Little Miss P is the anthropomorphized representation of Women’s periods. She is a familiar and unwelcome visitor who arrives once a month to deliver painful cramps via punches and drain blood with her syringe arm, paying no attention to the pleas of her victims or whether or not it is a convenient time for her to show up. She’s a no-nonsense badass who takes no prisoners; but she also looks out for women in her own way and occasionally has some sage advice to deliver, such as: “Guys who won’t wear condoms are no good.” Those are some wise words, Little Miss P!
This manga is a collection of stand-alone stories that are held together by the presence of one thing: Little Miss P. It features a simple and sketchy art style and most of the stories a short and light. If only I could say the same of my own period, am I right ladies?! Of course, each woman’s experience with their period is different and, as such, there are a variety of stories in this book. Some are heartwarming, like the story of a woman who helps her widower boyfriend’s daughter deal with her first period. Some are educational and show how views on menstruation have changed over time, like the historical tale that features menstruation huts (buildings where women had to stay when menstruating, as they were thought to be unclean). And some are comedic, like the story of two magical girls who have to fight the forces of evil while Little Miss P is visiting. Or the parable of a teenage boy and girl who switch bodies so that the boy can experience what it’s like to deal with Little Miss P and the girl can see what it’s like to contend with Mr. Libido (Why yes, Mr. Libido is an anthropomorphized dong).
One story that stood out to me, details how Yoshiko Sakai founded the first sanitary pad company that designed products that were specifically geared towards Japanese women. Yoshiko initially struggles to find investors, as, while the businessmen she approaches acknowledge that there is a large market for what she wants to make, they don’t want to be associated with feminine hygiene products. Thankfully Yoshiko perseveres and eventually finds someone willing to support her plan and their product line goes on to be a massive success. The story closes on Yoshiko, now an old woman experiencing menopause, saying a final goodbye to Little Miss P. After Little Miss P leaves, Yoshiko watches a young businesswoman walk by and smiles fondly as the woman complains that Little Miss P has shown up on her first day at work. I imagine whether this scene will read as touching or condescending will vary from woman to woman. For my part, while I can’t imagine I’ll be thinking wistfully of the times when Little Miss P used to make her monthly visit in my old age, I do think the sentiment shown here is kind of nice. Often in Western culture, menstruation is represented in exclusively negative terms, so I welcome the nuanced depiction of Little Miss P as an old companion… even if I think I’ll probably be throwing a party when I eventually go through menopause. Sorry Little Miss P. Even if you are a natural part of my biology, I won’t ever be thinking of you as a beloved friend.
Little Miss P is full of relatable stories that are sure to make you smile and laugh, regardless of what your personal experiences with periods may be. I definitely recommend giving this one a try.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
For more information on Little Miss P visit Yen Press’ website: https://yenpress.com/9781975357085/little-miss-p/
What did you think of this manga? Do you have a favourite story from the collection? Are you looking forward to the movie adaptation? Let me know in the comments!
Also, be sure to check out my thoughts on the sequel, Little Miss P: The Second Day: