On Hai-iro no Diet Coca Cola (Gray Diet Coke)

pukeboy
The cover.

Remember Faust? I don’t mean that old, thick, boring brick by Goethe, though. In the late 2000s, a publisher called Del Rey, which was considered the embassador of Koudansha in America (sorta) put out these two volumes consisting mainly of short stories, titled Faust. They were the English incarnation of a Japanese periodical with cutting-edge nerdy fiction started by Oota Katsushi, the legendary editor and founder of Seikaisha. After a short while, Del Rey disappeared without warning or announcement, leaving several manga series in English unfinished. Some worthwhile novels were announced, but never saw the light of day, too – to this day some sources claim Kara no Kyoukai came out in English when it didn’t. The whole mess must have had something to do with Koudansha publishing their stuff without any intermediaries nowadays.

Anyway, one of the authors who were lucky enough to land in English Faust was Satou Yuuya, whose Dendera I’ve written about a few months ago. In one of those two books you can read Gray Diet Coke, a short story of his titled after a piece by an edgy writer called Nakagami Kenji. That story was later developed into a novel – some call it a story collection, since Satou wrote three more segments to follow up on the original Gray Diet Coke and together with some illustrations by Oshimi Shuuzou (they couldn’t have chosen a more adequate person), they formed this neat little paperback – the 2013 reedition by Seikaisha. The novel is what this post is going to be about. As a fan of Faust, I bought this bad boy to see if it’s any good and share my impressions with the world.

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On God Hand Press

ghzero
The most worksafe image I could find.

Ever use any of those sites where you can read doujinshi online? They’re magnificent. Around 2005, the first attempts at making those would house only several tens of titles, but now? They’re giant – it’s like they contain most of all drawn porn ever created. Apart from what you’d expect to find there, you can hunt down some surprising treasures at Sadpanda and its cousins. Like novels – novelizations of eroge and ero-LN. Textbooks on sex ed. Artbooks, worksafe and not. Recently, though, I managed to dig out THIS. God Hand Press is a series of fanzines on porn and related topics, which was being regularly published by a bunch of Japanese nerds at Comiket. The first issue came out in 1995, and the last one – in 2007, if my research can be believed. Quite the long run. I could only find three issues: #8, #10 and #13. That much was enough, however. I gave them a spin and… they’re fascinating. Get ready for a venture into before-unexplored territory: this will be my first blogpost on porn. Below, I’ll summarize the best bits from those three fanzines.

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On Kimi to wa Chimeiteki na Zure ga Aru

kimizure
The cover.

You might have seen that cover with Midori’s orange toothy mug somewhere. The book is titled Kimi to wa Chimeiteki na Zure ga Aru (let’s say it means There Is a Fatal Difference Between You and Me), published by Gagaga, written by Akatsuki Kakeya, a bearer of a curious name which can be translated as “write, dammit!” – seems like he was telling himself that so often it became his name. It was his debut work. The memorable cover was drawn by Banpai Akira, whose works you might recognize. From a cover of a doujin music album, perhaps? I had no idea what the novel is about before reading it, but could make a guess that it’s a teen horror of some sort. Now I can say it was a rather accurate guess.

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On Hidarimaki-shiki Last Resort

tastymelon
The cover.

A wimpy nerd named Yuu wakes up in a school with amnesia. If that wasn’t troubling enough, the school is far from normal. There is literally nothing outside of it, not even the horizon is there. The school building seems to be suspended in the air. Apart from Yuu, only twelve people inhabit the school complex. Twelve girls, each weirder than the previous one. Usana, the katana-wielding tsundere and the person the closest to being in charge, gives Yuu an order: investigate the series of sexual assaults which has recently happened in the school. It’s the beginning of a mystery story… I guess?

Year 2003. An minor eroge titled Puni☆Fugo comes out, and thus a certain troubled nerd makes his para-literary debut. He’s been in a yakuza gang, has an extensive knowledge of illegal perception-changing drugs and is into all kinds of weird shit in general – the more off the rocker it is, the better. His name: Uminekozawa Melon. Which is also the name of a character in the game. See that green-haired loli in a PE uniform? That’s Melon-chan. The author (?). A year later, Eagle Publishing, a small company putting out books targeted at nerds, including porny novels, releases an unlikely title. “Puni☆Fugo EX: Hidarimaki-shiki Last Resort” – at a glance, a novelization of the eroge. Why would anyone want a novelization of something as obscure, though? At a second glance, it’s a spin-off. An entirely new story featuring the characters you know (duh, of course you do) from the original. At a third glance… this book is a dazzling bolt from the blue. Today, at least among experts, it’s considered one of the literary landmarks of Japanese subculture of the 2000s. The weird little paperback based on an eroge slowly climbed its way to cult status and in 2014, the “complete edition” of Last Resort was published by Seikaisha, the publishing company you might associate with the Faust crowd – all those cutting-edge nerdy writers like Nishio Ishin. The complete edition I purchased recently after hearing about the book for ages.

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I read “Otto no Chinpo ga Hairanai”

chinpo
The cover.

Once upon a time while reading Yaraon, I stumbled upon THIS article. “Otto no Chinpo ga Hairanai” (or “My Husband’s Cock Won’t Fit”) by Kodama – a non-fiction book storming the bestselling book charts. Why of course my favorite shitty net tabloid picked up this news item. The title easily remains in memory, doesn’t it? It certainly did remain in mine, since I recently encountered the book again after all those years and decided to read this meme novel. Or is it not a joke at all? Whatever is the case, the book sold enough to warrant a TV series and a movie based on it. There has to be something relatable about it then.

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