The girl: cute but obnoxious, pretty but violent, petite but rude.
The guy: shy and slender and secretly in love with the girl.
When her mad scientist grandfather accidentally switches their bodies—it's freaky Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and every day! Akira Uehara is mortified when his best buddy starts hitting on "him," and is embarrassed to look at "himself" in the mirror in her underwear! He can't wait to get back to being a boy. But Nanako Momoi has other ideas—she is starting to enjoy life in Akira's body!
I picked this up off the shelf of my local bookstore. It looked cute, so I decided to give it a try. And boy, this has to be the biggest regret of my manga-reading life!
First off: The story- fairly original. I mean, a feminine boy and masculine girl switch bodies and see what the "other side" is like? I can get behind that! Unfortunately, that is brought down by the reinforcement of sexual stereotypes and disgusting character interactions.
Akira is a PIG! While she has an issue with Momoi looking at/ touching her body (And how can he not? He has to bathe sometime!), she has no issue with using his body in any way she deems fit- from touching/exploring to sleeping with girls! And then has the nerve to say that if Momoi dares touch her body inappropriately, then she'll be so ruined for marriage that she'll embarrass him in horrible horrible ways! And to top it off, one of the other main chracters acts like a soon-to-be rapist, cornering Momoi and getting as close as physically possible to rape (and again, the story reinforces insulting sexual stereotypes by making Momoi like it. Most girls would be completely and utterly disgusted, so I was not amused!)
And to top it off, the art was bad. Not only did the characters look indifferent under normal circumastances, with generic and somehat badly-done character designs, but for the most part they were ugly blocky bodies or chibi characters.
So if you find this in your local bookstore, pass by it and read Skip Beat! or ARIA instead. You'll be the better for it.read more
It's rare when I find a manga that makes me smile the whole time I'm reading it, this is one of them!
This is an absolutely fantastic manga, the best gender-bending manga I've read as of yet.
The relationship between Akira and his/her best friend is so 'closet steamy' and cute. And the real Momoi is having a ball living in Akira's body and enjoying the "joys" of young healthy male-hood. The relationship between all the characters are so great, the interplay enjoyable, and the manga itself is such a blast; romantic, a little bit smutty, and with a touch of yaoi/yuri play to make it even better.
My thoughts are… really complicated. I can kinda see what Ai was going for in the manga, but she’s not really known to follow the masses. She has really strange manga ideas (like Ahiru no Ouji-sama and Gokuraku Seishun Hockey Bu, another set of manga of hers I’ve yet to finish) as well as literally throwing fuck all at the wall and seeing what sticks. And I’m guessing… this wasn’t it.
On one hand, I like the idea. I like the idea of challenging the idea between masculinity and femininity and, seeing how I actually learned something about the issues of feminism in Japan, this made me interested and there were a lot of things I had missed on my first read-through. There were actually a lot of funny parts in it – due to poor Akira’s desire to get back to his original body but, at the same time, he wanted to enjoy his time in his crush’s body. After all, he is biologically a man.
On the other hand, no, not really. I didn’t like it. In fact, I found almost all the characters, with the literal exceptions of Shiina and Akira, to be really stupid and selfish. I eventually warm up to Senbougi, but that’s only because he finally admitted he liked Akira as Akira – no matter what body he’s actually in.
Well, I liked Senbougi until the final chapters. He became really insufferable. On one hand, I can understand. When the two of them finally did return to their original bodies, Akira had started to accept the fact he was going to stay in Nanako’s body, and vice versa. Not only that, he blurted out, as he got back into his own body, that this was normal and how things should be. Apparently, this hurt Senbougi’s feelings for some reason and he started to avoid Akira after that.
Once again, on the other hand… no, not really. I thought the point of Senbougi and Akira becoming a couple was that Senbougi was still going to like him even as a man – but that’s not the case. There was a scene that he “attacks” Momoi after the final switchback, thinking she’s Akira still. This was supposed to be funny but then it finally shows what my major problem was this was: Gender was still a big deal to Senbougi.
Momoi couldn’t care any less if she was a woman or a man – if Shiina was bisexual. Since Shiina wasn’t, Momoi was determined to get back into Akira’s body and the end. I’m not too comfortable with that idea for both of them.
Seriously, the whole deal about Akira fretting over Senbougi was that Senbougi admitted that even as a guy, he had feelings for Akira. He said it’s easier to act them out because Akira is in a woman’s body, which is fair enough. But in the end, it was still about gender. It wasn’t about his personality. The end has the grandfather get amnesia after he manages to unshrink Nanako’s dad (don’t even ask) – that’s when they got their original bodies back – and Senbougi takes it on as a mission to get Akira back in Nanko’s body and vice versa.
Another thing that really bothered me about this manga series was that Akira was the only one uncomfortable at the idea he’s not in his body. He’s the only one who’s making any effort to be comfortable in his own skin. Not only that, this manga shows the double standard men and women have – Nananko in Akira’s body literally slept with all the women (and arguably men) because she kept saying he’ll get sick if he doesn’t. However, Akira was not allowed to even look at Nanako’s naked body (while bathing!) because she wanted to save herself for marriage.
Not only that, literally everyone was saying, “Oh, don’t go back to your original body. Things are great, aren’t they?” In fact, Akira went to a fortune teller who said the very same thing.
I feel kind of dissatisfied with this manga only because of the problems I’ve presented. I do realize that Ai probably didn’t care about the main point of the manga (what is the main point anyway? does she even have any in her other manga?) and probably just wanted to do a gender bender just so she can have a story like that in her collection.
I did like the art though. The humor mostly comes from Akira’s reactions to the situations more so than anything but Nanako’s antics did get really trying really quickly. I feel honestly disappointed by this but I’m not sure what I really expected from a mangaka like Ai Morinaga. Another thing I did actually like was that Akira and Nanako did not get together and eventually Akira did finally let go of his crush. It started to get on my nerves though that Akira kept bringing how mean and cruel she is. We know that, already, dude! That’s how you got into that situation in the first place! But it was a nice change of pace that the two (opposite sex) main characters didn’t get together for once.
I’m not even sure if I would recommend this manga to anyone other than those who can appreciate something different and something for them not to take seriously. Ultimately, that’s where my disappointment lies:
I picked the manga out randomly, because after reading its summary the story of a boy and a girl switching bodies could be fun and good. Well, definitely not this one.
The story was really poorly written. When there could've been lots of funny and lovely moments and cute character relationships, there was only a bland and annoying story with dreadful characters. Things happened one after another, as if the mangaka didn't spare much thought to any of them.
The art was kinda bland and the faces were mostly expressionless. There were also a lot of frames where the characters were stocky and not well drawn. The girls' eyes seemed teary all the time. And the character designs weren't well done, especially Senbongi. The mangaka's beauty ideals seem to be very...behind.
This is the worst part of the manga. The characters' personalities were really awful and seemed to be goven little consideration.
Starting with Akira. It isn't normal that a boy is such a crybaby as him. Well, it can be so to a certain extent, but he just weeps and weeps all the time, which is annoying. I doubt if any girl could weep as much as him.
Momoi is much too...evil. And egoistic. For example, when Akira seeks a way to turn their bodies back to normal, she so bluntly refuses, having stolen Akira's family and good life, leaving him only her freaky grandfather. She just doesn't consider his feelings at all. And she also freaks out when he only looks at her body, while she even beds women in Akira's. And she's such a slut, going out with other women while actually dating Shiina, but at the same time claims to care deeply about her (which was surely meant to be something cute and deep, which it wasn't).
And SENBONGI. He's just disgusting. He falls for Akira in Momoi's body and then starts attacking him, getting really close to raping, and would've actually done it, too, if Akira hadn't narrowly escaped him each time. And Akira LIKES IT. Any normal girl would be disgusted and frightened, but he only thought how good a kisser Senbongi was. He actually was falling for him. And Senbongi also looks so terrible with his long hair and glasses. The appearance would be okay, if he was meant as a laughing stock sort of a character, but the mangaka seemed to consider him as a normal, even sexy guy. Ew. And the worst part was, even after Senbongi learns Akira and Momoi have switched bodies, he still continues pursuing Akira. And his personality isn't also well thought out. With Akira, he is really flirtative and isn't embarrassed at all, even when being continuously turned down. But when Momoi in Akira's body wants to change clothes in the same room, he gets really embarrassed, which doesn't match his usual personality at all.
One thing that made me gawk was the reaction of Akira's parents after his dramatic change of personality. Instead of worrying what has happened to their son they're glad that Akira has changed, claiming that 'there was always something wrong with him' just because he was manly enough for them. Shouldn't parents love their kid, no matter his personality or manliness?
I didn't enjoy the manga. It didn't make me laugh even once. I doubt I even smiled at the wannabe jokes. The terrible characters and their relationships didn't offer me any enjoyment.
I don't recommend this manga to anyone. I can't imagine anyone liking it (even though I see that some do).
Still, the manga isn't worth reading. Trust me.read more