Fukigen Cinderella is a story i had been meaning to read for awhile. It is something that had peaked my interest i'd say around a year ago at the time of this review. I finally read it and while i do like it, It kind of let me down on some levels.
~~ SPOILERS ~~
First lets start out with characters.
Haruhiko : Is the main character(s) of the story. Haruhiko is the regular male while Aki is the Female he turns into every noon. Haruhiko to be blunt is a total asshole who has tried raping his only friend in the past and also said he would rape some girls as a threat. Normally this is one easy way to hate a character. But the story does a good on explaining why the MC is so messed up. He had a guardian taking care of him that was completely insane and messed up his childhood and more.
While the story goes on he starts to become less of a dick to put it bluntly. It is honestly a interesting character and the way it was portrayed was really well done. In the end though he isn't my favorite character. That would go to Aki.
Aki: Is the female version of Haruhiko. She is portrayed to the world around her as a broken and unstable girl. She has obviously had bad stuff happen to her and is afraid of something. For the readers though we know that it is just the MC trying to cope with the fact he has been changed into a female. At one point later during the story. The worlds opinion on her slowly starts to become the actual deal to Aki. She is starting to confront all the things Haruhiko had to face as a child and her fear and hate for men. The transition from her just trying to cope with her new surrounding to confronting her past problems is really nicely done isn't that noticeable.
But besides the basic things happening to her. The other stuff going on is nice. She is going around having to deal with the relationships Haruhiko. Such his first ever friend that he ended up trying to rape in middle school. She is able to learn the effects of her doing to the friend and is able to learn that while yes the friend doesn't like what happen, She isn't still angry with him and still wanted to be his friend even after that.
There is also typical stuff that happens in Gender bender stories. Such as going cloths shopping and going to cafe's that only females go to. But the story does a good job of not falling into the typical formula these. Such as the cloths shopping with friend. Instead of their being a scene meant mostly for fan service such as the character trying on all these revealing clothing. We skip going cloths shopping and just see Aki returning home with bags of items she bought. Instead of having revealing outfits she has a dress that isn't anything over the top.
Back to the cloths shopping scene. While it is nice that it didn't do the typical. It may have been nice to a view of the friend who went cloths shopping with her. Cause the world around her is still under the impression that she is a broken girl. So it might have been nice to see the friends few of trying to help a girl in need with cloths shopping. Just my opinion though.
Aki is kind of like her own character with the only thing connecting the two of them is their past experiences and that they switch between each other at the strike of 12:00. She is my favorite of the series.
Mifuyu: She is the only other character worth mentioning. She is the first friend of the MC. The one he tried to rape in Middle School. She doesn't get as much screen time as she should. But she is the one that helps Aki through the tough time. Not much to say besides that she is an important character and is a pretty decent character overall.
Let's talk about my gripes with the story now.
I'd say one of the biggest problems lies in the pacing. I feel this is a story that should have lasted much longer. The themes and secondary stories are forgotten at the end of the story and is the general pacing is off too.
A good amount of times instead of picking on subject and expanding on that we are barely shown much of that. Example : First time Aki is shown she is almost rapped. Instead of focusing on the dramatic experience that this causes. It is mentioned a few times with Aki freaking out at men a couple times. This could'v been more delved into. Such as the character not wanting to talk to anyone in general after this. Haruiko would be jumpy around all men even though for most people just yesterday he was the same as he always been.
Themes are also dropped a lot. Thought we might get a scene that Aki is in the School play of Cinderella. But character said's no and that's the end of that. The worst example would be the first page or two. It shows witches doing something. That's the last of it. We don't get the witches later on or the character doesn't mention once besides at the start.
There are also a couple characters that are not given enough time to truly shine. We have 4th best character named Saki. A weird silent type with not much emotion. But she is just used as a character to spout words of wisdom.
Second to last we have the fact that through out the entire story Aki is never dressed up as Cinderella or even puts on a dress.
Lastly is that ending. In the end Both Haruiko and Aki wake up in a hospital and they have their own bodies now. Not only is this completely random and unexpected. The entire ending seemed rushed. There is also Aki now in her own body. While still having a good amount of the brashness from Haruiko and as far as we can tell just Haruiko clone but with Aki's body. He is almost instantly wanting to go on a date and eat food with his friend.
While i do like that the story admits that the two Main characters are basically their own person. But in the end i kind of wish and like the idea of the changing between them doesn't change or it gets to the point where both the characters can talk to each other in their minds and still switch. Another option would'v been to just have Aki become the main body. Not only does the MC become a better person when as Aki but is also a much more likable character.
Gonna end it here or i might be here longer than i want.