torachan: yotsuba looking sad/shocked (gaan)
Title: Kakumei no Hi (The Day of Revolution)
Author: Tsuda Mikiyo
Number of Volumes: 2
My Rating: 2/5

I get sucked into reading these bad genderbender manga the same way I get sucked into reading bad genderswap fic. I always hope there will be something good in there, but usually it's just enraging.

This is the story of Kei, a fifteen-year-old boy who is having some health problems and when he goes to the doctor and has some tests done, it turns out he's intersex and is chromosomally female. He assumes this means he'll have to live the rest of his life as a woman, so he decides he might as well suck it up and get on with it. However, when he tells the doctor of his decision, the doctor is surprised and says in cases like this, most people just continue living as the gender they were assigned. Kei says he didn't realise that was an option and wants to change his mind, but his mom says he can't, that he made this decision so now he has to stick to it, and besides she already bought a bunch of cute dresses for her new daughter!

As you can see, what might have been an interesting premise goes downhill very quickly. It's clear the author has no desire to portray intersex people realistically, but is just using them as a way of doing a genderswap fantasy without magic.

Kei, now Megumi (the same kanji can be read both ways), starts hormones and has surgery and after six months, re-enrolls in school as a girl and tries to keep it all a secret. Unfortunately, her old friends find out, and they now all have crushes on her and pursue her relentlessly, as does an old rival, who nearly rapes her. There is some interesting stuff in there, which is why I gave it a two, despite the eye-twitchiness of a lot of it. Megumi has a friend, Makoto, the daughter of the doctor who did her surgery, who is supposed to help her be more feminine, but Megumi pretty much fails at that. So I did like that she didn't just switch personalities and become this ladylike girl or anything, though there is a lot of heterocentricism and gender essentialism in this. Megumi is told she'll need to get married eventually, so she needs to start liking guys. At first she says she'd rather be with Makoto, but Megumi is never portrayed as actually liking girls, just chosing Makoto as the safer choice, and she does eventually fall for Makoto's brother.

The author is probably best known for her series Princess Princess, which always makes me think of the band, but is actually about an all-boys school that has a tradition of dressing some of the boys as "princesses". This is loosely connected to Princess Princess, in that apparently the school in that manga is the same one Makoto's brother goes to (idk if he's in that or not).

Kakumei no Hi and its sequel Zoku Kakumei no Hi are available in English as The Day of Revolution, but I really wouldn't recommend it to anyone.


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