Candy Doll is a One-Shot manga by Miu Morishita.
The story is about a girl named Rika, who lands the boy of her dreams, Ando only to find herself trapped in a relationship where she constantly does everything she can to please him. It isn’t until her boyfriends classmate Kijima calls her a “doll” that she begins to realize how much her relationship with Ando has changed her.
Just smiling and acting the way ‘master’ wants you to…that isn’t much different from a doll.Kijima, Candy Doll
My Thoughts: *INCLUDES SPOILERS*
I was intrigued to read this one shot because of the title and cover art. It just sort of appeared in front of me and I thought, “why the heck not?” I wasn’t really sure what to expect…but there was a lack of emotional build up. I liked the ending where Rika cut off her hair but this is the only time that I felt anything while reading this story. It was the only point in which I, the reader, felt close to her and her situation. Prior to this she seemed like a girl dating a guy who didn’t pay any attention to her.
That being said, I didn’t dislike Rika. In fact, she was interesting to watch. I just found it bizarre that Kijima was literally everywhere, all the time…as if he was lurking in the shadows or something? It was a bit creepy haha!
The ending however was pretty anti-climatic simply because there was all this build up of Rika no longer being stuck as this “doll” and then she herself says:
I still feel powerless. Hey, Senpai…I think I’m a doll after allRika, Candy Doll
Which having as the final line in this one-shot made everything else just…not matter. Her cutting off her hair was so symbolic and yet then she magically ends up with Kijima two seconds later, only to be like “Welp I learned nothing!” What was the point of the scene prior to this?
Part of me wonders if perhaps because it’s a one-shot that some scenes had to be cut?
Sadly, I wasn’t thrilled with this story. The art was pretty but the story itself was dry up until the last few pages…which at first got my attention but then lost me at the end. Therefore I’m rating Candy Doll…
I always feel bad giving that sort of review but I’d rather be honest. My opinion is merely subjective. I saw another person who gave it a 5 star review. The overall review for it on Goodreads is about 3 stars.
For me the story wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t good either. For me a 3 star rating means it’s good, 2 stars is more…just okay. Usually 2 is “not my cup of tea” whereas a 3 star review is something that has potential.
In this case, I don’t feel like I completely wasted my time reading this manga. I mean it was a one-shot. It was short. I just wasn’t a fan. Perhaps if the story had been a little longer, those issues I mentioned would have been better ironed out. If it were to have this ending where Rika has the sad realization that she in fact is a doll, who constantly caters to others, regardless of her own feelings after exploring this new relationship with Kijima it would have definitely been stronger.