Hazumu Osaragi is an admittedly feminine teenage boy who is turned down by his first love, Yasuna Kamiizumi. When reminiscing on the mountain where he met Yasuna, he wishes upon a shooting star that he can have a loving relationship. But this isn’t a shooting star he sees, it’s an alien spaceship that crash lands onto him. He ends up surviving the encounter, but is turned into a girl during the regeneration process. This process cannot be reversed. Hazumu must now adjust to her newfound femininity while balancing a suddenly active love life and all the drama that comes with it.
The problem I have with the story is the completely unnecessary addition of the sci-fi element in the show. It doesn’t really add anything of value to the story and only serves to differentiate Kashimashi from other similar shows. On a more positive note, the love triangle between Hazumu, Yasuna, and Tomari is well-done and is easily the highpoint of the series. The pacing throughout is fine, while the many comedic moments serve to lighten the mood and keep things from becoming too uptight. Other than the aliens angle, the story portion is alright and is worthy of a little praise.
Hazumu: A member of the Gardening Club alongside Yasuna, Hazumu is the soft-spoken boy-turned-girl who’s caught in a tug of war between the 2 girls she’s closest to. Growing up, Hazumu was teased by other boys because of his propensity for crying, which caused Tomari to come to his defense and drive away the bullies. As a child, Hazumu couldn’t pick between white and pink cotton candy and ended up with neither. The time is quickly approaching for Hazumu to make a much more important choice this time around.
Tomari: Tomari and Hazumu grew up together and have always been very close. In fact, when they were children, Hazumu openly stated his desire to be Tomari’s bride. Now in high school, she keeps her feelings for Hazumu secret until she can no longer hide it. Tomari is actually quite popular with other girls and has received “fan” letters from her admirers. However, it still seems as though her heart has long been reserved for Hazumu.
Yasuna: If Tomari can be considered the rough and tumble member of the trio, then Yasuna is the delicate flower. After she first meets Hazumu on Mt. Kashima, she joins him as a member of the Gardening Club. Although she eventually breaks his heart, Hazumu still wants to be friends with her, thus keeping the flame of love from being extinguished. Yasuna comes off as very sweet and considerate of Hazumu’s feelings, despite her reluctance to reciprocate said feelings.
Now on to the rest of the supporting cast. Asuta is Hazumu’s best friend who develops some shallow feelings for her after her transformation. He’s usually Tomari’s punching bag when he ogles Hazumu or has improper thoughts. Ayuki is the calming presence that the group desperately needs. When the trio need someone to talk to (or someone to set them straight) Ayuki is always there to share her wisdom.
Namiko is a 35-year old teacher who’s never had a boyfriend and is incredibly accident prone. She’s a sizable portion of the comic relief. The alien who was at the helm of the ship winds up staying at Hazumu’s house and is hired as a teacher at the high school. Going by the name of Sora Hitoshi, he observes the interactions between the trio and seeks to collect data based off those interactions. Last but not least, there’s Jan Pu, who goes from being part of the spaceship, to a living being, thanks to advanced alien technology. She was shaped in Hazumu’s newly female likeness and is very childlike in her enthusiasm.
There’s a nice assortment of different character types, so it should be easy to find someone to call your favorite. With plenty of interesting and relatable characters, Kashimashi does a commendable job of giving you characters that you can take a liking to.
This is an above-average-looking anime, especially if you consider it originally aired in early 2006. It’s rich in color, with some decent, albeit not too original, character designs, and animation that looks to be smooth and fluid, for the most part. This, like many other elements of the series, is middle-of-the-road, but this isn’t a show where the animation is crucial, so it’s more than acceptable to be ordinary in this regard.
Overall, the audio elements of the show come across as fairly pedestrian. The background music is serviceable and does what it’s intended to do. The OP and ED are decent efforts, but neither one left me wanting to replay that minute and a half again, especially the very forgettable ED. The voice acting is solid, yet it isn’t anything that makes you sit up and take notice of the performances. All told, very average is an apt way to describe the series from an audio perspective.
Most of the yuri involved is in the emotional struggle between the girls, so there isn’t anything more than a few kisses throughout the entire series. Yasuna and Tomari are complete opposites, yet Hazumu is emotionally attached to both, so her decision is even tougher. The scenarios that the three find themselves in are very believable and it’s easy to imagine yourself in similar situations. In conclusion, the yuri is definitely present and accounted for. Seeing how things play out with these three girls and the ups and downs of their interconnected love lives is what made this show enjoyable to watch.
In my opinion, this is a case of a series being a bit more than the sum of its parts. What really made the show for me was the drama involved in the love triangle. Over the course of the series, I flip-flopped a couple of times as to who I preferred Hazumu to end up with. At the end of the 12 episodes, I feel like things worked out for the best, even though the OVA did manage to alter how I viewed some characters a great deal. And if you’re wondering, no, Hazumu doesn’t turn back into a male at the end. That would have completely and utterly ruined what turned out to be a perfectly good anime. Despite a few imperfections, Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl was still a decent experience that I somewhat enjoyed viewing.
Length: 12 Episodes + OVA (1 Episode)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, School Life, Yuri