Ayakashi Triangle: Why You Should Give a Try to This Gender-bender Manga?

Ayakashi Triangle is one of those programs with a storyline that can take you by surprise.

Even though it evoked the emotions of a famous ecchi romance humor manga from the Otaku world, the primary protagonist, Matsuri Kazamaki, transformed into a girl at the conclusion of the first chapter, flipping the entire central connection with both him and his leading lady, Suzu Kanade, on its own.

Kentaro Yabuki wrote and illustrated Ayakashi Triangle, a Japanese fantasy, rom-com manga series. From June 2020 to April 2022, it was serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine, and ever since April 2022, it has been relocated to the Shōnen Jump+ site, with single chapters compiled and published by Shueisha as nine tankōbon volumes.

Viz Media has licensed the manga for English distribution in North America, and Shueisha is simultaneously publishing the manga in English and Spanish also on the Manga Plus website and app for free.

An anime tv series adaptation was announced on December 18, 2021, at Jump Festa 2022. It is scheduled to debut in 2023. So, before watching the anime, here are the reasons why you should read this unique manga.

A Storyline That Questions a Big Taboo!

Ayakashi Triangle

In the past, Kentaro Yabuki has expressed no interest in Yuri or Yaoi stories, with both Black Cat as well as To Love-ru being quite as blatantly straight as you can get.

To Love-ru, in specific, is a harem manga with a male lead through whom the entire female cast of the series is seen, even if Yabuki hadn’t written it and the lead character, Rito, occasionally transformed into a girl for comedy purposes, nothing has ever predicted that Ayakashi Triangle will indeed turn out the way it did.

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Suzu Kanade and Matsuri Kazamaki were childhood friends who both had the capacity to see ayakashi. Suzu is an Ayakashi Medium whose ability attracts several ayakashi to her. Matsuri is a descendent of a dynasty of exorcist ninja that keeps people safe from wicked ayakashi.

Ayakashi Triangle

Nevertheless, Matsuri realizes that as Suzu’s power grows, ayakashi will try to devour her in order to gain more energy, so he chooses to defend her by exorcising the wicked ayakashi who approaches her. Suzu is ambushed by Shirogane, the King of Ayakashi, on the day before they were to enter high school, but is saved by Matsuri.

Matsuri, unable to defeat him, locks most of his abilities within a scroll, however before he can do so, Shirogane casts a curse on Matsuri, transforming him into a girl, in the hopes of sabotaging any future romance between him and Suzu. Shirogane plots to reclaim his power and consume Suzu as Suzu assists Matsuri in readjusting to his new existence as a girl.

Because the major characters are either girls or are compelled to be, the storyline suggests that Yabuki’s fanservice for this series includes a lot of Yuri content. In this way, Ayakashi Triangle poses a major question, does that really matter what gender somebody on the outside is when we like how they are on the inside? This is a highly strong question that breaches the Sex Taboo and incorporates a story that breaks down gender barriers.

The Ayakashi Background!

Ayakashi Triangle

The Ayakashi Triangle is known for centering on legendary creatures from Japanese folklore as well as mythology, with the ayakashi serving as the series’ central role. Ayakashi are yōkai that emerge above the surface of the water in myths, but in the manga, ayakashi is a collective term for the various spirits which exist in the world, with subtypes like the tsukumogami, a sort of ayakashi that takes over lifeless items.

The Japanese culture is a secondary focus throughout Ayakashi Triangle. One example is how a few manga illustrations pay homage to traditional Japanese art. Matsuri is also regularly seen wearing a fundoshi, a traditional Japanese undergarment for adult men, in both his male and female forms.

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The story began to cover supernatural entities from different cultures in the 36th chapter, with Rochka becoming the first non-Japanese being to appear in Ayakashi Triangle. Rochka, the name is an adaptation for Snegurochka, is the symbol of winters and also the granddaughter of Ded Moroz in Russian fairy tales.

She is thought to be the Russian version of Yuki-onna, yōkai who emerge as beauties full of ice, snowy, or mountainous places, and is characterized as a “magical Russian loli.” These whole cultural references also make the series more beautiful, in both art and storyline. So, the people who are into the Supernatural genre will find this manga very interesting.

Beautiful Character Development!

Ayakashi Triangle

The main theme of the manga is sexual preference, and how a person’s emotional connection to another is irrelevant to their sex or gender.

All of that is primarily answered in the connections between Matsuri and Suzu in Ayakashi Triangle, their behavior in the manga emphasizes that of someone who is unsure of their sexual interests, as Suzu continuously questions whether this is appropriate for her to continue pursuing a relationship with Matsuri, irrespective about whether or not they are of the very same sex, in several sections of the series.

Matsuri’s situation in Ayakashi Triangle could also be interpreted as a metaphor for the queer experience, as he is pushed to analyze his romantic feelings for the same sex as a result of his physical change, a situation similar to that of an individual who instantly realizes they have feelings for someone with the same gender. The above subject corresponds to Yabuki’s announcement in July 2020 that he intends to include multiple “relationship triangles” in the series that aren’t simply about romance.

It’s Worth a Shot!

Ayakashi Triangle

There’s really true heart herein, buried in the blooming romance among both Suzu and Matsuri, through some amazing art, hidden below an ecchi shell and occasionally hilarious setups for cheap otaku culture.

Although they have been commonly perceived to apprehend female characters, gender bender storylines, in general, tend to defy our perceptions of sexuality and gender-based normality. However, when evaluated via a clear lens, these can demonstrate that our sexual orientations are neither gender-specific nor innate to us as humans. Society instills these roles in us, and we play them to some extent.