Tags: review, shojo, tokyopop titles that don't suck
Akira is a rather good-looking sixteen-year-old boy, but girls don’t like him because he has little to no personality whatsoever (he’d fit in well in Hana-Kimi. Sorry, that was rude). Momoi is a brash, rude sixteen-year-old girl who’s incredibly pretty until she opens her mouth. Yet despite her personality, Akira has a crush on her. Then, due to an accident with one of Momoi’s grandfather’s experiments, the two end up switching bodies; that is to say, Akira’s soul is now in the body of the girl he likes.
This could be just normal shojo (if told from Momoi’s P.O.V.) or a particularly fan-service-filled seinen manga (seriously, think about it), but somehow, this series takes all the cliches, keeps half, and proceeds to screw the othe 50% up so much that it’s just WRONG. And yet… I loved it. I’m a cynic at heart, so seeing shojo tropes turned on their head was awesome for me.
An example of the series’ half-offending, half-completely-hysterical humor: after the body switch, Momoi proceeds to lock herself in the bathroom and, um, examine her new body, as I would have expected the male character to do. This causes un-ending embarassment for Akira, who can’t bear to think of what she must be doing in there – the role a girl would have taken, if this were any normal shojo.
Then there’s Sebongi, Akira’s pre-swap best guy friend, who now has feelings for Akira-in-Momoi’s-body. Even after the swap is revealed to him, he still keeps trying, knowing that it’s his old best friend, which I found completely hilarious. Better yet, Sebongi’s ‘hit on everything that moves’ attitude and Momoi’s possible feelings for Akira lead to some very, very weird situations… including one in Volume Three that’s just too funny to spoil here (one word: doujinshi!)
All in all, I’d have to say this is the best antishojo (although it ran in a shojo magazine) I’ve read in 2009. There’s a bit of Ouran (although more offensive to some), a bit of Hot Gimmick (from what I know of it), and a healthy dose of subverting gender stereotypes. Not for those who still believe there’s good in everyone, but if you’re sick of cookie-cutter shojo manga, why not give it a try?
Art – 6/10. It’s really not all that great, but hey, I didn’t read it for the flower backgrounds and hot guys.
Story – 8/10. FUNNY AS HELL, enough said.
Extras – Had nothing to do with the story. Actually they were all about creator Ai Moringawa’s cats. A little boring, really.
Overall – Cynics who believe that the shojo genre is just recycling ideas, come one, come all. Here’s a slightly screwy shojo that will either make you laugh your brains out, or offend you so much you’ll start a campaign to ban it from your local library. Myself? I’ll go with the former.