NOTE: This post contains profanity and depictions of fictional nudity. If you are offended by such things, please do not read.
Junko Mizuno’s Little Fluffy Gigolo Pelu is the story of Pelu. He is not a dog. He is not a cat. He’s a puffy creature from an alien planet who lives with a carnivorous space hippo and a ton of beautiful naked women. After Pelu’s sister gives birth to a baby, he learns about how babies are born on this alien planet and how he, as a puff ball, is unable to have one.
But Pelu longs for a baby and will not accept this predicament. So he runs away to the planet Earth in search of an ideal mate. What follows is a series of short episodes as Pelu pursues one screwed up Earth woman after another. Unfortunately, he always seems to be on the wrong end of the stick as all the girls either end up with some other dude, or die some horrible death. Oh, what’s a poor little fluffy gigolo to do!
In my review of the Krazy art exhibit for About.com, I had taken special note of the works of Junko Mizuno being put on display. Her combination of sugar-coated pop art portraying extreme sex and violence is so distinct, powerful, and easily recognizable. I don’t see Mizuno as a manga artist, she’s more of a brand name like Hello Kitty or Paul Frank.
So as a brand name, you know exactly what to expect going into Little Fluffy Gigolo Pelu. The comic opens up with a simple nursery rhyme introducing Pelu and his planet. The childish artwork gives off the appearance of innocence, and everything looks all jolly and pure… except for the fact that every woman on the planet is naked with huge boobs and voluptuous round hips. Pelu’s mother, Pelu’s sister, everyone’s sexy and naked! But at least they are jolly big breasted naked women.
Then while Pelu is playing with his sister, a gooey baby fetus plops out from between her legs and smacks down onto the pavement.
And so whatever sense of childish innocence you thought you had until that point with the ultra-cute pop art has been stripped away from you, and it just lies there in a gooey black-and-white mess at the bottom of the comic panel.
Welcome to the world of Junko Mizuno. It’s a shocking and seriously fucked up place to explore, and it is most certainly not suitable for every manga fan. But if you’re into that sort of thing, then Mizuno is the pinnacle of manga guilty pleasures, and I am pleased to report that she delivers her magic once again in Pelu.
But when looking beyond her art and shock appeal, you’re left with some huge flaws in her story telling. Her characters are stupid and shallow, and so this makes it very hard to really care about any of them. The dialogue is choppy and often reads like a poor English translation. While all of this is probably done on purpose to simulate the fairy tale experience, if you’re reading this manga purely for it’s story, you’re going to find it pathetic and amateur.
But to her credit, the latter chapters of Pelu did seem to improve on building better character depth and development. You might actually begin feeling some attachment to the Earth girls that Pelu encounters towards the end. This, of course, makes things even more messed up when the stories end with very disturbing conclusions.
The Good: Beautiful artwork and character designs that find the sexiness in Japanese “kawaii” pop culture. Unapologetic in pushing the envelope in decency and standards.
The Bad: Dialogue is very choppy and story is shallow. Probably not suitable for most readers.
Final Verdict: Like any comic under the Junko Mizuno brand name, Little Fluffy Gigolo Pelu is an adult fairy tale coated in candy and bleeding with pus and bile. It will continue to please fans of the artist’s past work while still shocking new readers.