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Hybrid Child by Shungiki Nakamura
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Hybrid Child

by Shungiki Nakamura

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804150,606 (3.92)1
@office (1) androids (1) angst (2) BL (15) boys' love (3) Calvin (1) comp (1) cute (1) DMP (4) dolls (1) drama (2) English (2) fantasy (3) Hybrid Child (2) June (4) m-m (2) manga (30) manga - english (1) manga: japanese (1) nakamura shungiku (6) oneshot (2) print (3) queer (1) read (5) romance (2) scm (1) shounen-ai (3) unread (2) yaoi (16) yaoi manga (2)

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Hybrid Child is a surprisingly moving manga. It begins with a fairly simple story, about a lackluster student named Kotaru. Kotaru's constant companion is Hazuki - a man who is neither human nor doll, a sort of enchanted machine called a "hybrid child" made by a man named Kuroda. The hybrid children are produced by Kuroda, but grow and develop based on the influence and love of their owners. Hazuki had actually been thrown away by his previous owners before (child) Kotaru found him and forced his family to adopt him.

In the beginning, Kotaru is a lazy slacker, who can't figure out why Hazuki is more mature, and is always lecturing him. When Hazuki falls ill, they track down his creator, the embittered Kuroda, and learn that Hazuki is actually the very first hybrid child model created. Kuroda dismisses him as an antique, and claims he can't be fixed. We finally see the real Kotaru emerge, when the life of his friend is at stake, he is not a slacker at all.

The second story revolves around Sir Ichi Seya, a man who is haunted by his memories of war. He has a hybrid child, Yuzu, in his care, and he states that he is good friends with the creator, Kuroda.

The third story is what really brings the collection together, and transforms it from fluff into a surprisingly moving story. The third story reveals the history of Kuroda, and the origin of the hybrid child idea. Many years earlier, Kuroda and Seya were both members of a clan that always held a high position with the Shogun. But with the rise of the new government, and the end of the Shoguns, they became outcasts, a "rebel army."

Their young friend, Tsukishima, has become chief of their clan, despite being young and inexperienced (and somewhat frail). Seya, Kuroda and Tsukishima are all childhood friends, and continue picking on one another even with the shadow of war emerging. Secretly, Kuroda is in love with Tsukishima, and perhaps this is why he always gives him such a hard time.

I won't say anything more about the third story, except that it made me cry, and transformed the whole collection in my eyes into something deeper than I had expected. ( )
  catfantastic | Jul 4, 2012 |
Nice story. Cute. Easy, lovely read. ( )
  hahnasay | Apr 24, 2010 |
At first I wasn't overly impressed with the first two stories, although I thought they were okay, but the third had the very rare ability to make me want to cry. All three stories were centered around the sci-fi idea of creating an android which would grow in relation to the amount of love bestowed upon it by its owner. In all three stories, the hybrids knew what they were, but this did not seem to stop them from having their own emotions and feelings. Nothing more graphic than kissing was portrayed in any of the stories, although in the second story there is a bit of dialog which might kick this up to the upper teen level. The commonality between the stories, in addition to the hybrids themselves, was the appearance, or at least mention, of the creator of the hybrids who becomes a main character at the end. This is a more emotional manga than many and, in the end, totally tugged on my heartstrings. Ultimately it was the conclusion that made me better appreciate the manga as a whole. ( )
1 vote Jenson_AKA_DL | Jul 27, 2008 |
Three stories about incredibly lifelike 'dolls' (I'd really put them more in the realm of androids, but I think in the time period it's set in, which seems to be based on late Tokugawa and early Meiji restoration [late nineteenth century] it's more accurate call them clockwork dolls), that start off as children then grow, nourished by the love of their owners. I was a little worried this might be a lot of shota, but it wasn't so much; only a few bits made me uncomfortable. The only male/male sex going on is between consenting adults. Another I would have liked to have read more of, but I think it was a one shot and not a series. It reminded me a lot of the series 'Dolls' by Yumiko Kawahara, except yaoi/boyslove instead of shoujo. ( )
  Furu | Nov 27, 2007 |
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