OH! Mikey: Volumes 1-6
Leave it to the Japanese, arbiters of the bizarre, to find a way to make mannequins even scarier by making them domestic
OH! Mikey: Volumes 1-6
The Fuccon Family, $40
We all know mannequins are horrible things. Anyone who's seen Mannequin 2: On the Move can tell you that. But leave it to the Japanese, arbiters of the bizarre, to find a way to make them even scarier by making them domestic.
OH! Mikey is a sitcom involving not actors, but fashionably dressed mannequins. Be forewarned: The peals of maniacal mannequin laughter that punctuate each scene will become lodged deep in your brain, like a kernel of popcorn in your frontal lobe. And the gleam in their shiny plastic eyes will cut through you like a deli meat slicer. Oh, and there are subtitles. This wonderful concoction comes straight from the id of creator Yoshimasa Ishibashi, who originally debuted OH! Mikey on the Japanese variety show Vermillion Pleasure Night. The six-volume show (with the most recent installment released in December) follows a typical American mannequin family (the Fuccons) after they move to Japan to start a new life. There's the blonde, grinning wife, Barbara; the breadwinner, James; and their impossibly adorable son (and source of many "OH!"s), Mikey. Adding to the creepiness are several of Mikey's Village of the Damned-esque friends and cousins, Mikey's grandparents (child mannequins dressed like old cattle farmers), and a menagerie of cold plastic oddballs set against live-action backdrops. The dialogue is rapid-fire and witty, filled with non sequiturs and static humor. What's brilliant here is the show's ability to take the typical sitcom formula (as James exclaims, "We're the model happy family!") and make it into three minutes of absurdity: Mikey becomes possessed, is sexually harassed by a tutor, held hostage, becomes a vampire, witnesses his parents in bed, and cries real mannequin boy tears when his crush disses him. But each scene still ends with several of the characters laughing in unison, as their vacant eyes ... warm your heart. It's all waiting for you at I Video (2915 Guadalupe) or online at www.jlist.com.
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