To Strip the Flesh Author and Artist Oto Toda


Story and Art by Oto Toda

5 out of 5 stars!

Six short stories in one book, but I will just go over the four main stories!

To Strip the Flesh

What if you knew you were the wrong gender? Trapped inside a body that isn't yours but you were born with it? Having to remain so to make others happy. . .

Chiaki Ogawa, knew from day one that he was male. Yet there are some in his life that don't want to believe that. But choices have to be made in order to breathe and be able to live. Having a life of freedom and happiness sometimes comes with consequences. Will he be able to accept the terms?

This story hit me hard because of my personal life and experiences. Still going through some things and understanding what being Non-Binary means to me. What it looks like for me. Chiaki knew what being male looked like to him, yet family stood in the way. Having to tell a parent and show them that this is it, this is who you are. Seeing them decide whether to accept you or not is scary.

Chiaki's story does have a happy ending! I loved seeing his journey and being able to relate to him in some ways. I really want to see more of him! This story does contain gore, hunting elements, the dynamics of sex change surgery, nudity, and transphobia. This was a very powerful read with some intense themes and emotions.

I Just Love my Fave

Loving the same idol group can sometimes bring people closer together. Bonding over similar interests and being able to share things. Did you know even idols have self doubt? Can be scared to step out of their comfort zones?

I loved this story and how two people from different generations could bond over an idol group! There's a big twist in this story which I loved and thought was really sweet. Loved how an idol's grandma is his biggest fan!

There can be a little bit of a trigger in this story, passing of family. Otherwise, this was a very fluffy, cute short story!

David in Love

What if your father brought you home a souvenir from a business trip? You would probably accept the gift, right? Not for Marie when she's gifted the smaller version of David, the famous statue by Michelangelo. She's young and wishes to only have cute, pretty things. Not a figurine of David with no fig leaf to hide things. Only little does Marie know that there is something special about this David.

This was a cute read and I loved it! Personally I would rather have the figurine over cute dolls any day. But I preferred dinosaurs over Barbie Dolls as a child. So I get where Marie's coming from when gifted something that isn't suited for you. But still, this figurine has a twist to him.

As mentioned above there's some nudity because David has no fig leaf. There's a little bit of violence in this story but very brief. I promise, Marie's safe! I loved this story and I can see why the author got a very high award for this short!

Hot Watermelon

Not being able to understand one another can be difficult. Not communicating to one another only makes things harder. Luckily there's a spell going around that will help you understand how another person's feeling. Will it help Soichi to understand his mom? Or is this just some wild prank that's gained traction?

This short was a rather interesting one. There was an intense, borderline horror scene within this short, fair warning. But it was there to really convey the feelings of one character to the other. I actually enjoyed this story and the message it was trying to send. Don't be afraid to talk to someone and share your feelings. Even if it hurts.

There are some more shorts within the book and they all center around a central theme like the main stories. Unconditional love, actual unconditional love. No conditions or limitations! I very much enjoyed this book and I am glad I picked it up. The artwork is fantastic as well and I liked how things were detailed. I hope to read more from this author even if it's just a collection of shorts like this book!

Enjoy this read about love and give the author some stars!


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