Review: Cheeky Angel

Review: Cheeky AngelCheeky Angel by Hiroyuki Nishimori
Published by VIZ Media on January 8, 2008
Genres: Humor, Paranormal, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Scanlation

Megumi, a nine-year-old martial arts enthusiast and all around rapscallion always wanted to be, "the manliest man on earth." After saving a sorcerer from a group of local toughs, Megumi is presented with a magic genie which can grant any wish. Unfortunately, this genie is slightly hard of hearing, and misconstrues Megumi's original desire as wanting to become the, "womanliest woman on earth," and in a flash, Megumi's Y chromosome is swapped for an X. Six years later...Megumi is the hottest girl in school, but has stayed true to his/her tough talkin', punk stompin' ways. If that's not enough, Genzou, the baddest dude in town has been smitten by Megumi's womanly wiles.

Hijinks! So many hijinks. I love gender benders. They’re so humorous, because the characters do such absurd things. They also tend to be more friendly to all kinds of sexuality.

At the beginning, I really liked this. Meg so desperately wants to be a boy again, but she’s a gorgeous girl, and ends up getting this group of guys that follow her around and want to date her. Her friend, Miki, tries to talk her into accepting one of the boys and life as a girl. The first volumes are about Meg’s attempts to become a boy again, by finding the magic book that changed her. Later, I felt like the story sort of lost its direction, focusing instead on the evil plan of a guy who wanted to make them suffer; this part has many battles and was generally much less interesting than the rest.

Of course, the boys know that she used to be a guy and wants to be one again, and not just a man, but the manliest man. Even so, they commit themselves to help her find her way back to boyhood. They are somewhat torn, but, ultimately, they really just want to make her happy any way they can. The only reason I like Genzo as a character is that I feel he would still like her, even if she did change back to a man.

Meg is fantastic, because she is so powerful. She may be slender and light, but she makes up for it with speed and skill. There are few people in this violent story that can defeat Meg. Of course, the story is completely over the top. People take damage and keep fighting, when no ordinary person could withstand it. Meg can jump down like four stories and land like a cat. Not buying it.

Basically, this was a fun, silly, action-filled manga that confronts the issues of gender and strength.

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