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Helter Skelter: Fashion Unfriendly Paperback – August 20, 2013
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In 2004 Helter Skelter was honored in Japan with the two top awards for Japanese comics:
Winner of the 2004 Japan Media Arts Award
Winner of the 2004 Osamu Tezuka Cultural Award
About the Author
Kyoko Okazaki, born December 13, 1963, is considered by many as one of the mothers of josei (women's) comics. Renowned for her mimimalist designs and tendancy to cover controversial themes, Okazaki cut her teeth in the world adult comics in 1980's.
While studying at Atomi University, Okazaki made her debut in Cartoon Burikko, an experiemental adult comic anthology primarily aimed at men. Okazaki would then turn her focus to women's issues. Focusing on the issues of contemporary young women, Okazaki never shied away from street culture, high fashion and drug use in her naratives. She would then take on her first a long-running series called Tokyo Girls Bravo; a rare comic to be published a fashion magazine. Okazaki has been in retirement since the end of the last century as she recovers from a life-threatening traffic accident.
Okazaki has received both the Japan Media Arts Award and the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Award for her work on Helter Skelter which was adapted into a motion picture in 2012 (now screening in the US in 2013).
Top customer reviews
Kyoko Okazaki has been a pioneer of women’s-issue-focused manga for decades. She is fearless in her depictions of sex, cultural and political issues, and her examinations of fame and our societal obsessions. She tears through boundaries in Helter Skelter: Fashion Unfriendly, which shows the very ugliest side of fame and fortune.
This story was first serialized in the mid-’90s and then published in 2003; Vertical has rereleased the book following its adaptation into a film. It is definitely for adults, featuring graphic sex, language, and nudity.
It’s more than just a grim look at fashion, however. As Liliko continues to need more cosmetic surgeries, she is forced to rely more and more on the work of a shady surgeon. But that surgeon is up to some very suspicious things, and that has caught the eye of a police investigator. Meanwhile, Liliko’s relationship with her wealthy fiancé ends abruptly, causing her to go off the deep end even more. Violence and intrigue ensue.
The overall effect of HELTER SKELTER’s story is grim, horrifying, and even a little off-putting at points. It’s not a story for everyone, but its intense commentary on modern obsessions with celebrity is often spot-on.
- John Hogan