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Crossdressing in anime is mainly played for laughs and giggles, but you might be surprised at the depth some anime crossdresser characters exhibit, each with their own reason for dressing the way they do. Let's explore this complex theme with the help of some of our favorite gender benders!
The "male crossdressing as female" gender-bender trope, in particular, has become more mainstream, appearing in popular entertainment, among the cosplay community, and, of course, in anime. Anime appearances of crossdressing men and women is a mixed bag, depicting different reasons and reactions to the act. Most crossdressers in anime are accepted, many are sexualized, and a small but important section actually provide a glimpse into the realities of crossdressing in Japanese culture. Hideyoshi picture above may be one of the most famous examples of an anime gender-bender, but there is so much more to this complex genre than just one beautiful boy.
Trap characters like Ruka The best crossdressers from Steins;Gate make men and women question their attraction to them. What if that beautiful woman is actually a man? Japanese culture as a whole is generally accepting of crossdressing for comedy, seeing it as silly fun. There was even an entire television show segment called Josou Paradise picture above dedicated to transforming guys into cute girls. Several Japanese comedians also adopt female personas for their stage acts, like the late Yasuo Saitou aka Yakkunwho had several female the best crossdressers and even started a cross-dressing band called Bijomen Z picture below.
While anime generally explores crossdressing in a safe and mainstream manner, print media has more freedom in how deep down the rabbit hole it can go. Meanwhile, the trans community is slowly gaining more rights and acceptance from the people and government. In the past decade, transgender people and students have gained a set of new rights, including the right to legally change their official gender and the right to choose which school uniform they wear. Even the infamous crossdresser of Kaichou wa Maid-sama!
Regardless of the way people in real life and in anime react to guys and girls dressing in clothes for the opposite gender, the people actually doing the crossdressing have a of different reasons for doing so. Sometimes anime characters crossdress because they have to. This trope exists outside of anime as well, in the form of a boy or a girl who needs to dress as the opposite gender in order to achieve something.
Sound familiar? Disney utilized the concept in Mulanand plenty of anime do it too.
Because of their nature, characters who crossdress out of necessity must usually keep this a secret from others. Of course things happen, and people find out, but at the end of the day, many of these characters find that people who believed they were one gender love them just as much when they find out the truth. Perhaps the epitome of a trap, Mariya is a boy who dresses like a girl to attend an all-girls school.
He does so to win a bet against his twin sister Shizu Who could have guessed? In return for being resurrected, Ayumu has to help his savior by assuming her duties as a magical girl, frilly dress and all. Hijinks ensue. First Hime is forced to dress like a girl by debt collectors who were planning to sell him off. Then an all-girl school club decides to help him… but only if he continues to dress like a girl for the rest of the year.
Haruhi is forced into dressing like a man as punishment, but she later becomes a full-fledged male member of the Host Club. Sometimes men dress like women for reasons that have nothing to do with their gender identity or cheap laughs. These men the best crossdressers drag dress like women for more complex reasons: some do it to escape who they are, while others do it to embrace it.
Kuranosuke dresses like a girl to rebel against his family, and to escape unwanted attention. For him, being a women is the only way to be free from the chaos around him. Kenjirou's love for yaoi and boys love doujinshi has led to him adopting a female persona, but only during club meetings, of course. Ritsu started crossdressing because it made him feel more comfortable than being himself. The anime world has managed to portray several trans characters in a realistic light. Ruka dresses and looks like a girl, but is actually a gentle boy. He is so distraught at being a male that the best crossdressers wishes he were born a girl, and actively tries to change the past to make that happen.
Hana is a woman, through and through. She is a former drag queen with a kind heart and a strong motherly instinct. Shuuichi the best crossdressers Yoshino share a similar problem: they identify as the opposite gender. Together, they go through school and overcome the obstacles of having a gender identity that is different from their biological gender.
Check out the LGBT and gender-bender anime articles for more insight into the different types of characters in anime! Top 15 Best Anime Hackers. All Tags Trending Tags. Hide Up. Top 12 Best Crossdressing in A Featured Articles. Collection Japanese Life Character Analysis. Crossdressing in Japanese culture Source Japanese culture as a whole is generally accepting of crossdressing for comedy, seeing it as silly fun. Source While anime generally explores crossdressing in a safe and mainstream manner, print media has more freedom in how deep down the rabbit hole it can go.
Why anime characters crossdress Even the infamous crossdresser of Kaichou wa Maid-sama! Here are some of the best anime crossdresser! Necessity Sometimes anime characters crossdress because they have to. Nagihiko Fujisaki From: Shugo Chara! Is this a Zombie? Hime Arikawa From: Himegoto First Hime is forced to dress like a girl by debt collectors who were planning to sell him off.
Choice Sometimes men dress like women for reasons that have nothing to do with their gender identity or cheap laughs. Kuranosuke Koibuchi From: Kuragehime Princess Jellyfish Kuranosuke dresses like a girl to rebel against his family, and to escape unwanted attention. Kenjirou Hato From: Genshiken Nidaime Genshiken Second Generation Kenjirou's love for yaoi and boys love doujinshi has led to him adopting a female persona, but only during club meetings, of course.
Ritsu Souma From: Fruits Basket Ritsu started crossdressing because it made him feel more comfortable than being himself. Hana From: Tokyo Godfathers Hana is a woman, through and through. Similar anime character tropes Check out the LGBT and gender-bender anime articles for more insight into the different types of characters in anime! Related Articles Top 10 Characters Who Would Make the Best Anime Girlfriend If it was physically possible, and we managed to avoid being put in the friend zone, it would be almost every anime fan's dream come true.
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