Masquerade and the Nameless Women – Review

Masquerade and the Nameless Women Book Cover Masquerade and the Nameless Women
Eiji Mikage
Fiction
Vertical Inc
April 30, 2019
Paperback
222

Since the death of her sister, police force newbie Yuri Uguisu has been chasing the notoriously untraceable serial killer Masquerade. When a new corpse turns up in Odaiba, Yuri immediately goes on alert—only to recognize the victim as an old classmate, the alluring and mysterious Reina Myoko. When the police force calls in long-time consultant psychologist Seiren Higano for assistance in untangling the testimonies of Reina’s father, fiancé, and lover, Yuri meets the riveting, charismatic psychologist for the first time. Little does she know that Higano is none other than Masquerade himself. Faced with Reina’s case, Higano promises to get the answers, but no one is prepared for the conclusion reached in the interrogation room… In this cat-and-mouse tale of hunter and hunted, Eiji Mikage has woven a subtle and twisting tale of clashing motives and murky identities, where nothing anyone says can be taken at face value.

Summary: Serial Killer Higano is the misogynistic author self-insert who wants to punish women for “Justice!” All other characters don’t really matter as he’s enough to ruin whatever good story that was going on. Also Mikage probably read ‘Lolita’ and though that little girls are seducers (not what Lolita’s author intended). Also incest and rape. Basically totally gross.

This book fails at everything. If you take it apart, none of the characters even need to be here.
Yuri Uguisu doesn’t need to be here as Yamaji could be Higano’s foil.
Yamaji and Higano doesn’t need to be here as the main plot works just fine without these dudes mucking it up.

Higano is just there to be the smug perfect dude character that people would never call a ‘Mary Sue’ because male. Just let Yuri do the same thing and you’d have all the males screeching “Mary Sue!”

Noi-tan can just be removed entirely. She adds nothing to the story at all and her existence is jarring to the messed up narrative. I have no idea why the Broauthor put her in there.

Yet all of these characters are together to make a story all about how a dude fucked up his misogynistic fantasy.

Yuri could be the sole character for this and we could have written Higano out of it completely and it would have been a great read. She doesn’t even get justice for her dead sister. We only know that Higano killed her. That’s it. The book doesn’t fill anything else out about her.

The main plot with Reina Myoko is actually really awesome as the twist in the end is “YEAH AWESOME! SHE DID IT!” and Yuri could have figured it out in the end and still let her get away.

But you see. A male cannot leave a “bad woman” to live and must have his self insert character punish women who “get away.” A serial killer that kills for “JUSTICE!” as he punishes women for doing things he doesn’t like. This is the twist on a twist that the book has. This is Higano’s character. A serial killer that murders bad women for ‘justice’. But only beautiful women you see. He doesn’t want any of those ugly women of course dear male reader. He has a literal murder basement and his assistant that may or may not know what he’s doing. A woman that is complicit in the death of other women.

Yuri is infantalized throughout the book by Yamaji calling her “Princess” and sexually harassing all the women but her. But you see dear reader, author thinks women want to be sexually harassed by men. I really have no idea why Yuri exists as any other character could have done what she did. The only reason I can see why she exists is that we needed a ‘barely legal’ woman, with a dead sister, that the male readers could wank off to. She also provides a woman for Higano to threaten with death in his creepy “Your hand is beautiful!” serial killer way. In the end she is correct that Higano is the killer, but nothing comes of it. In the end she’s right, but she’s not triumphant. That is only reserved for men.
THAT being said, it would have been better if Yamaji and Higano was removed and she was the only one solving the Reina case as the case itself was a nice twist of a mystery.

Yamaji exists only to serve as a body for the gross male readers to insert themselves into. The older, sexist character that thinks of grown women that have gone through police training as “princess”. He’s also the one that does the police legwork that Yuri could have done. A useless character.

Noi-tan. One of those girl hate characters that haaates people getting close to her maaaaan. She offers nothing that any other couldn’t have done. She’s just jarring to even have her.

This book seems like some sort of real-life fanfiction from the author. Children that can “fall in love” with their parent and murder their other parent. (We have a dead mother here).
Higano is the serial killer that doesn’t derive pleasure from kill, yet he does it any way. For you see, he punishes beautiful women for the ills they have caused to society. But you see, in the end Reina pulls one over on Higano, however she is still dead.

That’s it. The book is over. Nothing was gained here. There is no conclusion to Yuri’s story as it relates to Higano despite that being her reason for being on the case. Yamaji fades off. That’s it. This whole mystery is just to serve as a minor ripple in a man’s plot against women. A woman dies just for that. The way the author describes Reina as just “beautiful” and really gives her no personality. She exists to die in an overcomplicated plot to throw this douchebag off.
The plot that could have been better if Higano wasn’t even in the equation.

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