Thursday, June 17, 2021

Iguana no Musume - IGUANA GIRL!

Fewture Comic Character Series - Iguana Girl - Art Storm/Fewture 2002

In 1992, a unique 51-page manga called Iguana no Musume (Iguana Girl), written and drawn by Moto Hagio was published in the manga magazine Petit Flower. It's a bizarre little tale about a young girl named Rika whose mother sees her as an Iguana. Other characters see Rika as a normal, albeit plain, young girl. But in her mother's eyes, she is a scaly beast in a dress. Her mother treats her very poorly, especially in comparison to her fair-haired perfect little sister Mami (whom the mother adores). The story follows Rika from birth to adulthood and illustrates how deeply she is affected by her mother's behavior. She is plagued by low self-esteem and fear of falling in love, believing that she actually is an Iguana inside and will only bring hurt to those around her. The story is insightful with a fairy tale quality that I adore. I personally exhibit a few adult character traits that are a direct result of my parents' perception of me as a child. So I have always found this story to be a unique, poignant, and universal tale. 

The first English adaptation of the Iguana Girl manga was included in the 2010 anthology of Moto Hagio's works titled Drunken Dream and Other Stories published by Fantagraphics. Hagio is known as the founding mother of shōjo manga and was quite groundbreaking. She was an early pioneer of the shōnen-ai (boy-boy-love) genre with her 1971 The November Gymnasium and several of her early works play with gender in a way that seems unheard of at the time. I also just discovered she created the manga behind one of my favorite sci-fi anime films, 1986's They Were 11. I didn't realize the film was from a manga and I was excited to read that it's being reprinted in 2022 for the first time in years.

But back to this figure at hand. Iguana Girl was produced as a live-action 11-episode television serial in Japan in 1996, and this soft vinyl figure seems to represent the specific design from the show (despite having manga-specific graphics on the packaging). I was very happy to learn that this figure existed. She is quite possibly one of the oddest items in my collection. Let's check her out below!

Time for a Comparison Pic!