Yuri Manga: Kashimashi Girl Meets Girl, Volume 5 (English)

May 25th, 2008

This is likely to be the last time I write about this series. Anime is over, been licensed, been reviewed. Manga has been reviewed – twice. Once in English, once in Japanese. This is the final volume. To my surprise, I’m a little saddened by that.

When I first began to read this series, I witheld my affection, sure that it would be a common harem drama with no resolution and that Hazumu would surely revert to being a boy. The “end,” I predicted, would be the beginning all over again for an unresolvable triangle.

How nice that I was so wrong about that, huh? :-)

So, we arrive at last at Kashimashi~ Girl Meets Girl, Volume 5, and find ourselves watching Hazumu struggle with the same exact conundrum she’s struggled with for the last two volumes. And getting nowhere with it. Thankfully, Fate got as tired of her lack of resolve as we did, and a *crisis* occurs which forces her hand. And there we are, reading the final chapters thinking, “Did I just read a Japanese manga with an actual *resolution?* Is it a sign of the end times? What’s going on here?” lol

Inexplicably, Kashimashi, this bland harem drama with a gender twist, actually has a resolution. Go figure. Not a bad one, either. Of course whether you liked Tomari or Yasuna more will depend on whether you actually *like* the ending, but I found it to be perfectly satisfactory.

As always, Seven Seas’ reproduction is top-notch. Adrienne Beck’s translation and Janet Houck’s adaptation deserve your attention. (As several translators have told me, no one ever notices the translation unless there’s a mistake. So take a moment to notice this translation and adaptation – there are no mistakes. Nod in appreciation for the seamless job done here.) Physically, the book looks and feels good, and of every series I have ever read, *still* is the closest thing I have seen in English to reading the Japanese original.

I truly appreciate that this book was adapted for us – the manga-reading American otaku audience, who does have a clue and doesn’t need to be condescended to. I was particularly pleased that the final line of the main story was left as intact as possible, in a way that (obnoxious arrogance ahoy) I would have translated it myself. LOL

In my review of the Japanese edition of this volume, I finished with “I think the end justified the memes.” It’s a bad pun, but a good summation of the story. This time I’ll just add that I also think that the English edition of Kashimashi is proof that a good translation/adaptation can make a middling story better. lol

Ratings:

Art – 8
Character – 8
Story – 7
Yuri – 10
Service – 5

Overall – 8

My sincerest thanks to Daniel P. for sponsoring today’s review!

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One Response

  1. Phil L. says:

    I for one thought Kashimashi had an incredible conclusion, even for a commercial manga. I actually held my breath and was just absorbed as it went through the steps in revealing who gets to be with Hazumu, before everything gradually wraps up very nicely with messages of discovering love. It’s one of those few manga where I felt I went on a journey with the characters, and I was left with something when it was over.

    It’s definitely superior to the anime, but the anime still had some good moments the manga didn’t have. There’s the episode where Asuta indirectly confesses his feelings to Hazumu, and she likewise indirectly turns him down, and they resolve to stay friends. There was also where Namiko and the Alien guy pair up in the OVA: sure it kinda betrays his character, but it was still nice seeing them together.

    Maybe not a great work of art by some other Yuri manga standards, but still a recommended title

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