This was enjoyable, but it was chapter 6, Dangerous Symphony, that really got me. I caught on early on, but I didn’t expect the ending. It was perfect. I appreciated the obvious ridicule of Japan’s restrictive legislation such as the Youth Ordinance Bill and how it was taken to the extreme. About four pages in I thought, Motoni Modoru would or should do something like this. It would most likely be darker, and into it, she’d imbue a different kind of cleverness, but I can see it. And I would love to read it. Then, a few pages later, the concept of aestheticism appeared and I appreciated the coincidence of thought. Since I had no idea about the ending, right around the middle, the story seemed to veer off into Peter Gabriel territory.* Next, when the end came, I laughed so hard because it was impetuously keen on a macro, micro, and meta level.
Ike’s work is usually a mix of the kind of creepy, dark, astute, and absurd writing that has just as much chance of turning me on as it does of turning me off. I was sufficiently turned on.
*Peter Gabriel has a bad habit of ruining a perfectly good song by completely changing the entire feeling of the song during the last 4th of it. It’s as if sheets from another score got shuffled in at the end. It’s annoying.