Futaba-Kun Change: A Whole New You
Hiroshi Aro
Love Comedy

Futaba-Kun Change is the story of Futaba Shimeru, a young man who discovers his family's secret in an unfortunate manner: when he becomes aroused, he changes his gender. The heart of the story is the main character's conflict. He's in love with Misaki, who likewise has a crush on him, but due to his curse finds himself unable to be with her except in female form. After his initial change, he runs into his own wrestling team, who begin a pursuit of the "new" girl in hopes of starting a female wrestling team with her as the star.

Illustration-wise, the series is loosely done. Many of the characters are drawn with enough personality to differentiate them from everyone else. It's obvious that the focus of the art is on Futaba's (and most any other) topless female form as he/she is forced to run and hide his secret. The pace of the story and art is such that you can read through it fairly quickly. You won't get bogged down with internal monologue, but with this campy ride, there really is no need for it.

I'll be honest: There are some parts that are laugh-out loud funny. A number of the characters, while shallow, do serve their purpose as comedy relief in their manners and their outrageous actions. Among them is the Principal (who looks like Pac-Man with an overdeveloped superhero complex), Chima (the wrestler who spouts blood like a fountain when he sees a naked woman), and Mr. Sabuyama (Futaba's homosexual homeroom teacher who has a secret crush on him). The side characters are truly the strength of the story, adding comedic flavor to this odd story.

I find that the biggest hurdle this title has is that the casual audience that would most enjoy it are too young to legally purchase it. Futaba-Kun Change is a farcical romp that it packed with sexual innuendo. Often compared to Ranma 1/2 due to the similar concept, this series does manage to work the lighthearted silliness well. Casual manga readers will most likely skip this, but true fans of the Love Comedy genre will want to give it a read.

For more information on how purchase this title, head over to Studio Ironcat's website.

- - Kinderfeld

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