Well, that was weird. “Bride in Front of the Station” or “Ekimae Hanayome” is a collection of short stories by Shintaro Kago. Most of them center around modifying the human body in some strange way, like replacing certain parts with faucets, or being able to detach your parts as drawers, like from a cabinet. Unsurprisingly, for an author such as Kago, he explores these ideas with lots of sex and some violence, and the scenarios he invents are admittedly creative, gross and sometimes funny, but from what I’ve seen, this is probably the tamest work of his.
Some stories end in poetic irony and a few
even deal with psychological anxiety, but all are truly surreal, following the nonsense sequence of a dream. The author sometimes throws in a panel communicating a side-thought, which has no connection with the story but rather it’s theme. There’s also a text-only chapter describing marriage etiquette in a morbidly humorous way. Anyway, another story involves a town where houses are burned regularly in order to satisfy some firemen who go on a murderous rampage if they don’t have any fires to fight.
My favorite chapter is called “Labyrinth” where a girl tries to navigate a town of mazes, and people start getting infected with a disease which turns them into living mazes. By the end of the story, all we see is a vague silhouette of people fucking, represented as impossibly complex, human-shaped mazes. It’s kind of like the increasingly-complex art of painter Louis Wain in fast-forward. Anyway, if bizarre, short-form stories sound appealing to you, “Bride in Front of the Station” might just be for you.