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Anyhow, in my opinion, gender-bender in the shoujo genre is really an interesting plot device. I find it necessary when trying to introduce science, fantasy, supernatural, comedy, and adventure plots to a shoujo genre.
I've read ½ Prince. This manhua has been seen as both shoujo & shounen on a demographic scale. I loved this series not only because of the gender-bender scenario, but also because of the 'living a double life' scenario. The gender-bender character would receive conflicts on how to hide who she really is as the whole gaming world becomes inescapably infatuated by her male-elf game character. The magazine that this series is published in is considered shounen, but the way it is drawn, it's like a bi-shounen. I consider it shoujo regardless of the action that is constantly shown in this.
Another one I've read was Basara. It centers around a strong female lead. The romance is nothing I've ever read before. It's the gender-bender plot and the dynamics between the characters that make this manga stands out from the 'mainstream shoujo'. Don't let the 'old school shoujo art' clouds your judgement. I got the same impression when I first read this manga, thankfully, I kept on reading until the scenes got even more interesting.
I've also read Romeo x Juliet. Personally, I loved the anime better than the manga. The anime was airing before the manga was created, so that may be the reason. A manga is only better than an anime was the manga has its own natural plot. It felt like the manga was based on the anime. Sorta like the Solty Rei (shounen) series, where the manga was based off the anime. The gender-bender element in the story gave a more "shounen" feeling in the beginning of the anime/manga counterpart. One of the best shoujo gender-bender series I've read.
Angel Sanctuary was also my ultra fave. It was adapted to anime, so check it out! Great gender-bender series for a shoujo. Warning to younger readers of manga, this may not be for you. Themes of incest run rampant in the series and with how angels and devils are portrayed, it's very controversal to say the least. I actually didn't really understand it. Everyone looks alike, except for the main dude with short hair because he's in every scene. It's very interesting to see that the good guys may not actually be "good guys" and the bad guys may not actually BE that "bad guys." It all depends on how you view them. This manga is very dark but it's illustrations is just superb. It suits the dark and serious tone very well.
Other series like: Yukarism, Carat!, NG Life, Nephylym, Metamo Kiss, Destination Heaven Chronicles, Hana no Asukagumi!, Jewels, and Vampire Game. There are more, but these are the ones I felt that were interesting.
Mainly in all these shoujo series, the gender-bender aspect doesn't always appear to be the main concentration. I agree with baboysai that the gender-bender scenario is usually just for gags. Its sole purpose is to create more attachment for a certain character.
I think that if a shoujo manga is to have gender-bender, it should also involve scientific, supernatural, or fantasy plots in order to keep the gender-bender aspect of it balanced and unique. In shoujo, the typical gender-bender main character having a school-life and involving themselves in romance, drama, harem and tragedy - gets a little played out. In other words, it needs intense imagination in order for it to really strike home when it comes to popularity.
Last edited by Asahina; October 10, 2011 at 04:02 PM.
Um I personally really like the Kämpfer anime it had the magic gender-bender that was lost in the old days, it kind of helped me renew my interest, although the series it self was similar to the good old days the plot was obviously a 21st century thing. :/
Asahina, I think I'll take your word for Basara and start reading it... hehe.
I tried watching the first ep of Romeo x Juliet, and I think I also attempted to read the manga but dropped it very early in the game.
I also tried Angel Sanctuary A LOT- always attempting and never getting past ten chapters because the scans were horrible It's strongly recommended by friends here at MH (including the great Xophien) but I never really got down to it. But after your nudge, I might take it up again... if I can just stay above the bad quality scans... :/
I'm not a fan of gender bender. I just can't read it... it's kind of weird seeing a guy turn into a girl and acting like a girl being in love with another guy. I'm not saying that happens all the time, but it does sometimes. There are the ones where the guy just crossdresses and it can be an interesting manga to read, though I haven't really gotten into those either. If the gender bender stuff isn't too often, then I can actually like it, but having it too often is a no go for me.
Hahahaha, i didn't know the term gender bender till i read this discussion.
I usually can't stand shoujo or close to shoujo stories (Sailor Moon trauma). But i loved Ouran. That begining of the series with Tamaki flirting with Haruhi without realizing she was a girl was so good and funny! And yes, the gender-bender fact was a plus for me. I remember describing Ouran as pseudo-shounen-ai. ^_^
Oh the humor around Yakuza-boy and Haruhi express how i feel inside when i read yaoi:
But, i don't enjoy gender-bender in the BL world. Sometimes a character has the fantasy of seeing the lover in maid clothes or girl-sailor clothes and that doesn't get my expectations high. But dressing like a cat is really cute.
I started to remember the tail plug in Rin
Oh, i just remembered this manhwa about vampire that i tried to read. you know that WTF feeling from Twilight when the vampire started to glow gay-ly? I had the same feeling when the main character said that he became a girl after being bitten. That's probably the real gender bender thing with a guy becoming a girl for real. I can't remember the name of the manhwa right now.
Last edited by Asclepius; October 13, 2011 at 09:05 AM.
I have absolutely no problems with gender benders. Most of gender benders I watched/read are amazing. Kuragehime, Usutsuki Lily. I think they add some spiceness and "lol" moments to the plot. I am talking about girl >boy relationship here btw. Also gender benders bring epicness to series, for example romeo x juliet haha
Does the gender bender element last until the end of the series and play quite a role in the development of the story? Sometimes it is only a mere addition that you feel like "even without gender bender this series can be okay, even better" or something like that. :3
Comedy is a key factor for a great gender-bender series! Indeed as I am reading it I am always laughing and keep rereading the interesting situations. There was once a series I read that had a supernatural aspect to it, it also had a small cute cat like thing that always made faces, I do not remember if it was a series where the character was a trap though. That was a rare one that got my attention simply because of the comedy effect. I think it had something to do with the son dressed as a daughter taking over from his mom as some sort of magical girl. Funny stuff.
Hmm Usotsuki Lily sounds good now that I've seen it more than three times in this thread...
Maybe I should give it a try. It sure doesn't sound like anything BL anyway...
Constant raping sounds pretty violent to me.
I think the only series I enjoyed with gender bender was To Love Ru. It didn't have much of it and it didn't really go overboard. Maybe because it had so much comedy it didn't bother me so much.