, written by Mitsukazu Mihara.)

The nine prototype DOLLs which were personally created by Dr. Kirishima have been seen throughout the entire series, and the very last story revealing their whereabouts.

  • SG-111: A test model named Kaoru, designed to resemble Dr. Kirishima's wife and house her memories. The process did not work, because no matter how much Kaoru believed to be the real Kaoru Kirishima, it behaved like a DOLL and referred to Motohiko as master.
  • SG-222: A nameless boy DOLL who was the constant companion for a woman named Kaya Hitsuishi for most of her life. The two shared a bond much stronger than any relation to Kaya's husband and his money-grubbing bastard son. When Kaya died, the DOLL was cremated with her by her stepson, not knowing that if no one were to take in her DOLL after her death, all her money would go to charity. The two are now together in the afterlife.
  • SG-333: A maid DOLL named Chocolat who was discovered in a trash heap in an elderly farming community. Bringing new life to the community, Chocolat became a surrogate daughter to the men and women in the village, and gave particular comfort to a woman named Nao up until her death.
  • SG-444: A secretary DOLL whose default name is Honey. She was the loyal, personal assistant to the SG Corporation president, even after the scandal involving the death of his son.
  • SG-555: A maid DOLL whose default name is Cherry. She was the maid to award-winning writer Hinako Hanyuda. Cherry knew all about her mistress' bulimia, brought on by the abuse she suffered at the hands of her stepfather, but Cherry did not intervene until Hinako suffered a nervous breakdown following her relationship's breakup.
  • SG-666: A companion/maid DOLL named Vanilla. Vanilla was first seen in IC in a Sunflower, also written by Mihara, where her master made a promise to see the sunflowers bloom, but then her mistress ordered her to bury trash bags contain his body parts, causing a type of breakdown that she only come out of her trance by the efforts of Itsuki.
  • SG-777: A sexaroid named Veronica, designed with a female body and male genitalia. Veronica was unfeeling and had no qualms with the type of people who came to own her and her companion Itsuki. She was scrapped after her head had been ripped off by a sadistic new owner who made Itsuki watch.
  • SG-888: A sexaroid who would be named Itsuki, designed to have a male body and female genitalia. After their last owner destroyed Veronica, his companion, Itsuki was found and remodelled by Ichiro, giving him the ability to express emotions and think for himself. Ichiro refers to him as his masterpiece. Itsuki was last seen living with Vanilla.
  • SG-999: SG Corporation's personal watchdog, S, as in Sanction, whose sole task is to hunt down DOLLs that have been remodelled. A chance encounter with the leader of a terrorist cell who hates DOLLs seems to have changed S, who now has him name stand for Safeguard. The leader herself created the cell after her child was accidentally killed by her nanny DOLL. After SG started going bankrupt, S was being sold on the street and was bought by the former leader, whom she calls son.

Volumes

Volume Four

  • List 18: Life
    • A pregnant woman learns a lesson about how precious life is from a remodelled DOLL.
  • List 19: Talisman
    • A couple use a DOLL for a surrogate son, but what will happen after they are finally able to have real children?
  • List 20: Remodeller
    • The life and background of Ichiro, the DOLL remodeller.
  • List 21: Feather & Steel
    • A domestic DOLL is transformed into a piece of machinery by a cheap economist.
  • List 22: Grave
    • Learn what happens to DOLLs when they get scrapped.
  • List 23: Hinako
    • The abuse an award-winning author suffered when she was a child results in her eating disorder.

Volume Five

  • List 24: Plants
    • A woman must put up with her arrogant boss and his three DOLLs, whose only task is to serve as potted plants.
  • List 25: Unison
    • A gifted pianist has a split personality which is only calmed down by soaking his scarred left hand in water.
  • List 26: Touko
    • A man working for the SG Corporation tries to recreate his love Touko, whose face was heavily scarred in an accident.
  • List 27: Chocolat
    • A DOLL named Chocolat is found by an elderly farming community.
  • List 28: Rinna
    • Ichiro the Remodeller's companion, the remodelled sexaroid, meets a DOLL named Rinna, who resembles his former companion Veronica. Also, Ichiro's motives are foreshadowed as he plots revenge against his father and SG.

Volume Six

  • List 29:
    • The SG Corporation has started their hunt for the Remodeller called Ichiro, not knowing he's the son of the company's president.
    • Ichiro and his companion the sexaroid discover one of the Dolls personally created by Dr. Kirishima, Vanilla.
  • List 30: Promise
    • The sexaroid takes Vanilla out on a type of date to try and help her act normal, and Vanilla remembers a promise made by her deceased former owner.
  • List 31: Father
    • Ichiro is captured by agents from SG.
  • List 32: Itsuki
    • The remodeller called Psycho Candy tries to hide the sexaroid and Vanilla from SG, only for the sexaroid to try and find Ichiro and get captured.
    • Ichiro gives the sexaroid a name, Itsuki, and has him escape, whereas Ichiro is then "scrapped" at the moment his father finally recognizes him.
  • List 33: Home
    • The whereabouts of the remaining eight DOLLs created by Dr. Kirishima are revealed, Itsuki and Vanilla plan on living a life together without Ichiro, and Dr. Kirishima and his wife Kaoru are content with knowing that they left DOLLs in the world as the SG Corporation goes bankrupt following the scandal involving the presidente

Release

Doll is also licensed in Germany by Tokyopop Germany.[1]

Volume list

<tr ><th rowspan="2" style="width: 4%;">No.</th><th colspan="2">Japanese</th><th colspan="2">North American</th></th></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #FCC"><th style="width: 24%;">Release date</th><th style="width: 24%;">ISBN</th><th style="width: 24%;">Release date</th><th style="width: 24%;">ISBN</th></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol01">01</td></td><td> August 10, 2000[2]</td><td>ISBN 4396762283</td><td>August 10, 2004[3]</td><td>ISBN 978-1-59182-710-8</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="5">
  • List 1: "A Nameless Doll"
  • List 2: "Maria"
  • List 3: "Ai"
  • List 4: "Kaoru"
  • List 5: "Ayako"
  • List 6: "A Maid Servant"
  • </td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF; text-align: left;"><td colspan="5">"A Nameless Doll" focuses on a woman who lives her life according to the wishes of others and has only a Doll for a companion. After her death, her family has the Doll cremated with her, unaware that by doing so they have forfeited their inheritance to charity. In "Maria", a businessman scarred by the image of his mother and grandfather having intercourse tries to turn a doll into a perfect lover; however, the operation leaves her frail and she is wounded in a car crash with him. "Ai" centers on a woman who treats the child that resulted from her rape as a Doll. "Kaoru" revolves around the scientist working on the Dolls, Motohiko, and his struggle with his wife's deteriorating mental condition. After transplanting her memories into a Doll, he realizes his mistake and leaves the corporation to care for his wife. In "Ayako", a man tries to create a happy family for his son by replacing his absent mother with a Doll. An earthquake leaves him trapped in the debris of his home and the Doll refuses to let him die. After he is rescued by neighbors, the son accepts the Doll. "A Maid Servant" sees a girl who believes she is ugly unknowingly hurt her Doll out of anger for a girl who stole her fiancé.</td></tr>

    <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol02">02</td></td><td> January 23, 2001[4]</td><td>ISBN 4396762399</td><td>October 12, 2004[3]</td><td>ISBN 978-1-59182-887-7</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="5">
    • List 7: "A Doll"
    • List 8: "Mika"
    • List 9: "Mother"
  • List 10: "Matoko"
  • List 11: "DOLL House"
  • List 12: "S"
  • </td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF; text-align: left;"><td colspan="5">In "A Doll", a homeless ventriloquist uses a discarded Doll for one final act. "Mika" focuses on a woman who wishes to be a DOLL so she would not have to deal with her life. After the death of her mother, she goes insane and believes that she is a Doll. In "Mother", the Remodeller grants an abused boy his Christmas wish for a loving mother. In "Matoko", a dying psychic finds comfort in a DOLL. She decides to fight the tumor with treatment. "DOLL House" focuses on a wife who pushes her son to excel in school to make up for the belief that her husband is having an affair and the son who mistakes his cross-dressing father for the woman that he and his mother believes is having an affair. In "S", an assassin DOLL is activated to deal with a terrorist organization who hate Dolls. He rescues the leader after she is betrayed by her organization.</td></tr>

    <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol03">03</td></td><td> May 15, 2001[5]</td><td>ISBN 4396762461</td><td>January 11, 2005[3]</td><td>ISBN 978-1-59182-888-4</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="5">
    • List 13: "Fake Welfare"
    • List 14: "Sexaroid"
    • List 15: "Jun"
  • List 16: "Baby Doll"
  • List 17: "Angel"
  • </td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF; text-align: left;"><td colspan="5">In "Fake Welfare", a man, who had been in a car crash with his wife and daughter, believes they died and were replaced by Dolls with their memories; he later learns that he is actually the Doll. "Sexaroid" centers on two Dolls built for sex. After having several owners, they are bought by a sadistic woman who mains and decapitates Veronica in front of the other sexaroid. The sexaroid is later found by the Remodeller. In "Jun", a teenage boy realizes that his repressed memory of his father raping his mother after ordering the Doll to chop off her arms and legs resulted in his sexual obsession with similar women. "Baby Doll" focuses on a woman who is slowly turned into a human DOLL by an insane programmer. Pregnant and desperate, she kills herself, but the hospital is able to save her unborn daughter who demonstrates characteristics of the programing used to turn her mother into a Doll. "Angel" revolves around a bullied girl and an abused DOLL; both yearn for a savior. The girl attempts suicide by jumping out her window but the Doll cushions her fall and is destroyed by the impact.</td></tr>

    <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol04">04</td></td><td> February 8, 2002[6]</td><td>ISBN 4396762631</td><td>April 12, 2005[3]</td><td>ISBN 978-1-59532-390-3</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="5">
    • List 18: "Life"
    • List 19: "Talisman"
    • List 20: "Remodeller"
  • List 21: "Feather & Steel"
  • List 22: "Grave"
  • List 23: "Hinako"
  • </td></tr>

    <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol05">05</td></td><td> April 8, 2002[7]</td><td>ISBN 4396762682</td><td>July 12, 2005[3]</td><td>ISBN 978-1-59532-391-0</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="5">
    • List 24: "Plants"
    • List 25: "Unison"
    • List 26: "Touko"
  • List 27: "Chocolat"
  • List 28: "Rinna"
  • </td></tr>

    <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol06">06</td></td><td> August 8, 2002[8]</td><td>ISBN 4396762828</td><td>October 11, 2005[3]</td><td>ISBN 978-1-59532-392-7</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="5">
    • List 29: ""
    • List 30: "Promise"
    • List 31: "Father"
  • List 32: "Itsuki"
  • List 33: "Home"
  • </td></tr> </table>

    Reception

    The first volume of Doll debuted at the 73th spot on the list of the top 100 best-selling graphic novels for July 2004 with an estimated 1,394 copies sold.[9]

    References

    1. "Bücher: Manga: Doll" [Books: Manga: Doll]. Tokyopop Germany. Retrieved 11 November 2009. 
    2. Script error
    3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 "Manga+Comics: Book Catalog". Tokyopop. Retrieved 11 November 2009. 
    4. Script error
    5. Script error
    6. Script error
    7. Script error
    8. Script error
    9. "Top 100 Graphic Novels Actuals--July 2004". ICv2. August 17, 2004. Retrieved April 10, 2010. 

    External links

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