Recently, there has been news about Ayakashi Triangle getting delayed due to Aniplex’s mismanagement. I wanted to share my brief impressions of the series. Sure, Aniplex screwed up the production with the indefinite delay and blamed it on Covid19. It’s something I will focus on later on. Besides that, this one of those male-to-female gender-bender shows, Oniichan wa Oshimai being the second a bit more controversial to some reviewers.
At a glance, I liked Ayakashi Triangle a bit more than something like Kampfer and probably about the same with Ore Twintail, but better production quality. The main character, Matsuri, is at least a more competent and skilled exorcist and your typical male Shonen character. However, while Matsuri and Suzu refer to Matsuri as a male, Suzu’s friends, Yayoi and Lucy, refer to Matsuri as a girl, which can get confusing. Therefore, I will refer to Matsuri with neutral pronouns.
Matsuri and Suzu are obviously childhood friends that hang out with Ayakashi. They are like Youkai, but only certain people can see them. Not all Ayakashi are bad. While Matsuri used to be scared of them, they seemed to become comfortable as Suzu seemed friendly with them. However, Matsuri becomes distant from Suzu and against Ayakashi when they receive exorcist training from middle school to take over their grandfather’s duties.
When Matsuri finds out that a cat-like Ayakashi god named Shirogane. He wants to eat Suzu since she is an Ayakashi medium. She holds powers that attract both good and evil Ayakashi. Matsuri came to defend her by sealing Shirogane away. But, of course, Shirogane gives Matsuri a parting gift by putting a gender-switching curse on them.
In the second episode, Matsuri turns into a girl with the usual cliches of checking their body out and having trouble going to the bathroom. Sure, those tropes are cliched, as it’s seen in the gender bender genre, but there is no doubt Matsuri is attractive as a girl. In fact, I do like it a bit more than their male form. Of course, Suzu becomes conflicted.
Despite Matsuri identifying as a male, Suzu feels conflicted about falling in love with them since Matsuri has a female body due to Shirogane’s curse. She even goes so far as to prevent them from exorcising Shirogane, even if this means that Matsuri will remain a girl forever. This is what kind of bothers me about Suzu. If Suzu likes Matsuri, it wouldn’t matter what gender they are. Matsuri will still be Matsuri. I can understand the initial challenges of coping with this reality. Still, I have a feeling the show will miss this opportunity. There is a chance the show can prove us wrong, but I’m not holding my breath.
As for Suzu’s friends, they are enjoyable. Yes, Yayoi develops a liking for Matsuri for apparent reasons. However, Matsuri seems to cause several misunderstandings, primarily due to Yayoi’s behavior towards them. Also, there is Lucy, who takes a lot of pictures, even inappropriate ones of Matsuri.
Also, there is Matsuri’s rival, Soga. While Soga looks up to Matsuri, he becomes attracted to them, given they look like a girl despite thinking of them as male. That can be summed up for Soga, aside from his attempts to exorcise Shirogane. Obviously, Soga becomes disappointed when Matsuri prevents him from exorcising Shirogane because of Suzu.
I think the show’s main problem primarily has to do with censorship. Ayakashi Triangle is a work that has a lot of fanservice, given Yabuki Kentaro’s previous works. Why not censor all the fanservice with weird shots of Shirogane, which is very off-putting. It makes the show unwatchable.
Given the delay, I may as well put the show on the back burner until it finishes airing, eventually and watch it uncensored. Still, at least the pseudo-yuri scene when Suzu kisses female Matsuri in the fourth episode was at least nice. However, it didn’t give the effect that Suzu had hoped. However, it was still a nice moment for someone who is a yuri fan.
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