Karakuri Odette vol. 1: My Life as a Teenage Robot

I had never heard of Karakuri Odette, not one bit. In a lot of ways, this is what I want from the Manga Movable Feast; I like being introduced to a series, but I get recommendations all the time as I’m sure many others do, so having the push to pick it up is helpful. Karakuri Odette also provides a story that has underlying themes to mull over so it fulfills another point when I think about what I want from the MMF. The series is rather subdued but combines coming of age moments with the moral ambiguity of what exactly robots are for. The storytelling somewhat reminded me of (wonderful) Nari Kasukawa in the quiet approach to humor and relationships but Julietta Suzuki folds in a darker look at morality with it.

As we stated in our Mushishi article for the MMF a compelling method of examining humanity is looking at people through an inhuman lens. Androids fill this niche extremely well because while they look exactly like a human they are still removed from humanity by virtue of their creation. Androids can commingle with humans without creating a fuss but still allow an outsiders perspective of what makes a human a human. Androids are also useful metaphors for those who are alienated or on the fringe due to their nature. They are at first glance part of the group but they are also fundamental removed. Karakuri Odette can be seen as a romantic comedy that uses robotics to examine more than just the concept of can a human love a robot and be loved back. Karakuri Odette takes the older concepts often used in classic science fiction to explore the heart of humanity. At the same time it is a sweet story with tales of friendship and romance mixed with dash of humor. It hearkens back to the day when shojo used science fiction to tell stories while having a more modern sense of whimsy.

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