My Thoughts on “Kanojo ni Naru Hi” Chapters 9 and 10
Where do I start on this? Ugh… this is going to be rambly. I suppose I should start at the main question I had about whether Mamiya was in love with Miyoshi before emergence? I’m not sure what to make of the answer. Yes, Mamiya loved Miyoshi, but it sounds like he “couldn’t get it up for Miyoshi” (and even if Mamiya did “get it up”, would Miyoshi be sexually attracted to Mamiya as a male.) Emergence seemed to solve all of these issues. Mamiya got to love Miyoshi and be loved by Miyoshi as he always wanted to, and Miyoshi got to deal with his gynophobia with his best friend. It all seems very convenient.
With regard to the question of biology vs. the heart, it looks like Ogura settles on romantic love being a combination of sexual attraction, which is biological, and deep affection, which is a matter of the heart. I tend to agree with this. I won’t quibble about loving my female best friends, but I’m not sexually attracted to them. I have life-long friends who are inseparable from family in my mind. So I get this. In terms of Mamiya wanting to be sexually attracted to Miyoshi, that’s still a mystery. Why wasn’t being friends enough for Mamiya? It seems to me before emergence, Mamiya couldn’t go further than sexual attraction and broke off relationships before any emotional attachment could be formed to any girls. Perhaps Miyoshi is the only person that Mamiya is emotionally attached to.
My other nagging question is whether Mamiya’s feelings for Miyoshi instigated late emergence. The timing is basically nearing the edge of human maturity, like it was Mamiya’s last chance. If this is the case, then it also raises the same question about Sagara’s late emergence. (We don’t have any insight into Sagara and Narumi’s first meeting. We know about Sagara and Kurokawa’s past though.) And what about Kurokawa? She seemed contented up until now to replace her sister. Did her strong feelings from the lost of her sister instigate her emergence? What about children and infants? Are feelings involved or can emergence happen randomly or be instigated by something else?
Moving onto Mamiya’s mom. I don’t understand the whole thing with Mamiya’s mom abandoning him entirely for some other guy. Are families split that clearly as a result of divorce in Japan? Regardless, I’m glad Mamiya had a mother figure to guide her after emergence. I feel like that parenting aspect is missing from Sagara’s life in “Another”.
I’m not sure what to think of Mamiya’s father. I’m sure that has to be a mind fuck for him for his boy to turn into a woman who looks very much like his beloved ex-wife. I feel like he and Mamiya need to have a talk so they can start moving past the awkwardness. At some point Mamiya is going to need her father to affirm that she is not like her mother despite her appearance. I do wonder if Mamiya is going to be reunited with her mother at some point in the story. Do I want to read that? I don’t know. After she abandoned Mamiya, I’m done with her in my mind, but I’m thinking from the perspective of an American, where it’s not acceptable for a mother to abandon her children, even after divorce.
The baseball challenge was amusing. Poor Miyoshi thinks it’s about Mamiya not wanting to be his wife and girlfriend, when actually Mamiya doesn’t ever want to lose to Miyoshi and Mamiya must always have control of the situation. She asks Miyoshi to live together and she overwrites Miyoshi’s marriage proposal with her own. I laughed hard when Mamiya started pitching for real after Miyoshi was thinking bullshit to himself about him suddenly be better at baseball than Mamiya by virtue of his penis. Wrong.
There are many scenes I like from the two chapters, so bear with this giant collage.
I recently started to read this series, and the last two chapters confused me a lot with the time line, maybe i need to re-read some previous chapters.
What is confusing you?
About the Mother and the split. Well she was having an affair and it did not look like she worked? Can’t win a court battle with that one. There’s also the possibility her new man did not want anything to do with the child.
The choice was clear, accept sexless japanese marriage and raise her child or get new hot dickings.
Is abandoning your child okay in any culture? I’m Korean and I’ve always been taught to put your family first, no matter what because your family is one of the strongest bonds you can ever have. Also, Since Mamiya was heterosexual, it makes sense that even though he loved Miyoshi, he just could be attracted to him in that way and I guess his heterosexuality carried over to his new female body. This makes sense if sexuality is genetic (which I believe it is).
Motherhood seems to be pretty sacrosanct in Japan (just like at how harshly the Japanese public judges “bad mothers”, regardless of their situation) so I doubt that Japanese readers are in the least bit okay with what Mamiya’s mother did.
I agree that as a guy, Mamiya didn’t appear to even think of wanting to love Miyoshi romantically. And why would he indeed? So I don’t think that his emergence had anything to do with feelings for Miyoshi. If his emergence was a result of some kind of psychological mechanism, it might have more to do with his inability to love anyone romantically: as a heterosexual male, he just couldn’t fall in love with guys, and as a result of his mother’s betrayal, he couldn’t trust girls enough to let himself love one. Emergence might have been his only shot at love. (Although I do wonder what would have happened if Miyoshi had been the one to emerge. Would a male Mamiya have been able to find love then?)
It’s interesting that so far, all the emerged girls we’ve met come from families that have been broken in some way and that they all have a missing female figure in their life.
The prize for best unnamed character in this series definitely goes to that girl who got her hot date to help with rice planting. She is amazing and it saddens me to think that we’ll probably never see or hear of her again.
Thank you for all the Kanojo Ni Naru Hi releases these past few weeks!
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The nameless girl was Koizumi. I forgot to put her name in English on her shirt. Ooops.
You like blushing Mamiya, don’t you? xD And young Miyoshi was so cute.
I agree that the situation with Mamiya emerging was very convenient. As another commenter wrote, what if Miyoshi had been the one to emerge? Would his gynophobia have carried over? Ugh, why was Miyoshi so cool in Chapter 10?
I can’t remember if we’ve met any guys who were originally female. Is emergence a one-way phenomenon? I don’t think it’s triggered by a significant life event. Emergence SEEMS random, and yet…it’s some coincidence it happened to children in dysfunctional families.
I’m also glad the stepmother’s nice and knew how to deal with a sullen teenage Mamiya. Being around girls (other than her father, obviously) must have helped Mamiya adjust to her new gender.
As for biology vs. heart, it’s both. Just like nature vs. nurture, I don’t believe there’s ever a single cause. Romantic love is ideal, but you can’t deny the physical attraction.
Haha, I like Koizumi too.
“I don’t understand the whole thing with Mamiya’s mom abandoning him entirely for some other guy. Are families split that clearly as a result of divorce in Japan?”
I wonder about things like that too sometimes. I’ll be reading manga or watching anime and a situation comes up that has me scratching my head, wondering if it’s some japanese cultural thing I’m not aware of.