Hourou Musuko – 09
「かっこいい彼女 ～Green eye～」 (Kakkoii Kanajo ~Green eye~)
“Cool Girlfriend ~Green eye~”
Gender identity disorder, cross-dressing, and reverse gender school plays I’m completely fine with, but boys who teased someone about wanting to be a girl suddenly turning a new leaf is downright creepy. The scariest part about Doi Shinpei (Yoshino Hiroyuki) is that I’m not entirely sure what he’s thinking after he was completely disillusioned from learning that Yuki (Honda Takako) is a transvestite. The latter I was already aware when I looked into Hourou Musuko for the Winter 2011 Preview, so all my attention was on the fallout of Shinpei’s startling discovery.
It looked like Shinpei was conflicted over whether he’d been set him up for it, but it was fairly obvious in my mind that he knew this wasn’t something Shuuichi would do. What’s more, no one was making a mockery of him either, not even Yuki herself who was happy to hear that Shinpei thought she was pretty. If anything, I’m leaning towards the idea that the revelation blew his mind, opening him up to the world of people who are unsatisfied about their sex and not judge them for it. While that’s all fine and dandy, the problem I had was with his sudden interest in Shuuichi, where he encouraged him to cross-dress to school and even complimented him on how cute he looks.
The objective side of me can picture this as the beginnings of what Yuki has with her boyfriend Shiina (Fujiwara Keiji), whom she goes back to elementary school with, except it’s only natural to feel apprehensive about someone who made life difficult for Shuuichi back in elementary school. I’d like to give Shinpei the benefit of the doubt and say he doesn’t have any ulterior motives and has simply grown up about the real world, but I’m admittedly wary about everything he does around Shuuichi just like Yoshino is.
For better or worse, Shinpei did help Shuuichi overcome that mental hurdle of cross-dressing to school, which he clearly wanted to do after seeing Yoshino brave enough to follow in Chizuru’s footsteps and act like a boy by invited him out on a date. I can’t say I understand what Shuuichi’s going through, but glimpses into the life he’d rather be leading as a girl did make it apparent how much happier he would be. At times I just want to scream out, “Why!? Why couldn’t Shuuichi and Yoshino just be born in the other person’s body!?”, but evidently the contrasting dissatisfaction from both genders is what makes this show so interesting.
What’s amazing is the maturity all of Shuuichi’s friends have towards the subject, to the point that it’s fairly unrealistic given their age. Their openness to the idea goes further back than the middle school period that this anime adapts too. I’d normally expect more typical reactions like the ones seen in Maho, who basically thinks her younger brother is a freak of some sort. The harsh reality is that most people much older than these kids probably still think that way now, so it’s refreshing to see characters like Saori, Chi, and Anna be so supportive.
At the same time, I understand why this series has been praised for its use of gender reversal as the core part of the story, yet criticized about the emotional realism in its depiction. The kids may seem like they have it tough, but reality is much less forgiving. The next episode should provide a sense of it, now that Shuuichi’s parents have been called to take him home. Maho is pissed off as usual, but understandably so since she’ll be getting funny looks at school from now on too.