I'm a relatively new fan of Tori Miki's manga. He's been working as a professional manga artist since about 1979, but he wasn't "on my radar" until last year. Since then, I've been reading everything of his I can get my hands on, but little of his work is still on the shelves at most bookstores. The Kinokuniya Annex in Shinjuku had a few of his books, including "Dai Honya", "Legend of the Stone God" and "Anywhere But Here" (which was released in the U.S. by Fantagraphics). The Parco in Shibuya had a few more books, including the award-winning "SF Taisho". Then, the first volume of "Reishoku Shosakan" (Frozen Food Agent) came out last Spring, and that's when this blog started up. But, it wasn't until the end of this September that I finally found the first three volumes of "Kuru Kuru Kurin", well after I translated the below story.
The original run of "Kuru Kuru Kurin - Parallel Girl" lasted 6 volumes, and worked primarily as a gag manga ala "Doctor Slump", but slightly more etchi. The stories in the first couple of volumes divide up into 4 categories - those that occur at school; those outside around the school; those involving Io's family (his parents are both professional models, and he has a younger sister); and those involving primarily Kurin and her father Dr. Higashimori (Kurin is an only child and there's as of yet no mention of her mother). In most stories, Kurin gets into a situation where she's out of her depth, and a physical or emotional shock brings out the personality best suited for that situation (i.e. - when threatened by street punks, she turns into the leader of a girl's street gang). Io is the only one that can make her revert back, by kissing her on the lips. However, Dr. Higashimori hates seeing Io kissing his daughter and will often attack Io out of jealousy. Occasionally, Io fails to get past Kurin's defenses and the story ends with her still controlled by some other personality. Rarely, Kurin gets so exhausted that she reverts on her own.
In volume 1, Tori Miki explains the origin of Kurin's name. Originally, he wanted a take-off of "Alistair MacLean" (Scottish novelist), which in katakana comes out as "arisutea ma(kuri-n)". The "kurin" part is easy to see here. But, the kanji Miki planned to use for the rest of the name would have been too difficult to remember. As he was playing around, he said "kurin kurin kurin to..." Which led to "kurin-to eastwood" ("Clint Eastwood"). Well, "East Wood" translates to "Higashi Mori". And there you have it - Kurin Higashimori.
In volume 2, it's Io's name. Initially, Miki just wanted to steal Iyo Matsumoto's name, making it masculine by turning the kanji into the katakana "Io". (He claims that he's not a fan of Iyo's, but that he really likes Tomoyo Harada.) You can guess why Io's father's name is "Jupiter".
It's a fun manga, and I recommend it to anyone that can find used copies. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MANGA ARTIST!
Here's the index to the pages from Tori Miki's special "40th Anniversary Celebration" entry for Weekly Shonen Champion.
Here are the scanned pages.