#1: "Koi suru kokoro" by eufonius (ep 1) #2: "Michishirube" by Yuumao (eps 2-7) #3: "Michishirube" by Masumi Asano (ep 8) #4: "Michishirube" by Kana Ueda (ep 9) #5: "Michishirube" by Yui Horie (ep 10) #6: "Michishirube" by Yukari Tamura (ep 11) #7: "Kimi no Tame ni Dekiru Koto" by Yuumao (ep 12)
Kashimashi is the story about a boy hit and killed by a spaceship, then aliens bring him back to life and reconstruct his body as that of a girl's because that's what they thought he was. Now that we're past the bogus premise, we can focus on the series as what it really is; a touching, thoughtful romance.
After the smoke clears on the ridiculous catalyst, the series quickly turns into a love triangle between the newly-female Hazumu, the girl Yasuna whom Hazumu has always had a crush on, and Tomari who is Hazumu's childhood friend since he was a boy. The various reactions and plot progression revolving around Hazumu's gender-bender are taken with extreme and realistic care, but just as the series picks up some serious steam, it is all exchanged for some needless episodes revolving around mostly useless supporting characters. Fortunately, the series dives back into the drama for the final round of episodes, demonstrating some serious characterization and relationship changes that make Kashimashi more than a throw-away love story.
With a more thoughtful narrative comes more thoughtful characterization as well. Hazumu is a surprising character, not necessarily apathetic to his/her new gender, but not overdramatic about it either. The real shining stars in this drama though are Yasuna and Tomari. You know right off the bat Hazumu will end up with one of these girls (this IS labeled shoujo-ai after all), but they make the love triangle much more richly complex than it had to be with their own personal feelings. This is actually a good thing. Supporting characters are abound, mostly for comic relief, but they don't interfere with the main characters so they aren't too much of a distraction.
The animation is pretty standard for today's anime, clean-looking and a relatively bright color pallette. It flows well throughout.
The gentle melodies of the BGM are nice, but not particularly memorable. The OP is fair as well, but the ED deserves some special credit, being the melancholic gem of the music.
Kashimashi is a series that, for me, becomes finer with every viewing and the subtleties to the characters shine more as well. It is a series that started with a ridculous premise and strived to overcome it's Achilles' heel to becomet he best romance it could be. Putting romance ahead of fanservice, Kashimashi is a delightful surprise of a series that, while a little cliched, never settles for being a cookie-cutter romantic drama.
Manga, Game, Anime: The first incarnation of “Kashimashi ~Girl Meets Girl~” was a manga series, with story by Satoru Akahori, and art by Yukimaru Katsura. It started its run on May 21, 2004 in Dengeki Comic Daioh, with a new chapter released every month; currently, there are four volumes out. The manga has been licensed Stateside by Seven Seas Entertainment, and the first volume was released on December 25th, 2006.
A game based on the series, entitled “Kashimashi ~Girl Meets Girl~: Hajimete No Natsu Monogatari”, was released on March 30, 2006, for the PlayStation 2, published by Marvelous Interactive and developed by VRIDGE. The game itself is a visual novel, and is rated 12+ by the Japanese rating system.
And the anime itself was twelve episodes long, and ran in Japan from January 11 to March 29, 2006 on TV Tokyo. Studio Hibari, who are also famous for “Petite Cosette” (2004) and “Oroshitate Musical Nerima Daikon Brothers” (2006), was the studio behind this show, and Nobuaki Nakanishi directed. The anime has been licensed Stateside by Media Blasters as of October 2006, and runs under the title “Girl Meets Girl”.
Story: Mkay, here's your basic series overview for Kashimashi:
Boy (Hazumu) gets rejected by girl he's had a crush on (Yasuna), after being urged on by girl friend who may possibly have a crush on him (Tomari). Boy goes off by self, is slammed into by alien spaceship, which looks extremely phallic. Boy dies, is revived, and has a sex change. Rest of series centers around boy-turned-girl’s relationships with two aforementioned girls and others, and eventually ends up in a love triangle with the two girls.
And that’s Kashimashi’s story in a nutshell. The story itself is full of plenty of twists and turns, and never plateaus. You get to know each and every character that’s involved in the main plot intimately. It also has a tendency to get to you, because of the both of the above; this series is probably the closest I’ve ever come to crying during an episode.
The series ends up being a combination of screwball comedy, romance, with a hint of melodrama. Frankly, that’s a relief, considering that it easily could’ve taken a turn into hentai or something of the like. Fanservice does appear almost every episode, but it only plays a small part overall, and doesn’t drive the series.
The only gripes that I have are that some characters have a tendency to fall into certain roles, and that just about everyone seems to fall in love with Hazumu at some point or another.
Warning: In case you haven’t figured it out, this is a shojo-ai show. That means there are girls kissing. If you don’t like that, stay away from this series.
Art: The art for this series is absolutely beautiful. The 2D is absolutely exquisite, and the colors they use take a turn towards either autumn or spring tones. It’s obvious when CG is used, sometimes, but, for the most part, it blends in well with the 2D.
Music: Again, absolutely no gripes here. The OP and ED don’t particularly stand out, but they’re nice, all the same, and the background music itself tends more towards use of piano and strings. Might try and find it, as it’s very relaxing.
Seiyuu: I couldn’t find anything wrong with the voices for this series. Every voice fit their respective character perfectly, and they sounded like I’d expect their characters to.
Length: Just right. Cutting a few episodes would’ve made it too short, and, originally, twelve episodes didn’t feel like enough, but the addition of the OVA was just what the series needed. Any longer just wouldn’t have felt right.
Overall: A nice romance/screwball comedy, with plenty of twists and turns, characters you care about, beautiful music and art, and perfect length.
Kashimasi ~Girl Meets Girl~ is a Sci-fi, Gender bender, Yuri, Romance anime about a feminine boy that was talking a walk along the mountain, after being rejected by a girl when he was involved in an accident with an alien spaceship. The aliens managed to regenerate him however they made him into a girl and that’s the beginning of this messed up gender bender.
From the summary of the show it may be difficult to take this anime series seriously, however the way the first episode is done, actually allows you to do just that. It introduces the strange concept of a boy turning into a girl fairly well, for an anime that is an adaptation of a visual novel. After that it is just Hazumu getting used to his new life and the affect it has had on those around him. The romance aspect of this anime moved fairly quickly, developments occurring in the first couple episode however after that, it quickly became dull. Of course it managed to end well, with a few twist added in, but it didn’t feel original. Also what else were not original were the characters with their 2 dimensional personalities. Apart from the 3 main characters, the rest were pretty much there for comic relief or to fill in the quota.
The animation is nothing short of beautiful, with cutely designed girls, which is pretty standard for this type of anime. The detailed environments add something to the look and even though there’s also some CG used it isn’t too noticeable, half the time.
Apart from the usual silent moments, the music is pretty great and suited the show well. The OP and ED themes were somewhat catchy and there was a bunch of insert songs added every now and again, but it was the string symphony that added towards the ambiance.
Overall this turned out to a good Yuri anime with a decent, heart-warming story to match. The comedy is very generic and stupid however you just can’t help but laugh at this enjoyable and weird anime. What also helps is that something as insignificant as well spoken Engrish (in the Japanese dub) adds quality to the show, because it is so hard to find an anime where the Japanese can find people who can speak good Engrish. Well if you know what you’ll expect from this series, then go ahead and watch, otherwise you should just stick to what you usually go for.
I really wanted to like Kashimashi ~Girl Meets Girl~, really really wanted. But I just... can't.
I am a male-to female transsexual and a lesbian, and Kashimashi ~Girl Meets Girl~ was one of the first anime/manga I discovered having to do with those subjects at the same time. So when my nerdy male pal recommended it, I had to stop everything I was doing to watch it immediately. Headdesking ensued.
This was not because Kashimashi is shallow and trivial work and I had schoolwork piling up the entire time watching it consumed. It was because of the annoying and and outright insulting nature of it.
While it is not uncommon for any media, but anime/manga especially, to not have fully grasped the idea of transsexuality and hence the portraying of such characters and their trials and tribulations tends to be awkward, stereotyped, unrealistic and shallow, I often manage to find some new insights from the overall setting, even if it is there by just accident. This requires, however, that the characters are just plain dull and generic. In the case of Kashimashi they are not, they are way out on the negative scale, disturbing and annoying (or she is). Kashimashi takes all the imaginable half-assedness of handling such themes to a new level, treating the main character literally like an object for the first half. Both she does it herself, and all the males close to him suddenly turn into voyeurists and sex-maniacs. And she's supposed to be a normal girl here, the original Hazumu's Y chromosome just got misplaced with an X during his body's reconstruction with the alien technology. Give me a break! In works like Happiness! OVA this kind of behavior / reaction is justified, and actually manages to be both funny and thought-provoking because of that. Here, nothing is explained.
Kashimashi is obviously oriented primarily for males with a fetish for a thought of themselves as lesbians (as a fantasy it's completely different thing from reality, after all lesbian porn is highly popular among men), or just extra kicks from the knowledge that a hot female used to be a guy. Probably both. That means, as you'd guess, the fanservice is inevitable. We can't just have Hazumu behave like any normal person in a bit strange new situations, we must have her be an complete idiot without any common sense. Or how many of you guys think if you suddenly were dressed in a skirt you would reflexively use it as a fan and having to have someone else to tell you that's not a good idea? Yep, this is what Kashimashi is largely about.
The result of this is that actual lesbians, transsexuals, and ESPECIALLY transsexual lesbians, who would be interested in the show's premise will not be able to identify with the main character - unless of course they're exhibitionists - and will end up with mixed feelings with probably the negative ones triumphing the positive over time. The last thing you'll remember about Kashimashi will be the episodes consisting of nothing but fanservice comedy, and how they ruined all the potential.
The last few episodes were like I would have wanted and expected the whole show to be like - serious, realistic drama. Still nothing outstanding.
It has been a few years since I watched Kashimashi. And time has not goldened memories. I viewed it in the most positive light maybe two weeks after watching, when I compared it to other pure-fanservicey series and thought it stilll had some desperate trying (in this sense, I think of Kashimashi much the same way as of Code Geass R2). I still have very mixed feelings and don't know whether it should get 1 for completely ruining the good premise or 2-4 for having that good premise and a few relatively good episodes toward the end that make up for those preceding them.
The last episodes have completely their own problems though. Another thing that highly pissed me off was Yasuna's mental health problems and how they're handled. While I have never heard of a disorder which would prevent you from 'seeing' things associated with a traumatic experience, in this case, men (it is never explained though, how come she sees both effeminate males and rough tomboy girls), this is not the problem here. But at no point anyone, male or female, says to her straight on how wrong her twisted thinking is. They just go along with it and discreetly want her cured because it would easen her life. And for the time being, the girls just enjoy their being girls, and the guy(s) are excluded from any emotional scenes most if not all of the time. All notable male characters in Kashimashi are either borderline rapists or violents. I guess most feminists would like Kashimashi because of this.
Story - 4. The main setting is simple yet interesting and usable, however, badly executed. Also the whole Yasuna thing is so black-and-white and poorly handled, that while the latter half becomes progressively better on one level it stil retains the same level of stupidity and offensive undertone.
Art - 2. Nothing ground-breaking in the animation section. Typical school and city and forest settings. All the girls are über cute and males dull-looking, like with all male-oriented fanservice series. And I happen not to like that, it's unrealistic and sexist. Also, the alien was just very, very ,very stupid looking. It was totally out of place among those über cute girls and immemorable guys. The designs also would subtract few points from the character section if you could get lower than 1.
Sound - 4. I think the opening theme is supposed to add to the 'girly' motif of the series, and while in a honestly girly series (where feminine caring is the main theme instead of bashing one group of people after another) it could have been perfectly in place and nice, now it just adds to my rage for being part of the 'how being a girly girl lesbian radical feminist is so much über alles' message. Nothing else is memorable.
Character - 1. Main character who is pure fanservice machine and offensive to several minorities, the most ladylike girl on the planet who detests all 'normal' males because of her traumas up to the point she becomes completely unlovable, all 'normal' male characters being unemotional jerks? Definite 1.
Enjoyment - 1. While it has got some good moments really, the bad things cause so much rage and nausea throughout the ride it would take something of a cosmic level of goodness to override those. Nothing of the drama / psychology / romance section is so touching it would be remembered.
Overall -1. After careful consideration, I decided to score Kashimashi only for it's distinctive themes, what it stands for. After all, you could make Nazi propaganda cartoon and it could manage to be entertaining, but it would still be Nazi propaganda. And that is.. male-oriented fetish fuel of various sorts and more or less subtle radical feminist / misandryist propaganda combined? There's little room for positive viewing of something like this.
So, should you be a misandryist radical feminist who also happens to think that transsexuality is all about autogynephilia, e.g. getting sexual kicks from practicing exhibitionism with a female body, this is a series for you. All others, stay away, it can corrupt. read more
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