Thursday, December 14, 2006

Kashimashi ~Girl Meets Girl~, v. 1

Story by Satoru Akahori with Art by Yukimaru Katsura, original character design by Sukune Inugami
Published in the US by Seven Seas

Slugline: A guy who is a girl, who turns into girl, gets more action then
when he, no she, no whatever, was a guy.

First off, I will have to beg the reader's indulgence. I, the bitter old
anime/manga fan, who first saw Ranma 1/2 from a tape off Japanese TV with someone the room yelling out relevant plot points since there was no such thing as subtitles, have a singular weakness. It's yuri. Romantic titles with all-female leads. Not to say my brain completely turns to mush, but I notice that I am lot more forgiving of these titles than most others. I think I have managed to be impartial here, but take what you will with a grain of salt.

Hazumu, a guy, likes Yasuna, a girl, and thought the feeling were at least
appreciated, but when he confesses to her she does not take it well. His feelings squashed, Hazumu takes to the surrounding hills, where he is squashed by a falling spaceship. The aliens, feeling bad squishing someone, decide to do some repairs, but there were only so much genetic material left (when they squish someone, they really squish someone) and they could only rebuild him as a her.

Thus, the main conflict of the series. Hazumu as a girl manages to connect
to Yasuna in a way he couldn't as a boy, and discovers a new connection to a childhood friend Tomari (a tomboy neighbor) and she isn't quite sure how to handle it. Is a boy in a girl's body a hetero girl, a lesbian, or what?

These sorts of questions could have been really delved into, but they are
only explored in connection with the main characters' relationships. I would have liked to see more about Hazumu wrestling with his/her own questions of identity. That would have been a much heavier title than the light, fluffy romantic fare we have here, which I still find it interesting, though some of the supporting characters are sillier than they need to be.

- Ferdinand

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