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Title: Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo: Kenmochi Keibu no Satsujin
Author: Satou Fumiya & Amagi Seimaru
My Rating: 5/5

Three years after the torture, rape, and murder of a high school girl, her attackers are free. But now someone is killing them and Inspector Kenmochi is the prime suspect.. As the evidence mounts against him, will Kindaichi and Akechi be able to clear his name in time? (Answer: Yes. Duh.)

Well, I haven't met a Kindaichi case I didn't at least like if not love, so unsurprisingly, I really liked this one. Even though I guessed the real murderer before Kindaichi did for once (though I was still surprised by his motive and the obligatory sob story (Kindaichi murders are always tragic revenge stories and no matter how brutal the murders, no one is really a coldhearted killer (except perhaps the people who got killed))).

Title: Ai no Shintairiku
Author: Yamada Nari
My Rating: 4.5/5

When Nikotama Souhei transfers to a new school, it's the perfect opportunity to start living as Sara, the girl she's always known she was. Although the school allows her to wear a girls' uniform, she's still down as Souhei on their records, so she's outed the moment she introduces herself to her new class as Sara. Though she faces harrassment from classmates and opposition from her parents and teachers, she soldiers on, determined to be herself, and eventually she makes friends and even gets the guy.

The events are very typical school shoujo. There's a Mean Girl who bullies Sara, and a timid girl who becomes Sara's first friend. There's a wacky teacher and a day at the beach and love at first sight (with a boy on the train who of course turns out to be in her class). It's actually really pretty generic other than the fact that the heroine is trans.

But...I still love it. Because the heroine is trans. It's not unproblematic (I could have lived without the joke of Sara's last name, which sounds like "two balls", or the ugly, jealous feminists who protest a swimsuit contest as being sexist), but I liked Sara a lot. It's no Hourou Musuko, but I love that it exists.

Scanlations are available and the translation is not too bad, but the translator made the horrible decision to have Sara and another girl refer to themselves in third person. This sounds totally natural in Japanese. It's cutesy and childish/girlish, but not uncommon. In English it just sounds bizarre, especially since English uses subjects way more often than Japanese does, and when forced to add the subject in English when it wasn't there in Japanese, the translator just used regular first-person pronouns, so it sounds like sometimes Sara is speaking of herself as a separate person. Just doesn't work at all.

Also warning: DO NOT READ COMMENTS ON THAT SITE. There's one topic all about how much the manga sucks and how it's stupid for having a boy dressed as a girl (three pages of people agreeing with this). Then there's more topics about how this story is actually yaoi, and people saying they liked the part where Sara was a boy best and wished it had stayed that way (especially disgusting considering how blatantly unhappy she was then and she was only dressing as boy to try and please her mom). And then there's the people who use quotes when calling Sara by female pronouns (is that better than the many other commenters who just used male pronouns?). Ugh.


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