As I read Shoujo Mousouchuu. (少女妄想中。) by Iruma Hitoma, I pondered how I might translate the title, as I do. Is it more like the “Girl of my Delusion” or “The Delusional Girl?” This is not an idle thought, either. How I translate the title could easily affect how I saw the stories in the collection.
A girl in elementary school sees an older girl running by and spends the next decade running after that figure. Having rejected the friend who loves and desires her, she knows that her obsession is unhealthy, but can’t help running after her image of the running girl. A girl on the beach meets another girl with a strange name. They spend time together, and run away together…but are either of them real?
A girl falls in love with her aunt, who only has one eye. The story of the accident looms large, but not as large as the girl’s desire for this woman she can’t stop thinking about. A girl goes to the beach with a friend where they discover love for one another, but it was probably all a dream.
You see my point. Is the girl with the delusion the point or the girl being obsessed about? It’s not that easy to tell, as reality and delusion mix and merge and pull apart repeatedly in these stories. In the first story, Ao meets the running girl several times in her imagination before she encounters her as an adult many years later. And the entire love affair in the last story isn’t real at all. So as we read, we’re constantly being asked to re-evaluate the story and see it through two lenses, one of delusion and the other of reality.
Nothing at all happens. Nothing. Less than nothing. I mean, like Misaki and Shirone go to the beach, meet up in town and one day get on a train, then turn around and come back. The end. So if you’re looking for clear cut stories with beginnings and endings, this may not be the thing for you. On the other hand,, it was a pretty good book, I have to say. Not an easy read, especially when I was tired, but compelling enough that I often read a few pages more than I should have stayed up for.
Overall – 8
If you want to read something with a little light Yuri and a frisson of mindfuck, Shoujo Mousouchuu. isn’t a bad choice.