By Shanel Kamara
If I didn’t actually know the title of this series, I would have just thought that the plot revolved around an effeminate male whose physical prowess is counterintuitive. The title is essentially the only indication of the protagonist’s sex. I understand that in order for the female protagonist, Hinako Nakayama, to swap places with her twin brother and for the swap to be believable, she cannot be overtly feminine. However, what I don’t understand is why every aspect of her form had to be completely devoid from femininity; she could have at least had longer eyelashes! Her twin brother Hikaru Onigashima ends up wearing a long wig in order to convince the people in Hinako’s life that he is indeed Hinako. The fact that he does this is just bizarre in my opinion, Hikaru and Hinako are identical twins which means that Hikaru donning a girl’s uniform should really be more than sufficient. Hinako doesn’t even have long hair, so why should her twin brother have to wear a long wig in order to persuade people that he is a girl?
It’s annoying how much the protagonist looks like a cute boy and detracts from the true essence of the show ‘girl beats boy.’ The cross-dressing theme has been overdone. Ouran High school host club’s protagonist Haruhi Fujioka may not have been a martial artist, but she was a cool, independent, and modern young woman. I felt like for the first time ever the portrayal of femininity was fair and not stereotypical.
I just wish that the creators of this show could have been a little more imaginative with the way they executed the ‘girl beats boy’ notion. For example, Morgiana from Magi is an immensely strong young woman who refuses to let her sex get in the way of her involvement in political matters or battles. She is strong inwardly and outwardly but retains a female appearance. Her physique is not objectified like some of the other female characters; she is neither weak mentally. The fact that Magi is a shounen series while Kenka Banchou Otome: Girl Beats Boys is a shoujo series targeting females exclusively bothers me further. We need more shoujo series that include female characters that are relatable.
Kenka Banchou Otome: Girl Beats Boys: Girl Beats Boys E.02