Non-Cis Character Database: Hibari Oozora (Stop! Hibari-kun)

It can be hard to assess whether or not media of a certain vintage is “good rep,” since the context it was created in is so different than that in which it’s being assessed. Nevertheless, I have a job to do here, and so: Hibari Oozora. Stop! Hibari-kun is a gag/ecchi manga from 1981-1983 about … Continue reading Non-Cis Character Database: Hibari Oozora (Stop! Hibari-kun)

Non-Cis Character Database: Orochimaru (Naruto, Boruto)

It’s always a bit difficult to admit that a character one loves is bad representation. That said, sometimes it’s also completely fucking undeniable; and so, it is with a heavy heart that I must admit Orochimaru from Naruto and Boruto is a fairly terrible depiction of a nonbinary person. Which seems rather immediately apparent once … Continue reading Non-Cis Character Database: Orochimaru (Naruto, Boruto)

Non-Cis Character Database: Dororo

Usually, if I'm writing about a manga that got adapted into an anime, or media that otherwise has several different iterations, I focus on whichever one I'm personally most familiar with -- usually manga, because I can read much more quickly than I can watch. This is perfectly fine when adaptations hew closely to the … Continue reading Non-Cis Character Database: Dororo

Non-Cis Character Database: Momoe Sawaki (Wonder Egg Priority)

Wonder Egg Priority is one of the most audacious anime I've seen in a long while. The very premise is ripe for controversy -- four girls fight symbolic dream monsters to defend the souls of girls who were driven to suicide, hoping through this process to earn the liberation of their friends who took their … Continue reading Non-Cis Character Database: Momoe Sawaki (Wonder Egg Priority)

Non-Cis Character Database: Luca Esposito (Astra: Lost in Space)

I want to start this project off on a positive note, so -- Luca Esposito from Astra: Lost in Space is one of the best depictions of queerness I've ever seen in Japanese pop media, if not the best. He is excellent representation, and also he is my son, and I love him. Astra is … Continue reading Non-Cis Character Database: Luca Esposito (Astra: Lost in Space)

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New Project: Non-Cis Character Database

There are, unfortunately, not very many trans, intersex, nonbinary, or otherwise non-cis characters in anime. However, this is not the same as there being none. In light of this, I'm announcing a new project: The Non-Cis Character Database, because "The Database of Non-Cis Characters Appearing in Japanese Pop Media -- A Study in Representation" is … Continue reading New Project: Non-Cis Character Database

The Complicated Role of Race in Boys’ Love Stories

(Note: This piece was originally published on the VRV Blog. However, as it appears the blog is now down, I'm cross-posting it here.) It’s generally agreed that the origins of the BL (boy’s love) subgenre of manga can be traced back to the influential Year 24 Group, a loosely classified group of female shoujo mangaka … Continue reading The Complicated Role of Race in Boys’ Love Stories

Shin Devilman, More Like SHIT Devilman

Let me be honest: I am not fond of Shin Devilman. For those blissfully unaware, Shin is a one-volume spinoff of the original manga drawn by Go Nagai and written by his novelist brother Yasutaka, serialized from 1979-1981, in which Akira and Ryo travel through time and confront demons in various historical contexts. Unfortunately, it's … Continue reading Shin Devilman, More Like SHIT Devilman