Ryu’s Musings – Kashimashi ~ Girl meets Girl ~ Omnibus Volume 02

Posted on November 14th, 2010 by Ryu Sheng |

kashimashiomni_vol2_full ISBN-13: 978-1-934876-76-3
Language: English
Direction: Right to Left
Pages: 480
by: Satoru Akahori (Story) & Yukimaru Katsura (Art)
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Type: Series
Genre: Shojo-ai

Synopsis:

Being a girl is harder than it looks…
For Hazumu, this couldn’t be truer, because just the other day, she…was a he.

Shunned by the girl of his dreams, Hazumu loses himself in the mountains and is promptly squashed by an oncoming space ship. The alien inside, feeling guilty, rebuilds Hazumu’s body…but as the wrong gender!

Now Hazumu must learn how to be the girl his parents always wanted while dealing with the trials and tribulations of being caught in a love triangle between two girls–his childhood friend, Tomari, and Yasuna, the girl who rejected him but is now strangely attracted to him/her!

Character Musings:

I’m only going to go into the main three character this time, I’ll cover the other characters in the next post.

Hazumu is an effeminate guy in the beginning. Or rather he’s a girl in a guys body, thought even his body looks more like a girls. His personality reflects this, he’s soft, scares easily, indecisive, and yet caring, dedicated and loving. This is shown by the way he treats the flowers in the school, talking to them, rather having conversations with them. His struggling to decide whether to ask the girl he likes out, and the way he reacts afterwards.

Even after he gets turned into a girl there’s very little difference personality wise. In the manga he adapts to his life as a girl with only a few hic-ups (such as buying the wrong size bra, offering to show Asuta her boobs and stuff), but these are overcome rapidly. Pretty much everything else about him remains the same.

Yasuna is most definitely one of the most interesting characters of the volume. She’s beautiful, but has a stand offish, aloof and cold personality. Throughout the volume she practically ignores all the male characters, though not Hazumu.

After Hazumu changes things take an unexpected twist as Yasuna changes subtly. She becomes more forceful and determined to catch Hazumu’s heart. Over the course of the volume more and more of her personality is revealed, and I found I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. She feels she has to be alone because of the way she is, however when Hazumu changes she learns what true loneliness is and longs for change.

Tomari is the tom-boy of the series, rather she’s the boy that Hazumu was supposed to be. She’s decisive, athletic and determined. She frequently does stuff that frankly I would balk at (like jumping down flights of stairs), and she also pushes Hazumu into confessing to Yasuna.

After Hazumu’s change Tomari Is the one who has the hardest time coming to terms with it. This gives her an excellent chance to go through some subtle personality changes. These changes soften the tom-boy feel and give her a more feminine touch. I wasn’t sure it would work at first, but after the first volume I think it worked out well, with Tomari having a good feel to her personality now.

General Musings:

I finally got around to reading my copy of this second omnibus. Kashimashi is a great gender-bending story with excellent art and for the most part, a great story.

As with the first volume the art is pretty stable throughout, and i have to admit i found some of the art really funny. However some of the art was really heart rending in this volume, and I feet that Yukimaru did a superb job of catching the emotions of the characters. Especially with Tomari’s heart breaking scene in the rain. I had a huge lump in my throat and really felt for her.

The art of the characters doesn’t change much in this volume, but what it does do is flesh out the characters. Jan-Puu has a more solid feel to her in this volume, where as in the previous volume she was more wispy.

Where this volume really gets you though is in the story. Since this volume focuses more on character development and relationships. We get to see the characters rebuilding friendships, trying to come to terms and accept their love, and to move on. This is then shot down by the revelations of the later volumes. Suddenly the focus changes and we’re left watching the characters struggling to come to terms with the new reality that’s just been dumped on them.

I loved the way that Satoru built this story, the way it flowed and the way it ended. I was also glad to see one of my main pet hates change. Hazumu loses the false girly personality/feel altogether and becomes a more realistic girl. Oddly this does mean an increase in his feminism, but surprisingly this doesn’t come off as wrong.

the only character i would have liked to have gotten rid of completely is Asuta, who frankly doesn’t really fit in anymore. He’s simply there, and wouldn’t have been missed if he had been removed from the series completely. This is a shame in a way, since he was supposed to be Hazumu’s closest friend (after Tomari), but he’s pretty much relegated to a zero supporting role. I would have liked to have seen him used more, and more involved with the story.

The ending of the story is perfect, Satoru ties up the lose ends perfectly and writes an ending that’s both touching, and a bit sad. Yukimaru then works his magic and brings the ending to life with yet more stunning art.

A few people i know haven’t wanted to read this because it’s yuri(ish), however i found that the yuri elements are very small. Sure we get a few kisses through out the series, but nothing overt. Rather i found this series to be a light relief, a true love story with some yuri undertones. Either way though we have a series i thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Publisher Musings:

I liked the cover design of the volume, and all the more liked that it was a glossy cover. All to often when I see omnibus volumes the covers are barely a step above paper, in a bid to keep costs down. Glossy covers increase the life time of the volume, and are better value for money from a customer point of view.

As with the previous volume there was a drop in paper quality, but you’re going to get that with any OOP reprint really. I do wish that Seven Seas had done a proper job on splitting the extra chapters though, as we do get some in the main story, which left me with a “WTH" feeling due to the sudden change in focus and direction. Since they already split most of the extras, i don’t see why they didn’t split them all.

The extras we do get though are rather funny, and for the most part focused on Ayuki. These had me rolling with laughter they were so funny.

Also in this volume is the translation notes, glossary and covers. Some of the notes and glossary items needed to be in the first volume IMO, since that’s where they were relevant, but having them here is better than not having them at all.

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