Friday, August 24, 2007

SERIES UPDATE: Kashimashi vols. 2 and 3

Please check out our review for the first volume of Kashimashi

First of all, Kashimashi the manga diverges significantly from Kashimashi the anime, so if you like one, you may not necessarily enjoy the other. Volume 2 is pretty much a holding pattern with Hazumu and the two other members of his/her love triangle, along with their friends, trying to have typical high school adventures and shenanigans, but the undercurrents of Hazumu's transformation into a woman and the status of his/her feelings for Tomari and Yasuna keep on reasserting themselves. In the beginning of the third book Tomari and Yasuna have come to an understanding, and even a weird kind of friendship between the three of them (try to keep your minds out of the gutter,) but a revelation at the end of the third book will undoubtedly put pressure on all three of them as they try to deal with a ticking time bomb that now is part of the story.

Maybe it's just my fondness for yuri, but some of the problems of Hazumu's transformation come up in the third volume, along with a compelling reason (even if it involves a lot of handwaving to believe) that the status quo of their relationship/non-relationship has to be upset, make it more interesting for me. The second volume is actually fairly skippable, with some of the character's traits being revealed, especially among the supporting characters, but what I feel as the main drive of the story is starting get into gear only at the end of volume three. And I think it has a good ending, suggesting that everyone's relationship will have to change but not invalidating what has gone on before. It also gives the main character Hazumu a reason to stop being a pushover, which is good. Right now I would say that the 3 1/2 stars I gave to the first volume is teetering down to a 3 star rating, but if the fourth volume lives up to the promise of the end of volume 3, it will easily keep its current rating and possibly climb.

The Kashimashi vol. 2 and vol. 3 are both available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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