Saturday, July 23, 2005

Melon Books

Manfred, Jr. is visiting me for a bit. This weekend, we went to Japan. After we found a hotel, we went out exploring Fukuoka. As we walked down the main drag, a cute little yellow sign caught my eye: MELON BOOKS.

(I like Fukuoka pretty well, but the bookloving side of me has to sleep for a couple of days. Instead, the musicloving side of me comes out; Tower Records is in Fukuoka and they have a massive selection. When Manfred, Jr. saw the selection, he made a mental note to write to Manfred and ask him to send a list of "...that far-out shit that you're always looking for, Dad." )

Anyway. MELON BOOKS. I have to admit that where there's books, there's hope.

"A bookstore! Let's check it out!" I urged Manfred, Jr. He was game, so we climbed the two or three flights of stairs.

When I walked in, I had the impression that the whole joint had been washed in strawberry ice cream. It seemed like all the covers of the books and magazines were different shades of pink and featured female cartoon characters on the front. They all had that huge-eyed sort of vacant look that I recognize as Japanese anime. Leaving Manfred, Jr. to his own devices, I went looking for the novels. No novels. Yawn. All that pink. I was reminded of "Hello Kitty". Double yawn.

Then it hit me. Most of the cartoon characters were naked, or nearly so!

Right about then, Manfred, Jr. came around the corner.

"Do you know where we are?" he said quietly. "Think about it, Mom. Melon Books. Melon Books."


"This is Hentai," Manfred, Jr. explained. I must have looked a little blank, because he rushed to clarify. "Anime porn."


"I could leave," I offered. "If you'd like to look around some more, or maybe buy something. I'll just go out there." I pointed to the stair landing, right outside the store. Looking around Melon Books again, I noticed that I was the only middle-aged woman in there. It was a slightly cringeworthy moment.

"No, that's okay," Manfred, Jr. said generously.

We left together, but I could see him observing landmarks and location. We're going back to Japan in a few weeks. Something tells me that Manfred, Jr. will be making a bookstore run without the old lady in tow.


Amy said...

This is hysterical. I lived in Japan back in the early nineties, and I remember that disturbing juxtaposition of comic book aesthetic and porn.

Joanna S Kelley said...

Hilarious! Two thumbs up.

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