Midori, a little girl from a run-down family, sells paper flowers in the streets. She wishes that if she makes enough money, she can perhaps join her classmates in the school picnic. Late one night, she returns home to find her ailing mother dead -- what's more, [[{{Squick}} rats are gnawing at her private parts.]] With no one to turn to, she tries the address one customer gave her -- and comes to a seedy [[TheFreakshow freak show]] run by a money-hungry Mr. Arashi. Midori is degraded, brutalised, and forced to perform fetishistic acts on stage, until a midget illusionist comes along and takes Midori under his wings. Will Midori at last find true love and happiness? ... Well, what kind of story you think you're reading, my friend?

''Shōjo Tsubaki'' (少女椿), also known as ''Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show'', is Creator/SuehiroMaruo's most famous manga, and the work that has cemented his reputation in the west. A crude but very faithful animated adaptation has been made through the effort of one single person: Hiroshi Harada. 2016 saw to a live-action movie adaption of the story, combining real-life footage with the grotesque and surreal designs of the original manga and cartoon.
!! This work provides examples of:

* TwentiesBobHaircut: Midori has one typical of school girls at the time
* ArtShift: Midori's fever dream is partly rendered in a rounded, simplistic style common in girl mangas. The shift is quite noticeably disturbing.
* BloodSplatteredInnocents: The notorious chicken scene.
* BreakTheCutie
* CircusOfFear: Especially when the midget illusionist is angry...
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: Midori and the midget leave the freak show for good. But he is later stabbed to death by the hermaphrodite (who had walked away from the troupe while the other members were waving Midori goodbye) when he went looking for food. An anguished Midori searches for the midget, but when she cannot find him, she believes he abandoned her. She then has a vision of the members of the freak show and the midget laughing at her. This proves to be the last straw for her and she has a vision of herself killing them. She is then left completely alone and despairing, crying all alone. The End.]]
** [[spoiler: The lyrics of the credits song imply that Midori commits suicide afterwards.]]
* EyeScream: This is by Creator/SuehiroMaruo, after all.
* FlowerMotifs: The original Japanese title "Carmelia Girl" comes from a Japanese kamishibai play, where a young flower seller ends up singing in a revue show to pay her father's debt. The kamishibai play has a much happier ending; [[spoiler: not only does the girl's father come back, but she made enough money to pay off the debt]].
* GainaxEnding: [[spoiler: the 2016 film ends with Midori asking the midget to give her his powers, which he agrees, but he drops dead in front of her before this can happen. She begins to hallucinate the freaks laughing at her and her attacking them like the source material, but the stick phases through them and memories leave her body in bubbles before she exclaims "Weird!" alone in a white room. Midori then uses her new powers, apparently from the midget, to end the movie.]] Um... The end? I guess?
* {{Gorn}}: It is actually quite tame by the standard of Creator/SuehiroMaruo.
* HappierHomeMovie: One that Midori can actually enter and interact with!
* {{Hermaphrodite}}: The boy-girl,Kanbun, one of the members of the troupe.
* HopeSpot: There are two: the first is when a talent scout seeks out Midori; the second when she and the midget leave the freak show for good.
* InnocentFlowerGirl: Midori ''almost'' qualifies, if not for the thing she does to Mr. Arashi.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: The Snake Woman is cruel to Midori, but when other members want to lay hands on Midori, she stands out for her. Indeed, most people in the troupe are not irredeemably evil; their hearts are merely hardened by the harsh circumstances.
* KickTheDog: Literally: not only kicked, but stepped on and [[EatTheDog cooked]].
* LighterAndSofter: The 2016 movie; justified as it is meant for a more mainstream audience than the source material. Midori isn't abused constantly (or fetishised on stage) and seems to be just their chore girl and is mostly left alone, the puppy stomping isn't shown on camera, and [[ spoiler: Midori gets to be an actress like she wanted.]]
* MasterOfIllusion: Masamitsu the midget.
* ParentalAbandonment: Midori's father has walked out of the family long before the story starts.
* PetTheDog: Everyone has their kinder moments in the 2016 film, especially the Snake Woman,[[spoiler: even going so far as to say Midori is beautiful near the end of the film.]]
* PublicDomainCharacter: The story is actually just one of many variations of the stock character of "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shojo_tsubaki The Carmelia Girl]]", where the girl is sold into the circus by her parents and suffers all sorts of inconveniences there.
* RapeAsDrama
* RetroUniverse: The live action film. One example, despite being set in the Taisho period, the freaks main mode of transportation is a modern van, among other things.
* StraightGay: Mr. Arashi himself. He is in a relationship with Kanabun, the hermaphrodite, but other than this, his sexuality is never brought up.
** He does fetishise Midori on stage, but doesn't do it off stage. Assumingly, this is for the show.
* VomitIndiscretionShot
* YankTheDogsChain: The reason for the DownerEnding.