For fans of fantasy fiction, I’ve got guest post up on Have You Nerd? about Podcastle:
Wandering Son: What You Can’t See
Part 4 here. Throughout this series, we’ve mentioned the difference between positive reactions to temporary, Carnival-esque cross-dressing and the transphobic and especially transmisogynistic negative reactions experienced by people who cross-dress more permanently or who are transgender. One of the best illustrations of this is Shimura Takako’s Wandering Son (Hôrô Musuko,「 放浪息子」), a manga and anime that feature several characters who are perceived to be cross-dressing by their community, when in fact several of them are dressing toward their gender identity (not cross-dressing). The show also features instances of socially acceptable cross-dressing (theatre) as a contrast to the transmisogyny experienced by an adult transwoman and a child designated male at birth (DMAB) on the cusp of puberty.
In this section, we’ll be discussing a manga and anime in which trans characters dressing toward their gender identity are perceived as cross-dressing, and will be using the terms “girls’ clothes” and “boys’ clothes” a lot. Please keep in mind that we mean this in the sense of culturally gendered clothing and school uniforms in a narrative about minors who are not out and who have to deal with transphobia in their schools and homes. An article of clothing itself, as comedian Eddie Izzard comments, is not inherently gendered, though the intent for it to be worn by (certain) cisgendered bodies is present.
Content warning: this section contains discussions of transphobia, transmisogyny, and sexism. There are also major spoilers for the anime and manga.
To briefly introduce the characters, Nitori Shûichi1 is a preteen who was designated male at birth and identifies as a girl. Her friend Takatsuki Yoshino is DFAB and identifies as a boy during elementary and junior high school.2 The manga follows Nitori and Takatsuki as they graduate elementary school, begin junior high school, and eventually enter high school; the anime focuses only on them in junior high school.
Although LINE Japan has had a set of BeruBara stickers (スタンプ ["stamp"] in Japanese) for a year now, LINE has released a global set with brand new stamps.
The stamps are $1.99 in the US store and are listed as “La Rose de Versailles.” The global set includes a lot more stickers than the original Japanese set. However, the Japanese set has a few that aren’t in the global set, including the 挟撃！one of Oscar riding into battle, which I use a lot. According to the press release, there will be other stamps for the app “Kakao Talk” (カカオトーク).
There’s a lot less text than in the Japanese version. I think my new favorite is Oscar holding up the “NO” scroll.
With the upcoming release of the new BeruBara manga and last year’s release of the English-subtitled anime, more press is being drummed up. Now, when is the manga finally going to get a full translation into English? (And can I be hired to help?)
I ended up skipping the May reader since I was busy with the edits for the cross-dressing in anime and manga series. However, the gender issue rightfully on everyone’s mind in May was Elliot Rodger and #YesAllWomen. I don’t have much to contribute that conversation other than a link to a list of well written articles below, but I do have some more articles to share about gender in Japan.
In this gender reader: the history of beauty in Japan and China, gendered pronouns in Japanese and English, a survey of LGBT students in Japan, a collection of essential articles about Isla Vista, and more.
Posted in Gender, Language, Translation, Visual Culture | Tagged いのちリスペクト, ホワイトリボン・キャンペーン, beauty, China, 生理休暇, Elliot Rodger, gendered pronouns, history of beauty, hurricanes, Isla Vista, ＬＧＢＴの学校生活に関する実態調査(2013) 結果報告書, japan, Lean In, LGBT students, linguistics, menstrual leave, misogyny, patriarchy, satire, sexism, singular they, YesAllWomen | Leave a Comment »
Part Three: Humor(?)
In Part 3 of this series, Kathryn and I will be examining cross-dressing in comedies and comedic tropes about cross-dressing. Can cross-dressing be treated as more than the butt of a joke? Yes!
Part 2 here. All images safe for work. Mild spoilers for the works discussed; some larger spoilers for Ouran.
Posted in Anime, Conventions, Gender, Manga, Uncategorized | Tagged AMV, androgyny, anime, anime music videos, bisexuality, bishōnen, Black Butler, Ciel Phantomhive, creepy crossdressers, cross-dressing, Dick Saucer, Dude Looks Like A Lady, fan disservice, femininities, Fujioka Haruhi, Fujioka Ryōji, Gender, gender fluidity, gender norms, gender performance, gender play, gender rebels, gender roles, gender sloths, Gourry Gabriev, Ikari Shinji, manga, masculinities, Ouran High School Host Club, passing, Ranka, Sword Art Online, transvestism | 6 Comments »
Part Two: The Theatre
In this section, my co-author and I explore cross-dressing in the theatre, specifically all-male kabuki and all-female Takarazuka Revue, how these productions queer our views of the gender binary, and how the main character of The Rose of Versailles disrupts tropes about women cross-dressing as men. Part 1 here.
Posted in Anime, BeruBara (The Rose of Versailles), Conventions, Gender, Manga | Tagged Gender, The Rose of Versailles, otokoyaku, anime, manga, Ikeda Riyoko, BeruBara, samurai, masculinities, gender performance, cross-dressing, gender roles, gender play, femininities, gender fluidity, Japanese society, Japanese literature, Japanese theater, The Tale of the Heike, catamites, kabuki, onnagata, seigeki, cultural relativism, Takarazuka Revue, musumeyaku, androgyny, chūseibi, Dream Girls, Oscar Francois de Jarjeyes, Tenjō Utena | 6 Comments »