Watching Strawberry Panic!, Aoi Hana, and Blue Drop can lead you to think that shoujo-ai anime is serious business. Fortunately, Kasimasi: Girl Meets Girl demonstrates that an intriguing romance stories spring out of a stupid premises and unoriginal gags just as easily. Behind the gender-bending antics and zany alien shenanigans hides a show of surprising emotional content that pulls heartstrings and elicits laughs in equal measures.
In a wonderful display of deus-ex-machina, Kasimasi's story gets rolling when "Sora Hitoshi" (or so he calls himself), crash-lands his spaceship on the forehead of the quiet and unassuming high school student Osaragi Hazumu. A quick application of the alien's advanced technology revives the vaporized student, but since the visitors can't easily distinguish girls from boys, they get the sex all wrong. Unlike most gender-bender anime, the narrative only pauses for the briefest moment to reflect on Hazumu's new situation before charging headlong onto a shoujo-ai love triangle involving the "current-girl-past-boy", his childhood friend, and one of their pretty classmates. In this case, the breathless tempo of the plot imbues the proceedings with a sense of momentous urgency that more stately titles lack, and the frequent comedic situations give it a light and refreshing feel despite the serious business rounds out the series' run.
However, the speedy train of the plot nearly wrecks itself at the end. Fresh from an emotional pair of episodes, the series proper culminates in rushed and hollow-feeling confession followed by a poorly-executed cliffhanger during the closing credits. While clipped pacing aids significantly in the buildup to an emotional eleventh episode, it also sucks much of the life out of the final installment. In this case, a more prolonged treatment of Hazumu's encounter with the girl she chooses would have served much better than the abrupt confession that the show provides. While this hiccup leaves a bad taste as the screen fades for the last time, viewers should remember that Kasimasi brings them to the finish line in much less time than epics like Maria-sama ga Miteru and with plenty of comic relief along the way--more than enough to redeem itself in my mind.
Kasimasi's visuals exude a "journeyman anime" feel. Along with standard looking, static backgrounds, the show uses speed lines, pans, and stills whenever possible and suffers from occasional errors in proportion. Luckily, series' source material outshines its humble production values. The simple but expressive character designs help deliver the story's emotional payload, and will endear many viewers to the show all by themselves. The girls all have rounded features and large eyes that facilitate easy transition into chibi or super-deformed modes during comedic portions, while also providing excellent canvases for displaying each person's thoughts and feelings. Though all the ladies look somewhat similar, the attention given to hairstyles and body types of each character provide ample differentiation, so no one should have trouble telling the small cast apart. Little details like the femininity of Tomari with her hair down as opposed to her usual twin-tails and Hazumu's magical retracting bangs bring home the thought put into each person's look, and make it easy to forgive occasional inconsistencies.
For the most part, the sound production matches the quality of the visuals with slightly more consistency. Each episode starts with a plain but cute ditty that sounds a whole lot like the opening for Shugo Chara! and ends with a generic ballad. In between, the score keeps pace with all the series' developments whether funny or dramatic, but otherwise makes little impact. Luckily, the voice cast works hard to carry the show's content. Tamura Yukari's Tomari shoulders most of the comedy along with Ono Daisuke in his role as Asuta. Across the aisle, Yuki, Hazumu, and Yasuna fill their more serious roles with equal skill on the part of their seiyuus. The anime squanders Horie Yui during the season as the complex but reserved Yasuna--though the actress does upstage everyone when she reprises her role in the OVA. Finally, the aural icing-on-the-cake comes from the super-cute Jam-pu. Any viewers who share my fondness for vocal affectations will squeal with delight every time she opens her mouth ("...pu!").
While Kasimasi focuses on Hazumu, Yasuna carries the series. She won't turn many heads at first, but this damaged girl's progression from paralyzed wallflower into self-assured young lady dictates the pace of the narrative. Unlike Hazumu, who suffers from her indecision more than her fear of love, Yasuna wrestles with isolation both from humanity in general and her immediate friends. Her bravery and heartbreak create the real emotional tension and resonance of this anime, forming an excellent compliment to the more standard relationship arc between Tomari and Hazumu. For her part, the red-headed lead is both personable and entertaining--a refreshing change of pace for a genre filled with humdrum main characters. Neither an oujo-sama (Chikane of Kannazuki no Miko) nor a doormat (Himeko of the same), her kindness, energy, and caring nature make her seem a great deal similar to Strawberry Panic!'s Naigsa, only less confused and more conflicted. Her beauty coupled with a fun and down-to-earth personality make her a believable target of two girls' affections. As the least original of the gang, Tomari's obstinate nature seems to come straight out of the tsundere playbook, as she refuses to show weakness in the presence of her childhood friend. However, mix of loyalty, gung-ho attitude and youthful insecurity ring truer here than in many similar situations because she makes no secret of her underlying affection for Hazumu.
Each supporting character also adds something to the action, whether it be Yuki, who acts as the all-important romantic instigator and crying shoulder à la Toradora!'s Ami, or Jam-pu, a personified spaceship AI who exists to be adorable ("...pu!"). Namiko-sensei, proves to be the only clunker in the cast. Though she fits the same mold as the many romance-less faculty members who populate high school anime, her repetitive, Team Rocket-like appearances and melodramatic pronouncements start to grate as the series turns towards its more serious second half. Whereas the ensemble comedy of Hazumu, Asuta, and Jam-pu continues to add levity to the proceedings, the sensei's pursuit of the uninterested alien and subsequent nose-dive into the nearest hole feels like a pathetic distraction.
Kasimasi: Girl Meets Girl succeeds in its straightforward look at a complicated topic. In this case, the compact pacing, unadorned characterizations, direct dialogue, and frequent bursts of comedy accent the drama on the screen instead of detracting from it. Freed from endless internal monologues or extended shots of girls wrestling with their feelings, the series communicates an almost elemental truth about how hard it is to love two people. While this anime may seem familiar at first brush, stick to it because its cast and story make it an endearing, if unoriginal gender-bender. True, you have to watch the OVA, Kasimashi ~Girl Meets Girl: A Girl Falls in Love with a Girl~, to get any kind of closure, but even without it, this show is worth the price of admission.
Um, wow. This is um… something a little different then what I have ever seen before. I give the show props for an idea, but an extremely lousy way of making that idea bare fruit. The story feels shallow, the execution is bland, the English voices are a mess, the animation is just standard fan fair. I would of loved if they got into the physiological aspects of a man turning into a women a bit, but they don’t. They just pussyfoot around like it’s a teenage drama. I know it is one but with a concept this interesting, I wish it could have been better done.
Hazumu really freaken sounds and acts like a girl! It doesn’t seem like there is any freaken difference to him being male or female. I do think its somewhat Ironic that when he first sees the ‘star’ coming straight at him, he wishes to be manlier and yet he was turned into a woman. And then after he’s a woman, he accepts it rather fast to the point of saying that nothing really changed. (Kurai: “WHAT THE FUCK!? How can he act like nothing changed at all! When you turn me, I freaken hate it!”) All the characters act really stupid and it’s hard for me to even feel for any of them at all. His parents are the worst to because they just are way to excitable. (Akuma: “Excitable? Her Dad a big fat pervert!” Angel: “Alright, ya, I’m trying to make things better then they are.” ) They look at her as if nothing happened at all and start treating him like a girl the day she gets back home. Everyone around her acts as though she should know exactly how to be a women when she doesn’t know the first thing about it. It pisses me off slightly in that aspect because none of the characters seem to think how she feels. If we really get right down to it, it wouldn’t make any difference weather she turned into a girl on her own with a operation or with space aliens. In fact, it would be better if it was a operation then alien because then it would be more believable.
Tomari was doing nothing for him when he was a guy it seems, and treated him like a child that needed protection all the time. It makes me wonder if she is the one that’s the reason that he never became a manlier guy. The whole second episode was pretty much Tomari saying don’t do this, don’t do that and don’t act like a man but she does it rather harshly. We do get into the physiological aspects of her dealing with a friend that changed into a guy but it sometimes feels bland.
Yasuna on the other hand is awkward. It’s almost like she can’t see any men at all and only a hazy look to them when she can. I’m not sure what the hell they did that for because they could of just as easy say she was into girls instead and it would be so much better. It would of actually been closer to a real life story.
This is more of the story that centers around everyone around Hazumu rather then Hazumu herself. We only learn about everyone else and their feelings, and only a little bit of Hazumu’s thoughts and feelings in the first part. When we do learn about Hazumu’s feelings, it feels a bit to late, as we have to go through a lot of crap to get there. Sadly, every single character falls for Hazumu, which makes the damn thing a harem anime.
I have problems when Aliens look exactly like the humans without much difference to them. I also have big problems with the fact that the aliens crash into him, turn him into a woman, and then just leave him to the world. They pretty much do nothing to help him. And when they do show up, they just make things even worse for her. She ends up having a ‘clone’ of herself. (Akuma: “That’s a clone? She doesn’t look like her at all for crying out loud! We look closer then they do and we are just twins!”) Yes… clone… with light pink hair that will not stop hanging on her.
The animation is really based for the fan service. We have a lot of naked shots of girls changing and just doing random stuff. It’s pretty standard and just basic. Many times, they seem to cop out and not even draw the background of go for the close up on the faces. They also do the fucken close ups on the breasts and body too which make me smack my head into the wall.
I have problems with the English voice. Male Hazumu sounds so much like a girl that I see no difference in him being male or female. Tomari sounds more like a boy then he does as a guy! Everyone else sounds so much like a whiny little girl that it just bothers me a lot. The script is so cheesy that I just want to smack the writer. No really, its really really bad! The words sound so much like the person is just reading lines without any feeling what so ever. Even when they do have emotion, it sounds forced. It’s also done rather close to the translation so it feels really choppy. People keep saying ‘it is’ instead of ‘it’s’ and all this other problems. I just want it to end! Though the voices do get a little better (more on the lines that I had to get used to it for necessity rather then it being good) like around the 5th episode, it feels a little late.
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First off; an apology for taking so long. It took quite a while to arrive and after that I had stuff to do, but here it finally is; Kashimashi Girl meets Girl. Eventually I watched as much as I could and then tried to draw out as much as I could from memory and Wikipedia. I just didn't want to keep delaying this. Please note that this was originally written with fowl language and I've edited it out so some of the words don't quite convey how I felt about the characters and plot.
Kashimashi is the first anime I saw on my anime-spree and when I first watched it I thought it was pretty damn good. After that I watched it again twice, once with my brother and another as a fan dub, but I'll be talking about the official DVD subbed release.
After seeing it again I realised that it wasn't as good as I had originally thought, it was rather slow and it took a whole episode to explain one thing. For those that aren’t familiar with the plot here's how it goes; Hazumu Osaragi confesses his love to Yasuna Kamiizumi only to be rejected. He then goes to the mountain to forget about it when a large space ship crashes down from space strain into him. He is killed and the aliens then declare, to the world, that they are sorry and that they have resurrected him with one slight flaw; he's now a girl. The rest is basically about Yasuna and Hazumu's child hood friend, Tomari Kurusu, trying to win over Hazumu's love. At first he is confused and says that he is going to be a girl and that he cannot love another girl. The alien, Hitoshi Sora, has moved into his house with an AIG of the ship named Jan Pu. He asks if same sex relationships are forbidden in this world making Hazumu reconsider. He then starts to go on trips and such with Yasuna and Tomari and sometimes with other friends of theirs. We find out that the reason the aliens are here is because they are investigating a lack emotional stimulation of love that Yasuna has been suffering from, they're investigating it because their entire planet has the same problem as Yasuna; they cannot see the opposite sex. Tomari and Yasuna then make an agreement that they will not pull the moves on Hazumu until he makes up his mind about which one of them he would like to have as a lover. This then leads to Yasuna then seemingly betray this trust as they Hazumu and Yasuna go to Tomari's trip location when she embraces Hazumu because she was scared of a guy that had passed. Tomari then gets angry at Yasuna and then confronts her about it. They get all angry and the love triangle really gets ruff for Hazumu as his best friend and childhood friend are falling out. Yasuna's condition then gets worse as she loses the ability to see neither male nor female faces. They go through some problems and then the story concludes as Hazumu picks Yasuna and she is freed from the evil curse.
But what then tore me apart was the bull that they put together as a last episode; it was a short montage as the rest of the story is told by voice over. There then was a montage of the things that happened in the anime and a song was played. This really sucked.
The cast was a hit and miss with some developed characters that were interesting and some that were a little annoying. First off Hazumu; he was a wimp, but that isn't too bad since it really brought out another character and gave them purpose. Yasuna was a little annoying as she really didn't know whether or not to go out with Hazumu, to me; she also ends up being a little mean as she eventually ditched Hazumu to go out with a guy. This seems real unfair on Hazumu because if he didn't change into a girl she never would have been cured and she would never have gone out with him then, she also acts really yuri up until Hazumu accepts her love. Tomari is one of the characters that I liked, she seemed plenty more developed and wasn't as soft as every other female, actually she was a lot tougher than everyone in the anime, she was quite clear headed until she thought about her relationship with Hazumu evolving. Her emotions are quite realistic and I thought that she was a very thoughtful person and did well having to put up with that pansy Hazumu. Ayuki Mari just plain annoyed me. This is because I really hate the characters that just stand back and watch as stuff happens and then talk to themselves about what they just saw, or even just say "interesting". She also gives pretty lame advice like stepping on to the stage or stepping off of it; really this should be stepping on the stage or just not stepping on it since Tomari wasn't really on the stage in the first place but I won't get into that. Asuta Soro was, in my opinion, quite a good character. He was a guy amongst girls and it really was quite an awkward situation. I mean, what would you do if your friend turned into a girl? I don't really want to know. But he, for some reason, fell in love with Hazumu, at least that was what I got from it, but it seemed that really he just wanted to see Hazumu's body, and I really don't blame him. Hitoshi is too alike to Ayuki, except that Hitoshi actually had a reason to be there. Jan Pu was a simple character but still quite effective, I still wonder if that ship actually malfunctioned or if Jan Pu sabotaged it to come to earth. She is mainly a side character but actually becomes helpful once when Hitoshi is asking Hazumu if it was wrong to be in love with the same sex as Jan Pu seems to be given as the example. The under developed characters and pointless ones seemed to be Hazumu's parents and Hazumu's teacher, as she just fell in holes and Hazumu's father just asked for Hazumu to get in the bath with him as Hazumu's mother beat him up.
The animation was really good. The colours were clear and the characters and set were broad. Movement was smooth and generally coherent. The plot was just as strange as I expected from the summary that I read and there was a different ending than in the manga, which I haven't read, but it sounds more dramatic in the manga. The running time was good and maybe a bit too long, but a 10 episode anime generally is too short so I think they just boosted it a bit. But in the manga I'm pretty sure that there are more scenes and thing that happen, so they could've just used that.
Next time I'll be doing: Zombies: Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? VS Highschool of the Dead (ep. 1-7). See ya then!
Kashimashi is a perfect example for a truly magnificent anime. It stands out in a crowd of anime that anyone could watch. It is a trip of wonderment that viewers will never forget. But what makes it that great? Well, let's have a look see.
Story: I don't have to tell anyone that this is a unique story line. It's story really is fascinating. It's like the Yin-Yang of anime. It is completely normal at times, and at other times, seem fucked up. But both of these aspects are balanced well, compliment each other and are executed perfectly. Another thing, it is paced excellently. The episodes run with each other to create a story. It doesn't move too fast or too slow. It really know how to use your emotions as well. It actually feels like you're watching someone's life rather than an anime.
Characters: All of the characters are good and entertaining, and you would find something to love, or at least like about them. They all feel like people, and you can understand how each of them feel. They are really human.
Art: It may seem simplistic, but that's what makes it good. It's simple, realistic, and easy on the eyes. It's not flashy, or dark, or what have you, it's just simple. It again feels like Life is breathed into the anime.
Sound: The voice actors are all talented and do a good job as the characters they play. The OST is just brilliant. Normally, I'm a loud, blaring music, so the soft, melodic music in here normally isn't my style, but damn. This is awesome. It sets the mood perfectly. It makes you feel what you're supposed to feel during the scene that's playing. It is pure ear candy.
Overall: This might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's worth checking out at least. It is a masterpiece and deserves all the good credit it gets. 10/10
Mmhh this is a hard review. After watching this anime I just feel indifferent. Well, let's give it a point in the fact that every now and then there was a couple of events that actually had some pathos in them, and asked for a few tears. But really few. And that's all.
It may seem something original, but without going too much into spoilers, it's just a love triangle, nothing more. Only one difference in the central character if compared to the standard shy, insecure one... But those differences have an effect on the story that's nearly zero. Defined as shoujo-ai, I feel like there's a lot of things missing...
Ok, sufficient, not optimal. There's no attention to details such as hairs, or accessories, to name two. The images only contain what's really needed to the plot, nothing more. Still, I must say that there are a couple of scenes where the graphic becomes really good, but for some unknown reasons, this happens only for 20-30 secs each 3-4 episodes...
There are no songs outside opening and ending, nearly everything about sound falls upon voices. And here as well, there is something missing. I think the voices of the main characters could have been done better, in such a way that could express better the feelings of the girls. On the other hand, a really good voice has been given to Asuta Soro, one of the side characters.
It is a shoujo-ai, but it is absolutely no different from a normal love triangle with a guy between two girls. Just the guy is not a guy. The story begins with an important change in the life of the main character, and I expected this to be the main thread of the anime. But in fact everyone within this anime behaves just like if what happened was something absolutely normal, maybe not a thing that happens every day, but nothing extraordinary. To me it just seems a bad excuse to carve out a shoujo-ai story in such a way that it could be appreciated even from who prefers "normal" love stories.
And while the main characters miss something in consistency, the side ones are even worse. Of all the side characters, most of them are just useless. They do nothing at all that has a minimal effect on the story. Especially the alien girl, it seems she's there only for the fact that they wanted to pit in the anime a pink-haired girl but they had no idea of what role give to her.
I have seen far more satisfying anime before this one, still I do not consider it a waste of time. It, While it has a lot of aspects that could have been better, it's not boring. Just do not expect that much in terms of depth and originality.