Title: Kashimashi #2
Story by Satoru Akahori
Art by Yukimaru Katsura
Publisher: Seven Seas
May Contain Spoilers
The competition for Hazumu’s love heats up in this volume as Tomari and Yasuna vie for her affections. When Tomari interrupts a kiss between Hazumu and Yasuna, there’s an immediate strain on their relationship. Tomari begins avoiding Hazumu, jealous and hurt by this betrayal. When Hazumu was still a boy, didn’t he promise, years ago, to be Tomari’s bride? So what if he was a little mixed up; the sentiment was there! And with Asuta suddenly looking at his best friend in a new light, things are definitely getting a little more complicated for Hazumu!
Hazumu, ever indecisive, can’t seem to commit herself to one of her supplicants. Like the cotton candy she agonized over as a child, she still hasn’t learned how to make a decision. Her mother warned her, long ago, that it would lead to regret, and, boy, was she ever right! In addition to just being a piss poor decision maker, Hazumu is reluctant to hurt anyone’s feelings, which just makes the situation worse.
This volume was filled with fun slice of life adventures, as Hazumu and her friends come to terms with her sudden gender switch. A trip to the beach brings out the beast in Asuta. Rendered suddenly bashful in front of his bikini-clad best friend, he struggles in vain to suppress his raging hormones. Of all of Hazumu’s suitors, I like Asuta the best, because he’s the only one trying to talk himself out of a relationship with her. His inner battle against his pervy thoughts is always good for a laugh, and he seems like a really nice guy.
As their rivalry intensifies, Tomari begins to experience flashes of jealousy and pangs of self-doubt. Yasuna seems so self-assured and so single-minded in her pursuit of Hazumu. The two contestants come to a quiet understanding, when Yasuna confides in Tomari the reason for inviting everyone over for a curry party, instead of just the object of her affections. Hazumu smiles her biggest smile when everyone is around, and until Yasuna can command that smile for herself, she is content to watch over Hazumu, and share her joy at being with her friends.
When Tomari has to go off to summer training camp, Yasuna has a chance for a little alone time with Hazumu. There’s a new aquarium opening, and they make plans to go with a group of friends. One by one, other plans come up for their friends, and soon Yasuna and Hazumu find themselves alone at the park. Hazumu is forced to come to grips with her feelings of guilt; she feels like she’s betraying Tomari. I’m surprised that Hazumu isn’t a little more exhausted, as she’s always putting herself through an emotional wringer!
Kashimashi continues to be an entertaining read, though I find Hazumu’s father disturbing rather than comical. There is a definite amount of yuck factor every time he makes an appearance.
Rated for Older Teen 16+