Title: PRUNUS GIRL
Author / Artist: MATSUMOTO Tomoki
Status: Complete (6 volumes)
Genre/s: Comedy, gender bender, romance, school life
Today was a bad manga day. There are only two days left of my summer holiday and I wanted to make the most of the free time and read a bunch of stuff. Yesterday was ok; I started Slam Dunk and another manga called Banana bread no pudding that I might make a review about. Anyway, so today I was in the mood for something short and not very profound, so I picked up some one-shots. After reading Complex Love my mood became grim, but as I was lurking through the manga-updates forums in search of a good recommendation, somebody mentioned Prunus girl. I thought “great, let’s have a doses of gender bender” and started reading it. Anybody who had walked into my room after two chapters would have seen a black aura in the corner of my bed as I muttered how I hated the world (ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit here).
The main character, Maki, meets a girl while he’s off to look at his school marks. The first day of school however, the girl he met turns out to be a student from his class and she also claims to be a boy, despite him wearing the girl’s uniform. So then they become friends and stuff happens.
As a genderqueer, I found Prunus girl very disturbing. There were comments in there that offended me and it seems like the whole manga revolved around her being a girl or a boy. Nearly every five pages Aikawa-san has to say “do you think I’m male or female?”, and the next four pages revolve around what Maki-kun thinks she might be. What I like about the gender-bender genre is that the characters blur the lines between the different sexes and genders and make great pink and blue pies that nobody would understand unless they were reading the manga themselves. I don’t like stereotypes. I don’t like having to hear “boys do this”, or “all I can see is a girl”, or “you must be a boy because you said this or that”. And there was too much of that in this manga.
But as a non-sentimental manga gobbling monster, I think the story itself could have led to some funny situations and the art was ok too (not great, but ok). Still I had to leave it. If you couldn’t care less about stereotypes or have a binary way of thinking, I think this manga can be enjoyable, but if not I think there are better gender-bender manga out there (like Ouran high school Host Club!).
Average rating from Manga-updates: 8.3 / 10
My rating: 5 / 10