For those who remember the television series Small Wonder from the 1980s, Hinadori Girl does not fall far from that show’s concept. When Yoshiki Ishikawa finds one of his father’s older projects lying about in the lab, he decides to put it to work - literally. Sally No 1. is a life-sized female robot designed to do household work and, in a Frankensteinian sense, Yoshiki has brought her to life and put her to work. Save for the fact that all she says is “popi,” she completely resembles an eight-year-old girl.
In this futuristic tale of Saitama, Japan, in 2055, the seventeen-year-old Yoshiki and his fourteen-year-old sister, Akira, live mostly on their own since their father, a famous scientist, is currently working on the moon. Akira remains suspicious and a bit jealous of the robot. These suspicions are further agitated when, shortly after Sally’s ascension to existence; two bumbling thieves attempt to steal Sally from the siblings.
Hinadori Girl Volume 1 presents a fun tale and start to the series. The sibling rivalry, Yoshiki’s adoration of little Sally, and Akira’s extreme reactions provide some great laughs while the plot to capture Sally delivers sufficient suspense and intrigue. The graphic novel also features one-page profiles on the main characters, helping the reader better acquaint themselves with the cast. As manga art goes, this lives up to the genre without much deviation. Overall, this piece certainly is worth the price of admission.