「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.




  1. I really loved Doi’s face after he learned about Yuki. It sounds cruel, but having read the manga and disliking him, I can’t help but feel a little better seeing him like that.
    Seeing Nitori’s dreams as a girl really hit me though, since I’ve been begging for him and Takatsuki to switch places since the beginning.

    Again, thanks for blogging. I really like seeing others opinions on this series.

  2. I haven’t seen this anime yet (lackluster rural internet connection makes it impossible to watch anime), but I’m ridiculously excited about it, Hourou Musuko is hands down one of the greatest Manga series published. I don’t mean in the last few years or anything like that either, I mean Hourou Musuko is one of the greatest Manga titles published. Ever. I’m very happy it’s finally getting some of the attention it deserves with this Anime adaption, the first volume is also coming out in the US in a few months.

    Repeal the Facist Un-American PROTECT act ! ! !
  3. You say it’s strange that kids can be so understanding while adults aren’t, but it actually makes sense to me. Adults have long standing biases clouding their eyes, while kids can, theoretically, be more open. That being said, kids are monsters.

  4. I was waiting for a review. Divine, you surprised me by taking up this episode. It is understandable given the immense weight this episode has for the viewer and the anime world at large.

    I am waiting patiently for some kind of effect this anime could have on future anime. There is a feeling of change or completeness I am seeking for Hourou Musuko beyond the actual anime itself. I guess I would like to talk about the anime with people beyond the enclave of the internet culture around the show and manga.

    1. Hmm, I didn’t really feel there was anything too different about this episode compared to ones prior, nor did I purposely take over coverage from Prooof because I felt he couldn’t handle talking about the implications. The only reason I covered it is because Prooof’s away. Was there something different about the way I handled the topic?

  5. This episode was great! I was really happy for Yoshino when she finally dressed up as a guy and went to school but when shuichi did it… i was speechless for a while lol! I mean, he said he had already made up his mind to do it but I didn’t really think he was gonna go through with it. I’m really happy for both of them because they are both moving forward towards their dreams but I feel sorry for Shuichi since he’s now in a really really bad position. Nobody really cares all that much if a girl dresses up like a guy, as everyone saw in this episode, but when a guy dresses up like a girl… the s**t really hits the fan. The next episode is going to be tough to watch to say the least but hopefully everyone will stick together and support each other, especially Shuichi.

    1. Notice how it’s okay if women wear men’s clothing and how society is shit when guys do the other way around? Is anyone here like that: thinks that cute guys can’t wear girl’s clothes even if it suites them?

  6. I didn’t realize in the manga that he wore a different uniform. That just makes the difference so much more jarring, because I was thinking why he didn’t just sneak past like Yoshino did. I think this is where Hourou Musuko really starts to get good. The next few episodes will be angsty and painful, but that just makes the nice resolution better. Especially, on Anna’s side, I still like Anna.

  7. I really thought Doi was going to make a move on Nitori or something. That guy has me really confused, I don’t know what the deal is with him.

    I wonder how Nitori got out of his house dressed like a girl though. Even Takatsuki had a slight confrontation with her mom. But yeah, there’s a huge difference between a female cross dressing and a male doing it. It’s totally normal for girls to wear male clothing; I even wore a male sized T-shirt today. I’m really curious about the repercussions Nitori will face next week.

    I also find it interesting that Nitori is really a strong character who is impulsive and shows that he can be confident even though he seems like a timid and shy kind of guy. What he does really surprises me sometimes.

  8. Thanks for covering this Divine. It’s truly an interesting part of the story. It is remarkable that Shuuichi’s friends are so understanding, but I also believe that has somewhat to do with the fact that many of them have known each other since elementary school as well.
    And I really dislike Doi. It’s funny, some people love him and some hate him.

  9. These characters are so cool. I admire Nitori for his strong desire to be himself and the impressive calm he behaves as he shows himself cross-dressed at campus.
    The series make me think of “the wild unknown men”, the term I read in The Great Gatsby. English is not my original language so I’m not very sure about the meaning of the term. But I kind of think Nitori, Takasugi and Yuki are the wild unknown men and they made me have a very positive opinion about the wild unknown men.

  10. That is a difficult term in some respects. In my opinion, it evokes the mystique of the shady character. I not sure how far it applies to Hourou Musuko because I think it applies to the Romanticism of rich criminals and the speak-easy (illegal bars) lifestyle. I guess a synonym might be “cool”. I guess Doi might think of them as “wild unknown men” because he calls them mobsters for knowing ‘strange’ people. This would be like how Nick sees Gatsby’s relationships with all these weird people.

    1. Very glad to find someone showing interest to what I said. When I watch Houruou Musuko I can’t help thinking that I’m just too normal, I mean, as normal as a man who does nothing but pleasing other people. For a long time, what I honestly wanted to be, I didn’t know. I could hardly make a move before I’m sure on what opinion the other people would have to it. I realize now it was a big waste of my life. Being or trying to be smart or sophisticated, to me is important no longer. I want to be the man looking at himself in the mirror with a peaceful smile from his own heart on his face. I want to do something I’ve been eager to do for many years but never done, and to enjoy the feelings like what Nitori obtained when he finally decided to be dressed like a girl as he wanted and expose himself among his school mates and teachers.
      What a wonderful story. What strong characters.

      1. Yeah, I have a similar problem of trying to please everyone. But I am also impulsive, so I end up saying a bunch of things that I should not. I like learning, so I trying to be sophisticated but just study what I like. I guess it was not so much my image but other people I cared about. I would not let myself be peaceful for a long time because I constantly felt pressured to fix the wrongs I made to other people. Now, I working on forgiving myself so I can just have some peace and time to do what I like doing.

        On the anime, I sympathize with Nitori in that I do not conform very much, even in regards to gender. So I spending a lot of time learning about myself and developing a way to express myself. Basically, I am making my own style. I am glad we had this exchange.


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