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tomie is so predominantly popular that the name itself has become a slang in asia. it means, something you cannot kill off and it resurrects over and over again to haunt you with the same issue which has been disturbing you. you could say stuff like, this thing is just a tomie! you gotta have a grasp of the japanophilic side of asia to comprehend or apprehend its eccentric allure. it's been one of the most popular horror series in japan, the equivalent of clive barker's hellraisers (which also has way too many series)..this is probably one of few best ones among this series.
tomie is a fantastical womanly creature which possesses the power to charm everyone, accordingly she represents the ideal form of beauty. any part of her body, such as hair or her limbs, could sprout clones if you place any bit of her on you as a girl who wishes to be improve her looks would place some of tomie on her until she's no longer herself but just another tomie clone. tomie takes sadistic pleasure in charming the man then cockteasing him, at last humiliating him so that he harbors a murderous rage to kill her off and dismember her body-parts despite all his effects will be in vain at the end because tomie is unkillable.(mental sadism from physical masochism?) in a brief, tomie is an embodiment of nightmare within cultural misogyny as well as the fetishistic cult of beauty: she's meant for merciless seduction and the ruin of her admirer's peace of mind.
what makes this one particularly interesting is the discussion on the subtle elements of sublimated female homoeroticism within adolescence. the protagonist is a meek--mannered plain jane whose best wish in life is to have a female best friend who could save her from the teenage hell of loneliness. then tomie steps into the picture, a gorgeous best-friend seems to drop from heaven above to nurture this plain jane who has been wishing for her female messiah all throughout her life. later, it turns out that her father also carries a torch for tomie ever since his youth (tomie doesn't age, you know). thus, this pair of father and daughter are all enamor of this monstrous but irresistibly striking creature, who is not even human.
the plot takes a twist as tomie tries to persuade the father into killing off the daughter ("if you could kill her off, we could be in love again as we used to be"...that sort of scenario, you know)..then the next would be, both the father and daughter collaborate together to eradicate tomie: freezing her into a giant ice-bar, any form to disintegrate tomie's body-parts to keep her from resurrection so that she won't come into life again to torture you with her deadly charm. (standard formula of this series) it also features the part that the girl tries to babysit tomie by taking her head back home to nurture until tomie regenerates herself into complete human form, again. still, all her effects aren't well-appreciated but dismissed in a contemptuous way.
the diabolic disclosure in the end would be, the girl still wants to start anew with tomie after all the traumatic disasters tomie has been bestowing on her and her family. eventually, she's still obsessed with tomie, and she secretly takes tomie's ear, locks it in her desk-drawer, and patiently waits for it to grow into tomie in complete human form because she could never give her up, there's also some void in her that wishes to be fulfilled by something as TOMIE.
what could be more nightmarish than this?
(ps) here i am associating this with the pun from classic-noir "out of the past"...nightmare concerning love always comes from the protagonist/the beholder's obsessive wish to RESTORE THE PAST, relive the past..just like fitzgerald the great gatsby, if gatsby doesn't try to rekindle his romance with daisy, he might as well just be all right as a bootlegger with a fancy front, right?
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