FICTION

Little Miss P

Yen. Jun. 2019. 224p. pap. $15. ISBN 9781975357085.
COPY ISBN
Gr 10 Up–Once a month, Little Miss P visits various people from all walks of life, bringing along cramps, exhaustion, and other unpleasant side effects. Among those visited are a housewife, an Edo-era town girl, modern high schoolers, and a fictionalized version of the woman who developed Japan’s first disposable pad in the 1960s. This manga anthology, written and illustrated by a man, uses absurdist humor in an attempt to reduce the stigma around menstruation. Farcical anthropomorphized characters that represent periods (the heart-shaped Little Miss P), libido (phallic shaped), and virginity (cuboid). The human characters visited by Little Miss P all appear to be cisgender and female. While most of the stories take place in modern times, two are historical, and though most are generally rooted in real life, two tales veer toward the surreal: one sees a teen girl and boy swap bodies, and another explores a Sailor Moon–esque superhero story line. The loose, simple line work appears somewhat unrefined and includes an artistic depiction of a breast, presumably by historic Japanese artist Katsushika Oi. Sexual terms such as bukkake and porn pool also make their way into the collection as character asides. Translation notes, a Little Miss P anatomical chart, and a drawing instructional for Little Miss P can be found in the back matter.
VERDICT Koyama’s campy collection presents many adult themes that he aims to destigmatize through humor. While the topics explored are important, its bizarre approach will put some readers off, limiting its audience.

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