Manic Manga: Kanojo ni Naru Hi

Kanojo ni Naru Hi

Title: Kanojo ni Naru hi
Alternate Titles: 彼女になる日, 变成那个她, Becoming a Girl Day
Author & Artist: Ogura Akane
Year: 2013
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Gender Bender, Romance, School Life, Sci-Fi, Shoujo
Volumes: 01 (Complete)
Rating: ★★★★☆

Description:
Miyoshi is always competing and losing against his childhood friend, Mamiya, who is good at everything. One day, Mamiya collapses from illness and is hospitalized for several weeks. When he returns to school, it turns out he’s genetically female, and has decided to try living his life as a girl now much to Miyoshi’s horror. All information come from Manga Updates. This blog post will contain spoilers please read after the cut if you’ve already read the manga.

Well, that was an interesting manga. I went in expecting a simple shoujo story about a student who presented as male but decided not to be a male anymore and instead live her life as a woman from now on. I found this on a recommendation after reading Boku to Kanojo no XXX and I figured since I was in a little bit of a mood to read more manga, I decided to give this a shot.

I didn’t expect this to have a sci-fi angle but it’s an interesting way of doing it. Apparently, in this society, there’s a fixed amount of men and women. If there’s too many men, there’s an occurrence known as “emergence”. This is common with animals in the wild so it’s a little interesting that the author decided to use this angle to explain the sudden change in gender between male and female without something disrespectful.

Miyoshi, our main narrator, explained to us that sometimes it does happen – usually to younger boys as it was easier to do so. However, it’s pretty rare that an older male would go through it, but there’s a higher mortality rate because of it.

Naturally, this happens to his best friend, Mamiya. After a trip to the hospital, he comes back as a she – although her name doesn’t change, Miyoshi’s attitude does. Miyoshi is really unsure about his feelings because he knows Mamiya is his best guy friend – he’s struggling with dealing a female version of Mamiya. He seems to want to treat her like any other girls but he also has something called gynophobia, or fear of women. Coupled with the sudden emergence and the fact that the now female Mamiya is showing off her body to the other male students and is actually quite prideful of her female body, Miyoshi wonders if he’s falling in love because she’s a woman or if he had always had these feelings towards his best friend or could he trying to get over his gynophobia.

Mamiya actually takes initiative towards Miyoshi and, in her mind, tries to help him “cure” his gynophobia but in the end, Miyoshi starts pushing her away. Eventually, the two realize they do have feelings for each other but it’s not because of the fact that Mamiya’s gender changed.

Oh, no that matters but not in the way you’d think! When I mentioned that Mamiya is prideful of her female body, I don’t mean she’s sleeping around with men or purposefully showing off herself in a “slutty” matter. It’s a kind of pride that most women envy each other for – the quiet pride that she’s not ashamed of her body and she’s proud.

But Miyoshi is still very much a traditional man in the sense that he thinks that Mamiya shouldn’t be showing off like that and then, once again, considers his feelings for her.

For 5 short chapters, this was actually really interesting. It didn’t feel forced but it did feel a little rushed here and there.

There was a situation that, and this also happens sometimes, that the sudden change from male to female for the teen was going to be hard. We actually get a glimpse of Mamiya’s past and we see why she feels that she’s not good enough for her father – who’s gotten busy with work (but she can’t help but worry if her father sees her mother who had committed infidelity and just left the family one day); why she strives so hard to be good at everything (“Because maybe she’ll come back if I do good…”); and just Miyoshi’s reaction to her body even though he has gynophobia. Not only that, the sudden change from male to female has put them on edge because of a combination of their raging hormones and personal issues with the situation.

I actually felt I could relate to this in some way but, of course, not completely. This isn’t my story to be told and it’d be unfair of me to take that away to those, especially, trans teenagers who may have read this one shot and felt for Mamiya. I really liked how this manga handled this kind of situation: they treat emergence as something that’s normal but there are a lot of people who seems to find it “disgusting”.

It’s really easy to find parallels to the real world with some of the real world issues that’s going on – not just in the United States but all over the world.

And in the end, the two realize that, no matter what gender they are, they love each other. Mamiya admitted that as she grew up, she pushed people further and further away only because of her issues with her mother but Miyoshi effortlessly climbed that wall and saw through her. Even as the two grew up, Miyoshi saw things of Mamiya that no one ever saw but never really questioned it – after all, sometimes friends need to cry and not be questioned why.

Miyoshi realized this after he realized that the opposite was also true: Mamiya saw things about Miyoshi no one really knows, or care to know. There was a girl who tried to date Miyoshi but he was more concerned about Mamiya’s state of mind as she adjusted to her new body. He even rejected the girl! Not only that, he even scolded himself for falling in love with her only until after she’d turned into a female. I’m not sure if I’m remembering correctly, but I think he even told her that – that’s why he was avoiding her.

Sadly, Mamiya couldn’t handle her body and the soul-crushing thoughts that maybe Miyoshi didn’t really love her; that Miyoshi only loved her because of her new body. There was an instance where Mamiya tried to have sex with him but he told her to stop. He didn’t want to have sex under the guise of lust – he wanted to do it for love.

Okay, maybe he meant with her in particular but you know how these shoujo manga are. She then became a cocoon for 5 years before she was able to stabilize herself.

Yeah, the cocoon came out of nowhere but it didn’t completely throw me off only because it makes sense if you understand mitosis. I’ve read and seen weirder. It was rather sweet that even during that time, and before she turned into a cocoon, Miyoshi would visit her literally every day for 5 straight years. Every time someone would try to go out with him, he would refuse. Why? Because he’s so infinitely loyal to his Mamiya.

I want to think the cocoon is a (not-so-subtle) symbol of the treatments and possible sex change a trans person might go through – as it does take years to accomplish but I’m going to stop there. All this story to me is a nice story about two best friends falling in love, no, realizing their love for each other after a huge change happened to one of them. No matter what, love sees no gender and these two aren’t an exception to that rule. This isn’t the story about a man emerging to a woman – this is about an emergence of love between two people.

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