Well, the manga for Kuragehime just ended, so I’ve got some thoughts!
I think it’s very apparent from the writing that this series had lost its direction a while ago, so I can’t be particularly upset about seeing everything being wrapped up in a unrealistically neat bow like that. Clearly the final volume was just an appeal to the fanbase, which is alright. But, I’ve still got a gripe!
So, Kuranosuke, with lines like, “I wish I was born a girl so I could wear clothes like this,” at the end wraps up his gender identity as “Yep I’m a man 100% boy male masculinity!” This feels inauthentic, especially after one of the big themes from just the chapter before was this idea of wearing dresses, or rather feminine beauty, as a symbol of resilience and strength— Tsukimi wearing dresses not to fulfill her role as a woman and be married, but to have armor to go into the outside world and stand alone. For our neatly canonized Kura/Tsukimi ship, what better than to see them both wearing that armor together? The ultimate objective Kuranosuke offered over his brother, other than not being a boring businessman, was a sense of equality. He didn’t have this ill-conceived and sexist notion of working for his wonderful wife, et cetera, et cetera. If anything, call him selfish if it is so, but he was Tsukimi’s princess for which she could be one with. Why at the very end resolve him into the role of a prince, letting Tsukimi be the princess, and reaffirming the heteronormative relationship after building up this great untraditional dynamic for their relationship to exist in? Plus, where’s the logical thruline here? His mother is proud to see him wearing the clothes, and so instead he’s not wearing them at the end? What? Yeesh man, I get you want it all to end cleanly but talk about making it too perfect. Go watch the last season of Downton Abbey if you want too clean of endings. Instead, we’re practically cucked out of this idea of power in feminine strength.
Hell, even beyond this, couldn’t we have done something better than making the BL mangaka a guy because he was in love with Chieko all along? Say, maybe make him a trans BL mangaka…?
Wait, shit, I’m projecting the wrong series onto this here! Don’t forget about how sensible Japan is! They accept you, just know that it’s just a phase.
Well, either way, I think once we got past the section covered in the anime the series starts to take some questionable turns. Damn! I gotta write my own Kuranosuke / Inoue Yuki (Helloooo? Birdcage Manor anaybody?) type chracter into a story! Except maybe they can actually be trans or something!
Shit! Aren’t I just writing Contrapoints into my story then?
Yikes. Everything’s been done before now.
Well, no matter, I’m glad the series has ended.