Grand Doll

Vol: 1; Ch: 4
3.535 out of 5 from 16 votes
Rank #26,026
Grand Doll

On his way home from school, the shy young boy Tecchin finds the body of a young girl lying in the street. He alerts the police, only to come back to find she has been replaced with a life-sized doll. Tecchin takes the doll home and repairs it. She comes to life and tells him that they are both Grand Dolls, alien beings bent on world domination.

Source: MU

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The biggest problem with this manga is that it's propaganda in support of maintaining the status quo written in response to real-life protests that were going on at the time that this was written (which you can read about in this Wikipedia article). You know how some people will accuse protests of being filled with paid protesters as a way to ignore the complaints of the protesters? Or how some people will latch onto any sort of infighting or disagreements within the protest movements as a way to act as though they're protesting without reason? Or how some people will say they're in favor of "peaceful protests" as a way to maintain the status quo while still being able to pretend that they have no issues with whatever the protest is fighting for? This manga is basically doing all of those things, but in manga form. There's a paradox within the story that this propaganda creates, though. You see, the protagonist's journey involves fem becoming a strong-willed free-thinker who's willing to go against the flow and not just take the easy route by agreeing with what everyone else around fem is saying. The protagonist is fighting against the sheeple, against the unthinking masses. The paradox is that the protagonist is fighting on the side of the status quo and the sheeple are the revolutionaries who are trying to disrupt the status quo. And if you don't see the paradox yet, I'll try to lay it out a bit more succinctly: the status quo is being treated like it's an underdog position. The status quo. An underdog position. The premise of being infiltrated by impostors and not knowing who you can trust is a good premise, but the problem is that this manga doesn't lean into that premise in any interesting sort of way and instead just does its propaganda thing. And I say propaganda, but it's very possible that Osamu Tezuka was just using this as a vehicle to process some of feir feelings about the protests going on at the time in Japan. I don't know enough about those specific protests to know how valid Tezuka's complaints may have been or not, but I will say that Tezuka's position in general seems much more interested in maintaining the "peace" of the status quo and much more willing to blame protesters and give the police and the state the benefit of the doubt. Like, at one point, it suggests that the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. also wasn't "peaceful" enough, as though that should be the main takeaway from the Civil Rights Movement (and not the systemic racism or police brutality or any number of other things).

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