Sunday, March 20, 2011
Reviewed by Sin - Lala Pipo
by Hideo Okuda
"Lala Pipo" is a relay race: as each story ends, a previously minor character takes the lead and shows us what was going on in his/her life while someone else had the spotlight. From housewives to host boys, you get a graphic tour of who's getting it in Tokyo, and who's not getting enough. Anger, stress, and self-destruction are the predominate themes. You would think getting laid would make people happy, but Hideo Okuda knows better. Sometimes sex is the last thing you need.
The book starts with a man who has no life, no friends, and one new neighbor. When a very audible parade of sexy women ensues the man, and his penis, are happier than they've ever been. Unfortunately, he's no host boy and, as time goes by, the man's addiction to the antics upstairs get the better of him. And that's one of the tamer stories.
"Lala Pipo" is proof that perversion can have a point. As titillating as the stories are (did you want me to lie?), they are also thought provoking, and in some cases touching. Okuda's characters aren't the nicest people but, even if you don't agree with what they do, you understand how they got there. To me, that is the mark of an excellent writer. It's easy to make you like a character who's charming and funny. Making you care about someone who needs a boot to the ass takes talent.