Prefiguring the Otokonoko Genre
A Comparative Trans Analysis of Stop!! Hibari-Kun! and No Bra
Keywords:Otokonoko, No Bra, Stop!! Hibari-Kun!, queer, trans
This article examines two manga, Stop!! Hibari-Kun! and No Bra, which prefigure the increasingly popular anime and manga genre of "Otokonoko" from a queer studies perspective. Otokonoko is a term which translate to “boy-girl”, “boy-daughter”, or “boy-princess” and is often translated into English as “cross-dresser”. The genre emerged in the early 2000s and has since become a popular point of reference and conversation both within and outside of anime and manga communities. Both the genre, and its titular characters have become iconic within both Japanese and Western online culture. As with most genres, the otokonoko genre is trope heavy, so it was decided to look at works that prefigure the genre to better understand the appeal without the weight of the traditions of the genre weighing too heavily on the content. Both Stop!! Hibari-Kun! and No Bra follow the story of a boy who becomes increasingly attracted to a gender ambiguous character assigned male at birth, but who appears female to most. Both manga are centrally about this conflict between the love interests’ perceived maleness and the protagonists perceived heterosexuality. The article analyses the appeal of each work to both male and trans feminine readers, because what would later become the otokonoko genre is written and read by both male and trans feminine readers. It also argues that these manga offer something unique from Western depictions of transgender lives, based on the popularity of manga and anime among Western trans feminine readers.
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