Title: Kyou Kara Onnanoko Genres: Comedy, Ecchi, Gender Bender, Seinen Author: Okazaki Takeru Artist: Okazaki Takeru Publication: Flex Comix Start Date: 2000 End Date: Completed Number of chapters at review: 1 (One Shot) Number of chapters read by reviewer: 1
Kashiwagi Yuzu, one of the three main characters in this one-shot is a shy girl who has had a bad experience with boys in her past. Back in the days, the boy next door would come over to play and throw frogs and snakes at her. And so, one day Yuzu arrives at her cousin’s home where she is going to live from now on and meets her two “nee-sans” Senkawa Haruka and Kanata. However, Yuzu does not know that Senkawa Kanata is not only a “nii-san” instead of a “nee-chan”, he also is the very guy from her past who threw those frogs at her. It all started when Haruka found out that Yuzu would live at their place and decided to “cross-dress” her brother into a girl so that Yuzu would feel more comfortable. Will Kanata be able to pull off this act and how much time will pass until Yuzu will start suspecting things? Read Kyou Kara Onnanoko and find out.
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
The art is nothing special. It’s not good, it’s not bad. Simple as that. Most of the panels feature character’s faces, or rather their various facial expressions and Okazaki really put in a lot of different expressions covering all known-to-humanity and yet-still-to-be-discovered emotions. However, what Okazaki makes up in character drawings, he loses in backgrounds. Most backgrounds are either plain white or consist of an immense gathering of speedlines in one place which somehow manage to fill up the whole panel. Long story short. The art is on a level where it allows you to focus on the story. Though to be more precise, it simply doesn’t leave you any choice other than that >_>.
In the limited amount of pages Okazaki had available to tell us his story, he still managed to write a more or less complete plot with a beginning, middle and (IMHO) not very logical ending. But forget the ending, the setting in which the story unfolds dictates its own rules and requirements which led ultimately to a number of clichéd and unoriginal plot lines. Strictly speaking, if not for the humor, which was one of the main elements in this story I would’ve dropped this one shot before reaching the double digit pages.
The primary highlight of Kyou Kara Onnanoko is the humor and the setting in which the story unfolds. The characters are unfortunately nothing more than instruments in this case. They seemed pretty much undeveloped throughout the story and although I admit that you can’t expect any real character development due to the limited size of a one shot I have personally read other examples were that was perfectly possible and that’s why I can say that this section doesn’t deserve anything higher than 6. Their actions seemed forced at one time and unrealistic at another. Sad, but true.
The reason why I gave this section such a respectively high score is because right from the start the highlight of this one shot was the gender bender aspect. Remove that, and this one shot loses 90% of its meaning. And while gender bender is more of a genre, rather than a theme, it is still the dominant topic during the first half of the story with no other themes/genres available. During the second half we do see a little display of “sister love” from Kanata’s side but it is so small and insignificant that it hardly classifies as a theme and would go under character development more than anything else.
I am by no means an expert in the gender bender genre but I dare say that there was next to nothing in this one shot. This isn’t a bad thing, it just means that the plot consists of clichés. Unfortunately, Okazaki didn’t score many points in this section. The story was predictable right from the beginning and even the somehow forced plot twist near the end of one shot didn’t save it. What is, that is. Or in our case - isn’t.
I’ll be frank. This one shot didn’t leave a big impression on me neither story nor art-wise. Yeah, I LOL’ed a couple times, but that’s pretty much everything that Kyou Kara Onnanoko managed to make me experience. You should read this one shot if you want a story with a few LOL moments, but don’t expect anything more. To sum it up, Kyou Kara Onnanoko was a pretty much mediocre read which barely passed my “worth reading” requirements.