Hourou Musuko – Innocence, Acceptance and Betrayal… (Editorial)

Preface: Hourou Musuko besides Madoka Magica has been one of few shows out of the winter season, which are considered very good. The reason why I have not blogged much about this show since the content in the episodes is hard to explain in episodic posts. So, I thought it would be best to share my thoughts on the events that were important in editorial form.

In the most recent episodes of Hourou Musuko, the story focuses more on the issues Nitori faces in his life that wants to be a girl.  Since he is delicate, anything that happens to him will impact him emotionally. This happens when Dori urges him to come out of the closet that causes the whole student body to become shocked. In addition, the play and Anna plays an important role of adding self-confidence for Nitori’s transgenderism.

The gender bender play of Romeo and Juliet in episode 6 has importance to Nitori’s and to a lesser extent, Takatsuki’s experiences. Nitori being narrator was important to the play since it’s a story about his and Takatsuki’s desire to be the opposite gender. That effect wouldn’t be fulfilled if Nitori were Juliet and Takatsuki was Romeo. If the roles were to be swapped from Saori and Makoto, the story would be told in a different perspective. I thought that Makoto fits the role of Juliet considering that he is Nitori’s best friend and he understands his problems of bullying in grade school. By taking the role of Juliet, it allows Makoto to go in Nitori’s shoes to experience how it feels to become a girl. Besides the play, Nitori gains an important role model named Anna to help build his self-confidence and a friend to ask for advice.

In episodes 7 & 8, Nitori gains a girlfriend that he looks up to as a role model. Anna, who is Maho’s friend, seems to understand Nitori’s crossdressing and his desire to become a girl.  This bond between them started to grow when Nitori started to have acne problems and he called Anna for advice the first time.  Ever since, they developed a relationship with an each other and eventually, started to date each other. When Nitori finally reveals that he likes dressing up like a girl to Anna, she refers to him as a little sister, as someone she wants to protect. She just simply enjoys dressing him cute clothing. Anna also shows that she is a good friend when she invites Takatsuki and Saori to Karaoke. Even though Saori has a cold personality, she maintained her cool. After the karaoke, she manages to make friends with both Saori and Takatsuki. Because of this, Anna and Nitori has to the best couple in this show… Let the shipping wars begin!

On a serious note, there is a mention of bullying which could be traced back to Dori. In episode 5, Nitori reveals that other children including Dori had intimidated him back in grade school. This happened until he found Makoto and Takatsuki who understands his situation.  Several years later In Nitori’s second year of middle school, we see Dori still projecting an image of a bully when he attempts to make fun of saying “here.” When he attempts to make friends with Nitori, it gives a sense of suspicion that he is just playing nice with Nitori so he can eventually screw him over later. In episode 9, the visit to Yuki’s and Nitori crossdressing creates an unhealthy obsession over Nitori’s transgenderism for Dori. This gives him the urge to humiliate Nitori in front of everyone by persuading him to dress as a girl.

For some time now, Nitori has been planning to come to school dressed as a girl, but afraid to do so. This is because society has a double standard when it comes to crossdressing. This double standard is shown when Takatsuki wears a boy’s uniform to school. She was not discriminated in any form and the teachers didn’t make a big deal about it. In contrast, when Nitori took Dori’s suggestion of coming to school dressed as a girl, it caught the attention of the teachers and the whole student body. The main reason females get away with wearing male clothing because it does not look too unusual from the norm and gives them a more masculine appearance. On the other hand, males wearing female clothing are viewed harshly by society due to male stereotypes. Because of this, there is no doubt that Nitori is being treated badly by society since he wants to be a girl. This makes the issue for him very difficult to deal with compared to what Takasuki is facing.

The question remains… Should Dori be expelled from school over the bullying of Nitori? With bullying of LGBT students becoming more apparent after the incident that happened to Tyler Clementi along with the other suicide incidents happening in grade school, people are becoming more aware and want to take action.  The problem I see is the lack of LGBT awareness and anti-bullying programs. The programs would teach students to understand the differences so some wouldn’t intimidate others. This is probably the reason why Takako Shimura had Nitori come to school dressed as a girl. She wanted to show the overall unawareness of LGBT students and unequal treatment in society with transgendered males. Considering that the two students who caused the incident were kicked out of college along with other lawsuits, I think Dori should get expelled at best for pushing Nitori to crossdress as a girl to school and ruining his reputation.

As for the full outcome and what actions the school administration should take to punished Dori will be answered in the editorial on Episodes 11 & 12. 

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