Genre: Comedy, Romance, School, Shoujo-Ai
Vintage: January 2006 - March 2006
Hazumu has loved Yasuna since he first saw her. He eventually decided to confess his love to Yasuna, but she turned down him. To ease his heartbreak, he went to Mt. Kashimayama where they had first met. However, he got lost while he was on the mountain and couldn’t find his way back.
When it was night, Hazumu saw a big shooting star and when he began to make his wish, he found something was wrong. It turned out not to be a shooting star, but a falling space ship. The space ship directly crashed into Hazumu, but even though he was seriously injured he managed to survive by the help of the alien named Sora Hitoshi. However, due to an accident during the reconstruction of his body, Hazumu becomes a girl.
No doubt, the story sounds absolutely weird if you're reading it for the first time. I mean come on, aliens? A space ship crashing into a guy and turning him into a girl? "Uhh, okay…" you might be thinking while slowly stepping away. But what’s almost as strange as the initial plot synopsis is that the story actually works.
The story in Kashimashi (Girl Meets Girl) is both funny and lighthearted while being quite serious at the same time. Sora Hitoshi does a great job as the subtle comic relief in the series along with the class teacher, Tsuki Namiko, who uses the fact that she hasn't had a boyfriend for 35 years as a qualification for protecting her students. It's not hard to see why she hasn't had a boyfriend for so long, especially with her horrible attempts at teaching English! The results of her being on screen with Sora are always hilarious.
On the serious side however, Hazumu is presented with a difficult situation when he becomes a girl, because it seems that both Yasuna and his (uh, "her") childhood friend, Tomari, has always liked her as well.
Honestly, I was expecting plenty of angst and misunderstandings with this kind of setup, but that thankfully just wasn't the case. Well okay, so there was a little bit of angst and one misunderstanding later on, but it never went overboard. Hazumu's and the girl's feelings felt genuine--like it could be something that would really happen, not some forced situation thrown at you like a curve ball just to mix things up a bit and make you want to pull your hair out in frustration.
Let's see... an alien with a large space ship, his floating robot girl, a teacher who constantly almost kills herself, a perverted dad…
It's safe to say that Kashi Mashi has a good variety of personalities. It's hard to hate any of the characters in the series as every one of them either makes you smile or laugh. There's plenty of comic relief from Hazumu's teacher, Sora the alien, Hazumu's perverted dad, and Hazumu's male friend, Asuta, who can't seem to resist temptation and constantly gets on the wrong side of Tomari's feet. (In other words, he gets his *** kicked often)
Obviously, the characters is what makes or breaks an anime, so I'm glad to be able to say that Kashi Mashi has a great cast of like-able characters.
No complaints here, the art does the story and characters justice. It's not in exactly unique, but it's done well enough to not matter. The character artwork is wonderful and looks good from any angle they're drawn in. The background scenes are beautifully done and match the character artwork very nicely so that nothing seems to stand out.
In terms of animation, Kashi Mashi is obviously not a big budget anime movie, so don't expect too much. With that said however, the animation is nonetheless quite good. There isn't any lagging in the animation frame rate, and the little things like subtle hair and eye movement bring the world to life.
Voice acting, music (7.5/10)
The voice acting gets the job done. With the exception of Jan-puu Chan, there weren’t any squeaky high-pitched voices, which at least to me is a good thing. Even then, Jan-puu doesn't make too many appearances, so she never got on my nerves or anything.
Overall, the voice actors in Kashi Mashi do a fantastic job giving the characters a voice that suits their personalities. Yasuna is a soft and more fragile kind of person, and her voice actor does a fantastic job reflecting that, and likewise for many of the other characters.
In terms of music however, there isn't anything terribly notable. The opening theme is so-so, but it could just be me. I usually don't like almost any anime opening theme, and while a good catchy opening theme is always a plus, I don't think that it's a necessity to enjoy an anime.
Kashi Mashi might make a few people feel a bit uneasy considering that Hazumu is a girl who's love interests also happen to be girls. Kashi Mashi doesn't delve into the realm of gender roles or orientations and simply focuses on the love two people have for each other before anything else.
While that might seem like lesbianism to some, (and technically, it sure seems that way), it's not as though the creators of this anime expect you to swallow this story without thinking a little. There is an important lesson that can be learned here. Both Yasuna and Tomari really liked Hazumu while he was still a guy, and the thought of him being a girl visibly makes them feel a little strange in the earlier episodes. The love that the two girls have for Hazumu clearly demonstrates how there can be more to love than outer appearances. Despite looking and sounding like a girl, Hazumu is still a guy in thought and that's the part of him that they always loved and refuse to stop liking just because his biological appearance changed. *tear*
Overall, Kashi Mashi does a great job presenting a genuine love story while retaining a funny comical side to it. You can't help but feel that the character's feelings are truly genuine, yet without seeming too angsty or overly emotional.
It's a great love story first and foremost and with some great production values, yet equally strikes a balance with plenty of moments of laughter that makes you smile and at the same time makes you sad when it's all over.
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