Recently finished watching the school life romance anime series Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl. The story is basically a love triangle involving three high school girls. Are they lesbians? That’s up for debate; the love interest in the series starts out as a boy, when an alien space ship accidentally lands on him. Whoomph. The aliens recreate or revive him, except, oops, they made him into a girl rather than a boy. He was already close friends with the two girls prior to the gender changing incident and it becomes obvious that there were already some feelings of love out and about between them all as well, and the gender change doesn’t really change that. Ergo, the love of which we speak of in this series seems to be gender independent.
The incident with the alien ship is initially handled with just a pinch of realism, as Hazumu, the boy-turned-girl, has to fend off hungry reporters eager to cover the odd phenomena as well as learn how girls are supposed to act; no letting boys see your panties or breasts, for example. But the media attention pretty much disappears after the first couple of episodes, and Hazumu quickly enough adapts to the role as a girl. I would’ve appreciated it if the realism had been turned up a wee bit higher, with some media coverage throughout, maybe making an appearance or two on talk shows, as well as more on how the local community struggles with the incident and the new dilemma: should they treat him/her as a boy or a girl?
The show also has some generic anime elements I wish they could’ve dropped. One such unwanted element is one of the alien characters, a beautiful childlike female who mostly says variations of her name, Jan Pu, when speaking. Much like Chi from Chobits, or Nyu from Elfen Lied, or most of the Pokémon characters. The design for the main alien’s jump slash space suit is also atrocious, and seemed more fitting for a children’s show than a romantic drama show. There’s also some ecchi comedy, like Hazumu’s father who tries taking a bath with his new daughter and Hazumu’s male friend who suddenly finds him/her attractive, and some plain slapstick comedy, like a running gag with one of the teachers who has a tendency to fall out of or into things. All these elements detract from the impact of the story and its characters, and I wish they could’ve been either removed or reworked. It seems like most anime (and maybe manga) creators feel as if their series must have some of these elements though, presumably to please the anime fans.
But in the end, I rather liked Kashimashi. Not the best series I’ve seen, but definitely entertaining, and at times touching, too.
The music, I must admit, never really stood out. It blended well with whatever was going on on the screen, and I never thought “Hey, this music is good, I must get the soundtrack!” But after having listened to the soundtrack independently of the series, I was pleasantly surprised. There are several great tracks on it, and much of it fit the overall mood and colours of the series quite well. So, one of my favourite pieces from this soundtrack is this week’s featured track.
Oh, and happy post Valentine’s Day! May your love blossom, regardless of the genders involved.