Futaba Shimeru is a normal high-schooler living a normal life, active in his school's wrestling club and slowly getting closer to his awkward love interest, Misaki. This fails to last as he discovers his family's hereditary genetic defect that becomes active at adolescence. Although it will eventually become controllable, either excitement or stress now makes Futaba switch sex. Mayhem ensues.
Volume 8: Tottemo Shounen Tankentai Bangai-hen
Futaba-kun Change♡ was first published in English as Futaba-kun Change by Studio Ironcat in comicbook format from 1998 to 2002. The chapters were gradually collected and re-released in standard tankoubon format, from March 28, 2000 to July 23, 2003. The series was relicensed in English by Creek & River Co. who released it digitally on July 3, 2015.
Futaba Shimeru and his entire family share an interesting physical characteristic: they change sex when they get emotionally excited. From this premise stems a touching, and intensely funny, love story.
Story: This is, at heart, a touching love story between two Japanese high school students. There just happens to be a great deal of comedy thrown into the mix. Like another manga that I have read, and liked, this one shares an unusual plot twist near the end explaining the entire sex-changing element. I will not be getting into that, however. If you want to know what the plot twist is, you'll just have to read one or other (or both, if you like) of the manga in question. Overall, I would say the story was a good one, but nothing truly amazing. 7/10
Art: This manga is almost 20 years old at its beginning, and I'm sure many of today's manga readers will say the art is outdated. To me, however, the art was very nice. It's nothing amazing, but very good all the same. This is the manga/anime art I grew up with, and I like it. 8/10... To me, at least.
Character: The characterization is where I found most of the love I have for this manga. Unlike another manga (and anime) character that changes sex who I can name (*cough*Ranma Saotome*cough), Futaba Shimeru actually learns to adjust to, and accept, his ability to change sex. It causes him, and a couple of people around him, trouble, but he can accept it. As this manga worked its way along I found myself rooting for the two main characters (Futaba and the girl he loves), and their relationship. This is something you can't get with bland, cookie-cutter characters that so many writers (both those in Japan and in Western cultures) use all too often. Several of the support characters will seem familiar as ones just like them have, indeed, appeared in various manga (the greedy young lady whose only thought is how she can make more money, for example), but the main characters were, I felt, well developed. 9/10
Enjoyment: I derived a great deal of enjoyment from this manga. This was part nostalgia for the art, part my liking for the main characters and enjoyment reading their trials and triumphs, and part of it was reading a manga with a sex-changing main character who doesn't complain about it at every given opportunity. I definitely enjoyed reading this, and I'm sure that I will read it again at some point. 9/10
Futaba-kun Change! is a very interesting piece of work. I don't remember laughing quite so hard on a lot of other manga or anime. *Warning* There is quite a bit of nudity so be careful where or who you read this around.
That said the next closest thing for a comparison is Ranma 1/2 but that only comes close to the absurdity and strait hilarity of some of the scenarios in FKC. FKC is roughly split in a three ways between being a romantic comedy, an action, and a gender bender. But is way more silly than Ranma 1/2. (As hard as that is to believe.)
The synopsis is mostly correct, but it does not mention the sheer insanity present in this manga. Futaba-kun's transformation is only the first of many things that stand out in this regard.
Story is somewhat unique but I can't say much without a lot of spoilers.
Art is a little clunky at some points, but at other points and overall is really quite good.
The characters are all nuts. Just about all of the main and supporting characters have some trait that sends them clear over the edge. But you will love them because of it. Even jokes or gags that really are cliche or lame are refreshingly funny in how they are used and the art used to lead up to them.
This series is a must read for fans of gender bending or strait up absurdity. Easily an 8.5 or 9 out of 10. Too bad it is only 8 short volumes and was never expanded upon further.
My only real gripe is that the ending sort of just appears with very little leading into it. Not to mention it goes on a pretty far off tangent. read more