Izumi Suzuki was born in Itō, Shizuoka in 1949, a time when Japan experienced a wave of counterculture and antiestablishment. Coinciding with the movement of the time, Suzuki’s life was anything but ordinary. She devoted her career in writing, modeling, and acting. Notably, she was associated with erotic photography and soft-core pink films along with writing science fiction. Suzuki died by suicide at the age of 36 in 1986. She left behind many publications and many of which have not yet been translated into English. Hit Parade of Tears is an new English translation, which follows the release of her work Terminal Boredom in English in 2021.

Isn’t it a dream come true to finally come across a tall, dark, and handsome person who fancies you? The well-known stereotype of a dream lover — tall, dark, and handsome — is translated into a mysterious extraterrestrial man in the short story “My Guy,” about a young woman who meets an alien-man.

The it-thing follows the young woman to her home and continuously stalks her, yet it quickly becomes apparent that he is completely docile and useless. Despite being incompetent as a man, the young woman quickly falls in love with it. The alien-man impregnates her through merely a kiss. Suddenly, the it-man has to leave the Earth. The woman births a half-breed child and raises it by herself. This story concludes that the protagonist never needed a man in her life. The boundary is blurred between consent and non-consensual relationships.

What reason would make a faithful housewife turn her husband into a useless filet of meat? In “Trial Witch” a bored housewife founds out that she has powers of witchcraft at the same time she discovers her husband has a mistress. She plots to meet the mistress and when she does, she transforms her husband into a dinosaur to scare his mistress away.

Soon, the woman loses her supernatural powers and her husband is permanently turned into a small hunk of meat. The housewife lives with her husband who is a useless filet of meat, getting soggier and all the more useless, showcasing perhaps that he is a better man that way.

Do you ever wonder what it would feel like to live in a perfect world with perfect people in it? You will think twice about it being something like a feel-good movie after reading “Full of Malice.” A woman is given an intricate medical procedure in her brain to remove any traces of malice from her. She is then put into a utopian society where people like her have arranged families and lifestyle. This short story is not utopian, but dystopian. It is edgy and will give chills down your spine after finishing it.

“The Covenant” is a true cyberpunk horror story focusing on female empowerment, yet with lackadaisical consequences. Several underage girls at a bar trick a much older man for the fun of it. The girls sacrifice an older man because their lack of emotions leads them to believe they may be extraterrestrial.

Following the main characters is like having a peppermint in your mouth. You might not like what is happening, but the proceeding contents will dissolve in your mouth to satisfaction because it is addictive. The short story highlights the reality of casual violence and the nature of insanity.

Suzuki is an early pioneer in science fiction writing whose feminist and eccentric voice created a definition that was rarely seen in the community. Her 11 short stories in this book will take you back to the psychedelic heyday of Japan and America in a cyberpunk, speculative imaginary.

Hit Parade of Tears revolves around mundane lives of average women until some magical happenstance changes the trajectory of each. Men act as “Ken” dolls to “Barbie” protagonists — accessories or side pieces that aren’t part of the main narrative, but as a means to an end, with some humiliated, turned into a piece of literal hunk of meat through witchcraft, to being splayed open for display.

Men as secondary or background characters serve to highlight the significance of women in the short stories. 

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