Genre: Comedy, Romance
Serialized In: Comic Dengeki Daioh
Released: May 21, 2004 – March 21, 2007
Story: Satoru Akahori
Art: Yukimaru Katsura
Published By (Japan): MediaWorks
Published By (US): Seven Seas
Story: 9/10 (x 3 = 27 pts)
Art: 8/10 (x 3 = 24 pts)
Gut Score: 8/10 (x 4 = 32 pts)
Total: 83/100 (83%)
Kashimashi is about Hazumu, a boy who confessed his feelings to his crush Yasuna, but was turned down, and ends up wandering around a nearby mountain in a depressed stupor. However, while I he is on the mountain, a spaceship sent by an alien race to study the earth malfunctions and crashes…right on top of Hazumu. The aliens are able to revive Hazumu, but accidentally change his sex, turning him into a girl.
At first, Hazumu’s friends, especially now her childhood friend Tomari and best guy friend Asuta, don’t know how to handle Hazumu’s change in gender. However, Hazumu seems to take it in stride, pretty quickly accepting what she now is. This also plays as a good set-up some some yuri relationships, as Yasuna and Tomari both secretly loved Hazumu before when he was a guy.
Kashimashi is an excellent gender-bending manga and largely deals with the confusion that such a gender-switch has on Hazumu’s friends, and how Hazumu tries to deal with her relationship with Yasuna and Tomari, especially since both of them are now same-sex romantic relationships. And, of course, all of this brings along a good deal of comedy as well.
Some might wonder if the manga is trying to make the same-sex relationship “acceptable” by having Hazumu as a guy originally, making it so that it really “doesn’t count,” but that isn’t really what the manga does. In a way, it does the opposite, it’s showing that same-sex relationships can be like any other relationship and uses the means of the sex change to illustrate that fact: that Tomari and Yasuna loving Hazumu when he’s a girl is no different from when they loved him as a boy.
If you’re looking for a good romance comedy with a different twist, then you should consider checking out Kashimashi.
First Read: January 2007 – April 2008
Do I Own: Yes
Do I Recommend: Yes