Japan is cranking out gender-bender manga more than ever these days, but it isn’t just a recent development. Back in 1991, there was a long-running series called “Twinkle Twinkle Idol Star.”

The story is relatively simple. Two life-long friends, one boy and one girl live next door to each other. The boy, Ayumi, has been fiercely loyal to his neighbor Marimo. So much so, that when Marimo has a chance to try out for a televised talent contest searching for the next idol singer, Ayumi steps in at the last second to temporarily fill in for Marimo’s partner. Her female partner.

So the girl duo “Twinkle” is born. Not only do they win the contest but they seem to be fast-tracked for stardom. Now Ayumi can’t quit Twinkle without destroying his best friend’s career and hope for stardom. So he finds himself living two lives: as an ordinary average boy and as a famous idol girl.

Written and drawn by Hikaru Tohyama, the manga originally ran weekly in Shōnen Sunday in Japan from 1991 to 1993, eventually filling 10 books’ worth of stories.

The books are long out of print and very hard to find in decent quality. You can still purchase the comic through a Japanese on-demand publisher Comicpark, but unless you can read Japanese that may be a futile pursuit.

Much to the delight of those who knew about Twinkle Twinkle Idol Star, albedo, owner of the blog Perfect Reflections was able to come up with some raw scans and has translated a few chapters, letting english readers read it for the very first time.

I’ve taken albedo’s first two chapters and done my thing with them, changing them to a left-to-right orientation and editing the sound effects into English. I also colorized the opening pages and did my own take on the writing. So here’s the opening two chapters.

Cover scans from AnimeXDress (RIP)

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