Apr 13, 2008
Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl Volume 4. Story by Satoru Akahori. Art by Yukimaru Katsura. Originally published by Media Works in Japan. Published in US by Seven Seas, Rated Older Teen 16+, $10.99.
Kashimashi has rapidly changed from a pseudo yuri title to that of a tragic dying soulmate triangle in the space of one volume. In the third installment, we learned that Hazumu's life will end in 30 days due to the fact that her "life grains" have run out. In fact, she was supposed to have died the day he/she was crushed by an alien spaceship. Changing Hazumu into a girl only delayed the inevitable. Her temporary reprieve is over and now she is going to have make peace with her friends and herself. Volume 4 chronicles the different ways that Tomari, Yasuna, Ayuki, and Asuta deal with the news that they are going to lose their best friend, or in some cases, their true love in 30 days. While Yasuna resigns herself and tries to make Hazumu's last days on Earth full of happiness and memories, Tomari reacts with anger at the news. She can't figure out how everybody is taking it so well and remaining calm about the whole tragedy. There is one hope to save Hazumu. If someone wishes strong enough and purely enough to share Hazumu's life and fate, then that person will be able to share some of their own life grains with her. But the day the person puts themselves first without thinking of Hazumu, she will die.
Wow, how easily this book transformed from a light comedy or even light drama to a title that almost seems brooding with the ominous nature of Hazumu's impending death. I agree with Tomari that Hazumu's friends seem to be taking it a little too well. It just seems like no matter what your good intentions, if someone you loved was going to die, you would still be haunted by it at certain moments and would not be able to focus as much on making happy memories. The fact that nobody knows how Hazumu is fated to die also seems a bit cruel. Is she going to die without pain or is it going to be a horrible torturous death? Still, the writing is pretty good and is still able to keep a certain pastoral and gentle tone thanks to Katsura's graceful artwork. I'm looking forward to the conclusion of Kashimashi, hoping that Hazumu will be able to change her fate.
My Grade: A-