Monday, September 22, 2014


Superconducting Brain Parataxis* combines two of Kago' characteristic themes: treating humans as machines, and breaking down the body's integrity. It's a collection of linked short stories, set in a futuristic world in which human DNA is used to produce giant naked women's bodies, or parts of bodies, which are "ridden" by normal-sized humans and used as organic machines. (At least this is what appears to be happening; the reality is a bit different.) Despite this bizarre premise, it was serialized in the mainstream shounen magazine Weekly Young Jump. Correspondingly, there is no explicit sex or scatology, and the gore is toned down. It also takes a more standard approach to storytelling than most of his other work: its world building is semi-plausible, and there are characters you can sympathize with. In fact, to a large extent it reads like mainstream SF, if you pretend that the "fleshbots" are regular robots. There are even moments of poignancy, as in the first story, in which a scientist persuades one of the giants to escape, but this brings her (the giant) only suffering.

Superconducting Brain Parataxis is not the best of Kago's tankoubons that I've read (that would be New Banji Kaichou), but it's better than either of the ones I've reviewed. It's also much less offensive than many of Kago's other works. It's out of print, but if you get a chance to buy it I'd recommend it.

Superconducting Brain Parataxis was published by Shueisha in the YJ line. It's 194 pages long, and its list price is 1200 yen. It's ISBN is 978-4087826722. Here's its amazon.co.jp page.

*"Parataxis" has two meanings, but the one relevant here is: "the psychological state or repository of attitudes, ideas, and experiences accumulated during personality development that are not effectively assimilated or integrated into the growing mass and residue of the other attitudes, ideas, and experiences of an individual's personality."

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