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volume 3 issue 8

In This Issue

Contents 2
Features 3
Chasing Otakuism 10
Anime Briefs 11
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8 home / august 2002 / feature Turn Page BackwardBack to HomeTurn Page Forward

Animefringe Coverage:
Tenshi na Konamaiki
By J.P. Arevalo

A girl who is actually a boy? A girl that talks and acts like a boy? Sound familiar? Well maybe if you've been reading Shounen Sunday, or watching TV Tokyo this spring. Tenshi na Konamaiki, or A Cheeky Angel as it is also called, details the story of 15-year old Megumi Amatsuka, the most beautiful girl in her new high school. The girls envy her and the guys lust over this "angel." As is the case often enough, this beautiful girl has a secret. She used to be male.

Tenshi na Konamaiki is based on a manga by Hiroyuki Nishimori, which as of this date is up to volume 14 in the tankoubon (graphic novel) format. Tenshi na Konamaiki began its run on TV Tokyo in April and will be hitting DVD in Japan in August. It can be described as a comedy/drama. The transition from manga to anime for this particular title gives the show a very distinct look. You'll notice the characters don't look like your typical anime alumni. The show is made appealing by the unique character interaction, highlighted by a wonderful performance by Megumi Hayashibara as the lead character, who always brings out a top-notch comical and dramatic performance. For those of you who like anime with laugh-out-loud humor, you'll get your fair share with Tenshi na Konamaiki.

It all started 6 years ago, when a young boy named Megumi Amatsuka was playing near the river with his childhood friend, Miki Hanakain. They happened upon a group of other kids pestering an old man dressed like a magician. Being the little ruffian that he was, Megumi beat up the boys and then haggled the old man for something in return for helping him. The suspicious old man denied he was a magician but ended up giving young Megumi a book and then promptly made his exit. After the fight with the boys, Megumi had received some cuts and ended up getting a little blood on the book.

Once the book was opened, a magical little man, "Pierrot," revealed itself to the two friends. This "Pierrot" said he would grant Megumi any wish. Megumi didn't take too long to decide his wish, he wanted to be the manliest man in the world, a true man within a man. The little creature agreed and started a magical incantation, but with sly intentions. Instead of becoming a "man within a man," Megumi became a she. Hotheaded Megumi then threw the book into the nearby river, thereby throwing away any chance of reversing the effect. After the obvious freak-out that would ensue after just having switched sexes, Megumi and Miki headed to Megumi's house, only to find that everyone thinks that Megumi had always been a girl. Even old photos had changed to depict Megumi's current female status. The only two who really knew the truth were Megumi and Miki.

Back to the present - even though Megumi is an exquisite beauty on the outside, she still talks like a guy, using "ore," manly use of the word "I," instead of "Atashi," more feminine use of the same word. She also has a tendency to get into fights with guys. Her first victim is the notorious punk, Genzo Soga. Their first meeting ended with Genzo in a world of hurt, after being caught off guard by Megumi's stunning beauty. Genzo is one of the few supporting characters in the show who falls head over heels for Megumi.

Also falling in this trap are Ichiro Fujiki, coming to high school being known as a "weirdo," who just doesn't fit in and Tasuke Yasuda, a notorious hentai (pervert), who has many strange fetishes. This unlikely crew comes together to form the "Megu-chan Protection Club." Their goal is to protect Megumi, but secretly, each of them tries to discover a way to win favor with their angel. The comedy that ensues is truly unique and refreshing.

Megumi changes the people she is around, and so far, it has been for the better, watching that kind of profound change in the characters is truly inspiring and is one of main draws this great series has to offer. As Megumi seeks a reversal, the people she draws to her also find in themselves a reversal of character. Combine this brand of drama with outrageous physical and mental humor, and you have one of the best shows of the spring season.


TENSHI NA KONAMAIKI - CHARACTER DOSSIER
Megumi Amatsuka

The main character. The boy who became a girl. When Megumi was a boy, he was very hot-headed and rash. Unfortunately, this characteristic has stayed with him/her and is the basis for most of the physical humor in the show. Though confused as to who he/she really is, Megumi has a strong sense of justice and still has a desire to return to being a man. She admires the strength and character that men possess. Even though her beauty makes her very popular, because of her secret, the only one she can really confide in his her childhood friend, Miki, who knows the true story behind Megumi's angelic beauty.
Miki Hanakain

The main character's childhood friend. A very pretty young girl who has been there for Megumi through it all, including the spell that turned Megumi into a girl. She is always covering for Megumi's tomboyish behavior and only wants Megumi to be happy, whether that be as a girl or as a guy.
Genzo Soga

The stereotypical punk. An excellent fighter, Genzo has been in countless fights and is feared by all who cross his path. All this changes when he encounters Megumi. Instead of randomly causing trouble, for the first time Genzo has a goal and purpose, the heart of his beloved angel. The only problem being, Megumi will have nothing to do with him. Genzo is constantly and comically, abused by Megumi but always comes back for more and never gives up his quest for his ideal girl.
Ichiro Fujiki

The all-around, basic kind of guy. Thought of as weird at his previous school, Fujiki aims to mold a new reputation for himself as he begins his new life at high school. His plans are intensified when he meets Megumi, and instantly aspires to be with her. Fujiki doesn't come off as annoying and persistent as Genzo, instead he waits for the right opportunities to look cool in front of Megumi.
Tasuke Yasuda

The perverted nerd. Known at his old school as a notorious pervert, Yasuda also aims to renew himself in high school. Unfortunately for him, the angel is at his school, and his perverted ways only intensify. Yasuda tries to get close to Megumi through sly means, researching her and then sending twisted conclusions to her in the form of a love letter. Megumi is, needless to say, creeped out by his behavior. Yasuda and Fujiki hang around a lot and see Genzo as a common enemy in the hunt for Megumi's affections.

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