Miyoshi is always competing and losing against his childhood friend, Mamiya, who is good at everything. One day, Mamiya collapses from illness and is hospitalized for several weeks. When he returns to school, it turns out he is genetically female, and has decided to try living his life as a girl now much to Miyoshi's horror.
I've had mixed experiences reading gender-bender manga.
The better ones showed that gender is a social construct - that gender plays no role in determining who a person is or what they are capable of, and that preferences, hobbies, behavioral patterns... none of these are influenced by a person's gender, but rather by society's perception of gender and its need to assert gender roles.
The worse ones were quick to impose gender roles, swiftly establishing the Do's and Don'ts of being male or female, mercilessly confining their characters to a strict set of behaviors 'appropriate' to their respective genders.
Kanojo ni Naru Hi asks the modern question, "What would you do if somebody you knew switched genders?"
But another strikes closer to the heart, "What if that masculine, male friend that you had always relied on, that friend who would do anything to make sure/help you succeed, that friend that would hide in the background and help you ask that girl you like out--what would you do if that friend went from an alpha male to a soft-skinned, beautiful female?"
In Kanojo ni Naru Hi, the author, Akane Ogura illustrates the struggles of a young man named Miyoshi, who is conflicted as to how to
deal with his (now-evolved female) best friend. The one friend--and person--he most looked up to as a man, has become a woman. "Do I treat her like a woman, or like a man like I always have?" Stuck between personal desires and social correctness, Miyoshi is stuck at odds as to how far he should go for his friend.
Equally conflicted is his best friend, Mamiya, who now must live life with the body of a girl. In a new world as a seemingly much more vulnerable human being (having once been accustomed to the strength of a man), Mamiya doesn't know how to deal with being a woman, resulting in an internal turmoil of feelings that she cannot explain or understand, both to herself and Miyoshi.
As one reads this gripping, fast-paced manga, one begins to wonder if this is in a way, a propaganda manga in which the author is trying to vouch for acceptance of Transgender Women and Men, or if this was merely an experience the author had felt that she wishes to portray within this manga. The struggles
Whatever be the case, this manga is a worthy read. With every page turned within this manga, the desire to receive the mysterious answers to our own, modern questions only grows stronger and our thirst grows deeper. Every page is filled with thoughts, with underlying meaning that can only be groped once read. And when the chapter ends, our hearts and minds groan out and desire for more--only to be filled with endless, seemingly unanswerable questions, with our minds and eyes always seeking the answers in the chapters ahead.
4.5 out of 5 Stars, for the fast-paced, but nothing short of excellent, Kanojo ni Naru Hi.
P.s. Mangas that have not been completed to do not receive a 5 out of 5 stars. When the manga has been completed, and the Conclusion (and remaining chapters have proved to be of equal, not lesser quality then the chapters before it), then I will re-edit this and give this a 5 out of 5.
I am not a big fan of gender benders, but Kanojo ni Naru Hi is already becoming one of my favorite manga.
Kanojo ni Naru Hi is about 2 childhood friends, Miyoshi & Mamiya. One day, Mamiya is hospitalized and goes through what is known as an emergence: the changing of genders. What will now become of the friendship between Miyoshi & Mamiya?
Unlike most gender benders, Kanojo ni Haru Hi isn't trying to go for comedy using the gender bender concept. There certainly are hilarious moments as a result of the change, but Kanojo is mainly aiming for drama. The manga explores a plethora of
topics. For example, how does society perceive people who emerged? On a much smaller scale, is it possible for Miyoshi to fall in love with Mamiya? If so, will those feelings remain unchanged even if Mamiya were to revert back to a guy? Plus what would society think of their relationship?
More than anything, Kanojo ni Haru Hi is a story about how love triumphs all. As long as it is sincere, things like gender and opinions aren't going to get in your way. In this manga, we get to see a heart-warming relationship between 2 people who genuinely love each other regardless of gender and people's thoughts. Of course, at first, they're at odds about being together intimately, but they soon realize that they truly love one another & no matter what happens their desire to be together forever isn't going to disappear.
There is ordinary drama too. Drama you would see in any romance. Fortunately for us, it is never blown out of proportions. It's simple things that happen in our every day lives and always results in a nice romantic moment. Things like other people flirting with Mamiya. This drama actual contributes to the plot. It serves as a way for us to see just how much they love each other. Their love being so strong, they just seem like a typical normal couple without any special circumstances. That is all they could ever ask for, to be seen as people who simply love each other.
The art is just good. That's all there is to it. The characters are nicely drawn and so are the backgrounds. There's really nothing else to say.
Our 2 main protagonists are some of the best romance characters I've ever seen.
First, we have Miyoshi. He's a kind guy who is always concerned about Mamiya's well being, but he's not a perfect prince. He gets jealous too, but he doesn't become some over possessive psychopath. He actually apologizes every time, he feels like he did something wrong. He's merely a guy who's worried about would could happen to the person he most holds dear. When he gets jealous, you actually feel sympathy for him. In short, he's a great guy who has flaws but cute ones at that.
Next, we have Mamiya. Despite previously being a guy, Mamiya is currently nothing short of adorable. In a way, it's actually good that he was originally a guy because she retained the strength of a man. She's not some girl who cries all the time and lets guys step all over her. She's strong willed, knows how to fight, and has a soft side. Strong heroines who have a feminine side are the best heroines.
Kanojo ni Naru Hi is one of the greatest romance manga I have ever had the pleasure of readng. Everything about it is just right. The way they go about a gender bender plot, the messages they want to get across, the very satisfying romance, the realistic drama, & the likable characters who despite being flawed never came off as annoying even once. You will not regret reading this manga. If you're not a fan of gender benders, this manga will surely make you see it in a new light.
Well, that was an interesting manga. I went in expecting a simple shoujo story about a student who presented as male but decided not to be a male anymore and instead live her life as a woman from now on. I found this on a recommendation after reading Boku to Kanojo no XXX and I figured since I was in a little bit of a mood to read more manga, I decided to give this a shot.
I didn’t expect this to have a sci-fi angle but it’s an interesting way of doing it. Apparently, in this society, there’s a fixed amount of men and women.
If there’s too many men, there’s an occurrence known as “emergence”. This is common with animals in the wild so it’s a little interesting that the author decided to use this angle to explain the sudden change in gender between male and female without something disrespectful.
Miyoshi, our main narrator, explained to us that sometimes it does happen – usually to younger boys as it was easier to do so. However, it’s pretty rare that an older male would go through it, but there’s a higher mortality rate because of it.
Naturally, this happens to his best friend, Mamiya. After a trip to the hospital, he comes back as a she – although her name doesn’t change, Miyoshi’s attitude does. Miyoshi is really unsure about his feelings because he knows Mamiya is his best guy friend – he’s struggling with dealing a female version of Mamiya. He seems to want to treat her like any other girls but he also has something called gynophobia, or fear of women. Coupled with the sudden emergence and the fact that the now female Mamiya is showing off her body to the other male students and is actually quite prideful of her female body, Miyoshi wonders if he’s falling in love because she’s a woman or if he had always had these feelings towards his best friend or could he trying to get over his gynophobia.
Mamiya actually takes initiative towards Miyoshi and, in her mind, tries to help him “cure” his gynophobia but in the end, Miyoshi starts pushing her away. Eventually, the two realize they do have feelings for each other but it’s not because of the fact that Mamiya’s gender changed.
Oh, no that matters but not in the way you’d think! When I mentioned that Mamiya is prideful of her female body, I don’t mean she’s sleeping around with men or purposefully showing off herself in a “slutty” matter. It’s a kind of pride that most women envy each other for – the quiet pride that she’s not ashamed of her body and she’s proud.
But Miyoshi is still very much a traditional man in the sense that he thinks that Mamiya shouldn’t be showing off like that and then, once again, considers his feelings for her.
For 5 short chapters, this was actually really interesting. It didn’t feel forced but it did feel a little rushed here and there.
There was a situation that, and this also happens sometimes, that the sudden change from male to female for the teen was going to be hard. We actually get a glimpse of Mamiya’s past and we see why she feels that she’s not good enough for her father – who’s gotten busy with work (but she can’t help but worry if her father sees her mother who had committed infidelity and just left the family one day); why she strives so hard to be good at everything (“Because maybe she’ll come back if I do good…”); and just Miyoshi’s reaction to her body even though he has gynophobia. Not only that, the sudden change from male to female has put them on edge because of a combination of their raging hormones and personal issues with the situation.
I actually felt I could relate to this in some way but, of course, not completely. This isn’t my story to be told and it’d be unfair of me to take that away to those, especially, trans teenagers who may have read this one shot and felt for Mamiya. I really liked how this manga handled this kind of situation: they treat emergence as something that’s normal but there are a lot of people who seems to find it “disgusting”.
It’s really easy to find parallels to the real world with some of the real world issues that’s going on – not just in the United States but all over the world.
And in the end, the two realize that, no matter what gender they are, they love each other. Mamiya admitted that as she grew up, she pushed people further and further away only because of her issues with her mother but Miyoshi effortlessly climbed that wall and saw through her. Even as the two grew up, Miyoshi saw things of Mamiya that no one ever saw but never really questioned it – after all, sometimes friends need to cry and not be questioned why.
Miyoshi realized this after he realized that the opposite was also true: Mamiya saw things about Miyoshi no one really knows, or care to know. There was a girl who tried to date Miyoshi but he was more concerned about Mamiya’s state of mind as she adjusted to her new body. He even rejected the girl! Not only that, he even scolded himself for falling in love with her only until after she’d turned into a female. I’m not sure if I’m remembering correctly, but I think he even told her that – that’s why he was avoiding her.
Sadly, Mamiya couldn’t handle her body and the soul-crushing thoughts that maybe Miyoshi didn’t really love her; that Miyoshi only loved her because of her new body. There was an instance where Mamiya tried to have sex with him but he told her to stop. He didn’t want to have sex under the guise of lust – he wanted to do it for love.
Okay, maybe he meant with her in particular but you know how these shoujo manga are. She then became a cocoon for 5 years before she was able to stabilize herself.
Yeah, the cocoon came out of nowhere but it didn’t completely throw me off only because it makes sense if you understand mitosis. I’ve read and seen weirder. It was rather sweet that even during that time, and before she turned into a cocoon, Miyoshi would visit her literally every day for 5 straight years. Every time someone would try to go out with him, he would refuse. Why? Because he’s so infinitely loyal to his Mamiya.
I want to think the cocoon is a (not-so-subtle) symbol of the treatments and possible sex change a trans person might go through – as it does take years to accomplish but I’m going to stop there. All this story to me is a nice story about two best friends falling in love, no, realizing their love for each other after a huge change happened to one of them. No matter what, love sees no gender and these two aren’t an exception to that rule. This isn’t the story about a man emerging to a woman – this is about an emergence of love between two people.