Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl
Hazumu is a feminine guy often mistaken for a girl. His childhood friend Tomari has a crush on him, but can't bring herself to confess her feelings. Hazumu likes a different girl, but was turned down himself. As he wandered the woods that night, an alien space ship falls from orbit and crashes into him. With advanced science they repair his body and save his life, but turn him into a girl by mistake. They apologize, then fly off. I hate it when that happens, but that's aliens for you.
Hazuma finds the girl he confessed to was only afraid of getting hurt and now wants to pursue a relationship with him. His childhood friend struggles with the sex change, but decides to follow her heart and pursue him/her as well. As the girls become friends, things between the three becomes strained. This is one romance that won't end in marriage either way.
Weird premise? Yes! Aliens turn a guy into a girl, then yuri love triangle? Hell yeah, I'll watch that! It's too bad the weirdness only gets in the way instead of improving things. Actually, it's not so much the weirdness as the stupidity tied to it in a way that gets old.
The the story revolves around three characters (everyone else being an annoying idiot). On one side there is the timid Yasuna. She's got a strange problem where sees males as cheesy blurry CGI effects. On the other side is typical childhood friend rowdy tomboy harboring a long time crush. Kashimashi varies in success utilizing these two girls. It typically feels like it's trying too hard, but generally it's not too bad. The problem is who they're competing over: Hazumu. Hazumu goes from feminine guy, to super whiny girl, and nothing is explored as far as the sex change is concerned (which is strange because I expected that to be a big part of the show). As much as I tried, I just couldn't like Hazumu. She's unremarkable with no personality. In the drama sections the girls play off Hazumu well, but Hazumu herself is like dead weight to the show. Fixing her character could have made this far better.
The story starts weird, then goes into a combination of drama and stupid mixing like oil and water. Kashimashi becomes the kind of anime assuming stupid is automatically funny, but not being funny. Garbage filler, excessive flashbacks, the show has a lot of issues; but deep down there's an interesting idea and okay story.
The relationship Hazuma chose left me indifferent, but man did I feel bad for the girl left out. Which I think is enough: I actually felt something. That concludes the 12 episode TV series, but there's also the OVA tacked on to the end. Things get reversed in a way I eagerly wanted to see. Kashimashi does drama okay (not great, but a decent job), so I was hoping this anime would milk it for all it's worth and make a happy sentimental ending. Instead it gets really weird and.. well again, stupid. It's an understatement to say I'm disappointed, because done right the end could have made this show for me. I give it credit for being weird though.
I'd only recommend Kashimashi if you're specifically looking for a girl + girl romance drama. You'll have to ignore the many many issues of the show to like it, but it has a few good points that may make it worth the watch.
Ayuki: Women are complicated.
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