Story/Art: Go Ikeyamada
Translation/Adaptation: Tomo Kimura
What They Say
The comedy starts when the cross-dressing begins! The Kobayashi twins, Mego and Mitsuru, were named after historical figures, but only Mego has grown up with a taste for history. So when Mitsuru is in danger of losing his weekends to extra history classes, he convinces his sister to swap clothes with him and ace his tests! After all, how hard can it be for them to play each other?
But Mego can’t rely on just her book smarts in Mitsuru’s all-boys, delinquents’ paradise of a high school. And Mitsuru finds life as a high school girl to be much more complicated than he expected!
The cover here is a nice enough image of Mitsuru (or perhaps Mego) and Aoi that does a solid job of showing off the art style. The back cover adds in the usual synopsis, as well as a rather nice image showing off pretty much the full cast. Some notes from the author, a short bonus comic, and even a helpful little glossary of terms are included as extras. Text reads smoothly, sound effects are translated as stylized text, paper quality feels solid, and honorifics are not used.
The art here is fairly generic, and perhaps just a tad on the weak side. Everything is decently detailed, but expressions feel a little stiffer than they should be. It does the job and shouldn’t offend, but the art definitely isn’t likely to really sell anyone on the book either. On the plus side, the bits of action that do appear actually have a nice punch to them, despite this being more of a romance focused book. The one other point of note that definitely deserves praise is the sign language, which is presented well, and you can certainly tell the author paid attention in putting it in, which is very much appreciated. It’s not a stunning book visually, but it’s plenty serviceable and likely won’t turn most people away.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The children of the Kobayashi family are two twins, a boy named Mitsuru and a girl named Megumu. Megumu took after her parents and grew up as quite a big geek when it comes to Japanese history (and also a bit of a gamer). Meanwhile, Mitsuru grew up to be a rather manly tough guy. Megumi (who is usually called Mego) has a run in with a mysterious guy, but before she can get excited about that, Mitsuru comes to her to kick off a rather contrived plot device. He flunked his history test, and thus he asks his sister to trade places with him for the makeup classes and quizzes. The next morning he forces the matter by leaving dressed as her, and Mego… just kind of goes with it, which is weird, but keeps the plot moving along.
While Mitsumi has a nice time at Mego’s school, Mego finds herself thrown into a world of macho antagonism that she doesn’t deserve. Furthermore, Mitsumi sets his eyes on Azusa Tokugawa, a star model and the daughter of the school’s chairman. However, he soon sees that she’s a terrible bully, and steps in to rescue a poor bullied girl, Shino Takenaka. Meanwhile, Mego has a fateful run-in with the boy from before, a tough guy with an eye-patch named Aoi Sanada.
As the volume progresses, the twins grow closer to the two who made their hearts flutter. Mitsumi discovers that Shino is deaf and actually even starts to learn sign language. Meanwhile, Mego learns that Aoi is the toughest guy in the school, though she actually starts to get to know him bit by bit as well. Will the two be able to convey their true feelings to their loves, even with the (somewhat superfluous) switch?
Though this book starts off more than a little flat, it actually evolves in surprising ways into something that represents the title. The “switch” with the twins is incredibly contrived and not used especially well. However, it’s actually fortunately not really the core of the book, and more of a means to an end. Instead, we get a rather charming story centered around two parallel tales of love. Mitsuru’s story in particular evolves in a way that is simply cute, and is actually an interesting type of love story that feels surprisingly unique. It’s not a jaw dropping book, but it’s one far better than the first impression it gives off, and absolutely worth a try for anyone looking for something a little different from the average romance manga.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A-
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: June 2nd, 2015