A lonely high school girl finds nowhere she feels at ease, so every day she visits a famous shopping mall in downtown Tokyo, wearing the only clothes she can relate to, Emily Temple cute, a Lolita designer’s brand. After school she hangs out in front of the Emily Temple cute shop, identifying herself with that brand. Then she meets another lonely soul, clad in another desiA lonely high school girl finds nowhere she feels at ease, so every day she visits a famous shopping mall in downtown Tokyo, wearing the only clothes she can relate to, Emily Temple cute, a Lolita designer’s brand. After school she hangs out in front of the Emily Temple cute shop, identifying herself with that brand. Then she meets another lonely soul, clad in another designer’s brand. But this turns out not just to be an ordinary boy-meets-girl relationship. Both kids have their own miseries. They might look like quintessential Japanese Otaku nerds, but they’re only too human. Their awkward friendship builds as they each suffer from bullying and harassment, as well as worry about their futures. A very contemporary fable, told in the spirit of the Victorian novels and fashion that embody the Lolita lifestyle, “Emily” was a finalist for the annual Yukio Mishima Prize, a literary award in Japan.
The collection includes two more stories, “Corset” and “Readymade,” introducing you to the apparently strange world of outsiders today. Through the magical storytelling of Novala Takemoto, tragedy ends in happiness and optimism. This volume is the most favorite title of the author’s devoted readers in Japan, and when you read it, you’ll surely relate to the geek aspect of contemporary culture....more
Published November 28th 2013 by Shueisha English Edition (first published April 2002)
I feel like many lolitas have not read his work!
This is the guy who wrote Kamikaze Girls, everybody.
He was a huge part of BTSSB and the GLB for a long time. He even designed a line of lolita Hello Kitty themed products.
It used to be that if you didn’t love Novala and Mana you weren’t a proper lolita.
He’s a heterosexual transvestite who won a lot of awards for his essays describing what it means to be a “maiden”.
Why he’s no longer popular is because he was arrested for having an ounce of pot on him. He was sentenced to six months in jail (yes, for an OUNCE of pot) and all the lolita brands and mags cut off contact with him. Drugs are taken pretty seriously in Japan, I guess.
It’s sort of hard to find his works translated to English but I HAVE HUNTED THEM DOWN FOR YOU
Please, if you have an interest in lolita, read them!
Misc poems; http://www.lerman.biz/asagao/gothic_lolita/novala.html
Soleilnuit (How to become a maiden [these essays have won awards]), GLB translations for how to dress well in lolita as a man, misc; http://web.archive.org/web/20080618202432/http://www.curiosityvalentine.com/archive.html
Maiden’s Trivia; http://theosakakoneko.blogspot.com/2010/03/lets-talk-about-hello-kitty.html?m=1 (Hello Kitty) http://theosakakoneko.blogspot.com/2010/03/lets-talk-about-orb.html?m=1 (Orb) http://theosakakoneko.blogspot.com/2010/02/lets-talk-about-perfume.html?m=1 (Perfume) http://theosakakoneko.blogspot.com/2010/03/lets-talk-about-milk.html?m=1 (Milk) http://theosakakoneko.blogspot.com/2010/02/lets-talk-about-hime-kei.html?m=1 (Hime-Kei)
There used to be an essay on rings, too? If you look hard enough, I’m sure it’s on this blog somewhere. ^^;;
A horror short story of his; http://theosakakoneko.blogspot.com/2010/07/double-dare.html?m=1
I wish I could give more but unfortunately the rest I have is in Japanese. OTLLLL
So read and enjoy, fellow lolitas!
For me, it wasn’t so much that you had to love him to be a ~proper~ Lolita, but you had to at least have an opinion about it! If you said “Who’s Novala?” you would get a lot of weird looks. It’s so weird to think how he was everywhere back in the day but how he’s been pretty much utterly erased from the scene because of Japan’s drug laws!
He also designed a number of things for Baby, The Stars Shine Bright! I have always had very mixed feelings about him. He was always completely ridiculous in everything he did (especially his coordinates! But his melodramatic essays were a very very close second.) but somehow he was such a big part of Lolita. Nowadays I think I’m very nostalgic for the old Novala days!
His essays are definitely worth a read for any new Lolita, you don’t even have to agree with them, or like them, but they’re a really huge insight to what people considered to be (or at least debated whether or not was) “true Lolita” for over a decade. Some of his essays on Lolita are from as far back as 1998! Whether or not the things he preached were true, their existence was a very important part of Lolita for a very long time.