Amagai Gakuen, a prestigious school for boys, was hit by an unusual spring storm during the entrance ceremony. Five boys—Hazuki, Touma, Yuusuke, Junta and Madoka—were all caught in the storm's violence and were affected by a strange phenomenon. All of them were transformed into girls!!
Inevitably they will meet someone and fall in love. Bikke wholeheartedly introduces this new, beautifully drawn series about boys and girls coming of age.
UPDATED as of 2/23/15 at 24 chapters. Originally posted 7/08/13 at 15 chapters.
When I read manga, I'm often doing it to relax. It's calming; It doesn't take the same concentration a book does, the plots are formulaic and predictable, and they often meander into silly side stories that don't challenge.
I was hoping that Ame Nochi Hare would be one of these stories and I was half right, but it is also much, much more.
The premise is nothing if not bizarre. Four boys, on their first day of school and a prestigious men's academy, are caught in a spring shower. After the rain stops,
they discover that every time it rains, they turn into girls. Now the mechanism isn't very simple, like it is in other gender-bend series: they don't change immediately after the rain starts, they don't change at the same time, and they don't change after it stops either. They don't even have to touch the rain; they just change like the air changes when it rains. The ridiculous situation is managed quite practically: when it rains, the boys stay in the dorm manager's house on campus. They attend the girls school next door, pretending to be cultural exchange students who are taking supplementary lessons.
This story distinguishes itself from your average gender-bend story in two ways: 1) the fact that they turn into girls isn't played for laughs—it's more like an inconvenience or fresh perspective for the characters, and 2) it does a pretty good job avoiding the formulaic predictability of most shoujo.
There is romance, yes, but it is taking a bizarre path. One character, Hazuki, for example, is in love a female student, whilst her older brother is in love with his female alter ego, Tsukiko. There is a romantic tension between two of the female characters. It walks a line between traditional romance shoujo and shounen/shoujo ai like a balancing wire, which is exhilarating to watch. You want to see where it falls. Though I'm usually able to predict the plots of stories easily, I'm finding this one tough to parse out and I've only been able to foresee 3 plot points that weren't obvious. That makes it more fun for those of us who have read a lot of series and know the common cues. I am in eagerly anticipating the upcoming chapters.
And while all that tension exists, creating intrigue and anticipation—where will the love triangles end up? Will the curse be lifted? Will they find happiness?—the series is, at it's core, wrapped up in the tone of a slice of life story. It's meandering and gentle, like Mushishi or Kimi to Boku., with a pensive, poignant tone. I never feel anxious or angry reading it.
The art is, in a word, gorgeous. The watercolor covers are vibrant and remind me of Yumeka Sumomo (Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan, Nanairo Sekai) and the page to page art is stunning. One thing I particularly love is the subtlety with which the boys are turned into girls. Their features soften slightly, their height changes a little, their hair might lengthen a smidgen, and their frame is a little curvier. That's it though: no enormous boobs or crazy changes. It's never hard to tell whose who. Sometimes it's hard to know if they've changed! If you were to do a google search on the series (I can't use links here), you would be able to find the covers, which often feature the male characters and their female forms together. It is quite stunning, especially with the main character.
I'd suggest this series to anyone who likes shoujo, shounen ai, or a (I know it sounds slightly oxymoronic) a girly seinen. It's relaxed, fun, weird, beautiful, and charming.
Basically the story is about how these 5 boys who are high school freshmen, one day get stuck at school because of a thunder storm. This storm consequently changes all of them into girls. And ever since that day, they have been constantly changing into girls whenever it rains. This creates a lot of complexities with their lives and as usual they all have to keep it a secret from people, but it's not easy. It also creates some misunderstandings and things like that as you'd expect.
To be honest I was a little shocked because the set up was so strange yet not a lot
of the characters were extremely "shocked" shocked. It's more like they just immediately accepted it and began living their "double lives." Yes they do experience life as both girls and boys, and they kind of get to experience the best of both worlds, in a sense. But like just think of a completely normal slice of life manga, except half the time the characters live their lives as girls, and that's pretty much what sums up Ame Nochi Hare.
This manga is also really very slow moving. There's not that much development and there was a lot of text to read. I almost stopped reading half way, haha, because there was so much text I started skimming. But seriously it's quite a bit of reading to do so if you don't like mangas that have a lot of text then Ame Nochi Hare may not be for you. Basically you just follow the daily lives of these 5 pretty normal boys, except for the fact that they change into girls. I would recommend to you if you like slice of life mangas, as it's pretty much that.
The art I think is very nice. I personally like it a lot, and I think it flows well with this type of story. Hmm idk not much else to say lol.
Well hopefully things will get interesting later on, because they're supposed to fall in love and all that jazz. It'd be really interesting to see who they're paired up with, but for now at least (I'm on ch 13) they are all still pretty much boyish boys. May update this as I read more :>
I'l say it now, I only recommend this manga for veteran gender-bender reader. In fact I highly recommend it. This is in part because you will probably appreciate it a lot more coming from other ones.
The unpredictable story plot lines and the fact that every character are complex and developed make for one hell of an intriguing story. I was completely invested in the characters and their relationship (with characters that also have relationship between each other).
This manga is focused on the change of perspective, the confusion and love of the group. It helps them understand each other, but also create confusion and hardship.
about the weird relationship and rising feelings and it is handled masterfully!
The art works perfectly with the story! Very lovable.
For a big cast of character like that it is important to distinguish character
(and still recognize the female counterpart) and for the most part we can easily.
If you read a lot of gender-bend manga, this one is a must!
The only down side is that at the moment of this review,
this manga is not being translated anymore.
(25 chapter of 45+ pages though.)
This seems to lack a review for the whole thing, let me just fix that.
The enjoyment for me in this manga lied in the way the characters interact with the world in their abnormal situation. The different ways they act and people around them act, how it changes their perspective.
The plot is quite simple and without getting into spoilers I could explain it in two sentences. Chapters, certainly some of them are quite long so don't let the chapter count fool you.
Characters are varied and distinct, you wont have trouble keeping faces apart, the absolutely beautiful art probably has something to do with that.
is unfortunately rushed, it feels like there was potential for more. But despite that it ended properly, in a way that does wrap up the plot but keeps me wishing for more.