Meet Pelu. This cute and fluffy little guy is actually an alien and he’s come to earth with one goal in mind… makin’ babies.
Little Fluffy Gigolo PELU, Vol. 1
By Junko Mizuno
Last Gasp, 172 pp.
Rating: Adults Only
On a very improbably shaped planet near Earth, but somehow unseen by humans, dwells a race of pink-haired aliens. There are no males among their number except for Pelu, a little round and fluffy fellow who eventually realizes that he’s not like everybody else when his sister, Palu, spontaneously gives birth and Pelu is subsequently excluded from a school lesson about where babies come from. After learning the (very strange) truth about his origins, Pelu is distraught and begs his friend, the “calm but carnivorous giant space hippo,” to eat him. Instead, the hippo shows Pelu a mirror by which he can travel to Earth and Pelu impulsively decides to take the journey, hoping to find someone else like him with whom he, too, can create babies.
Alas, when Pelu gets to Earth he falls in love with all the wrong girls. First, there’s Asako, who wants to be a singer and kicks Pelu out for upstaging her at a concert. Next, there’s Michiru, who tells lies in order to attract attention. She and her mother move away after the visiting space hippo, who is trying to be good by eating plants rather than people, spews his acidic stomach fluids all over a neighboring poodle ranch, with hilarious and catastrophic results. An encounter with Aqua, a pretty girl met in the sewers, doesn’t go as planned, either. Eventually, Pelu decides that he ought to fall in love with a nice but unattractive girl, so sets his sights on Danko, an unhappy lass who is soon involved in a body swap with the most beautiful and popular girl in school. It doesn’t end well.
If you haven’t deduced it by now, Little Fluffy Gigolo PELU is very weird. Beyond that, though, it’s also sad—since cheerful Pelu (not really a gigolo at all) is simply looking for someone to love—and funny. I’m not one who enjoys weirdness for the sake of weirdness, but in Junko Mizuno’s hands, the absurdity of certain situations makes me laugh out loud, which is a pretty rare occurrence. In addition to the aforementioned poodle massacre, my favorite funny bit occurs at the end of the volume. Each chapter ends with a little song about Pelu, and this one, after the conclusion to the body swap episode, goes:
He’s not a cat,
And he’s not a dog.
Pelu doesn’t like scary ghost stories.
He’s not even sure if he got dumped again.
Pelu’s just running for his life.
That fourth line is still making me giggle even as I type this.
Mizuno’s art is also something special: landscapes are fanciful and imaginative, girls sport elaborate hair and clothes, and even Pelu’s homeless friend looks cute. There’s a lot of female nudity, but it’s almost never sexualized. On Pelu’s home planet, for instance, it simply seems that clothes have never been invented. The art also enhances some of the humorous moments and softens the more disturbing ones, allowing the darkness to come through without seeming to revel in it.
Perhaps the back cover says it best when it describes Pelu as “a tale that’s frequently adorable, sometimes grotesque, and always fluffy.”
Volume one of Little Fluffy Gigolo PELU is available now.
Review copy provided by Last Gasp.
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