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Final Girl

My Review:

Classic slasher flicks have become a cultural touchstone in horror cinema that has spawned a number of tropes that define the genre: final girls, deadly shower scenes, and the slut characters dying first. Though slasher stories can at times be ludicrous they continue to engage audiences after decades of films. The genre has become the perfect vehicle for comedy and satire, and Final Girl is a silly little one-shot that tackles these tropes.

The story follows a young man that finds himself transported into the plot of a slasher flick that is reminiscent Friday the 13th. He wakes up in the body of Summer, the “slut” character, doomed to die first in the group. “Summer” is familiar with these tropes that are thrown at him at every turn as he scrambles to survive. Despite the constant danger that the main character finds himself in, the other characters barely acknowledge Summer and are unconcerned about her safety.

As a satire, it’s a silly little short comic that can maybe be appreciated by fans of classic horror slasher flicks. It’s a simple and absurd story that is good for a few chuckles and actually features some decent art. I don’t feel that it’s very memorable or anything great, the characters aren’t all that important but it was an amusing short read.

“Final girl!? In a horror movie, that’s the term for the female character who survives until the end!”

Trigger Warning: Nudity, Violence

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Also by this author: Inside Mari, Sweet Poolside, Welcome Back Alice
Warnings: Violence, Bullying, Homophobia

My Thoughts

This little one-shot had so much to say in just one chapter, the story felt like a hard slap. I didn’t expect to have my heart crushed in such a short number of pages. Things start in the same way that many transgender stories in fiction do, a girl meets a cute boy and helps him find himself. The two become close over their shared secret, she comes to his defense when he is bullied. It’s a step away from the fetishized M/M fiction written by cis women.

“I’ll just have to make you look even cuter.”

Transgender youths are targets of increased physical, sexual, and verbal abuse by family and peers, a sad reality that should never be ignored. Kashiwabara is bullied at school, he likes dressing as a girl and he admires his neighbor Onaga, who also takes an interest in him. While I struggled with one particularly violent scene near the end, the cold reality that “this isn’t abnormal” washed over me and it was a bitter truth to swallow.

The stigma of being a transgender woman and the lack of safety is keenly felt. What appears like a heartwarming ending left me feeling chilled, abusers are abusers no matter what mask they wear. I really admire how Shuzo Oshimi highlights the ugly side of youth with his stories. His stories are filled with imperfect people living difficult, imperfect lives, but there is something haunting and beautiful about his work.