Gender bender manga generally comes in three flavors: Horny as fuck, unintentionally queer, and intentionally queer. There is some overlap and a variable degree of horniness, but most people who pick up a comic book about someone either choosing/being forced to present as another gender, or waking to find their genitals have been rearranged can be reasonably certain what they’re going to get.
And this was no exception. I at first took it for the “horny as fuck” variety and was especially put off by the combination of Mahiro’s eroge addition and childlike appearance.
I was ready to drop it after two chapters, in which case this review would be 10% grumbling about having wasted my time and money on something I already knew was going to be gross, and 90% a follow-up review to my first impressions of Uramichi-oniisan. However, I finished the volume after Fen assured me it’s Cute, Actually, and found that it is, indeed, Cute, Actually, but there’s not much else going for it. Inside Mari this is not.
It falls into the “Unintentionally Queer” category, with a protagonist who is just slightly too willing to roll with the new look for them to believably claim to ever have been cis.
I went into it expecting much, much worse, and was pleasantly surprised that it was mostly okay, but I wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone who doesn’t, say, have a review site in need of weekly content. If you’re looking for a gender bender story starring an adorable egg, you’d be better served by How to Make A “Girl” Fall in Love since that one also features an adorable romance and actually challenges some of the gender essentialism the subgenre can tend to slip into. If you want one with a magical bent, Fen recommends Magical Trans! which I have read one chapter of as of this writing, but seems fun and actually has the word “trans” in the title.
i cut out a bit addressing the debate over whether or not gender bender stories are inherently transphobic. support us on patreon and i’ll include it in a discussion of something that deserves it