torachan: takatsuki & nitorin from hourou musuko (trans kids)
Title: Oppai wo Totta Kareshi
Author: Serizawa Yukiko
My Rating: 4.5/5

Although the title of this translates to something like "My Boyfriend Who Had His Breasts Removed" (I hate when titles translate clunkily), it is actually from the POV of a trans guy, not his girlfriend as I had assumed. The guy is Haru, and we follow his story from when he didn't feel like a girl, but didn't really know what was going on, to when he's working in a host club trying to save up money for top surgery.

I enjoyed this a lot. It's clear the author did her research and while there were a few things I wished were different such as the really overwhelming heteronormativity, overall I thought it was really good. The heteronormativity did get to me, though. Haru is straight, as are the other trans guys who work in the club with him. There's also a childhood friend who is MTF (she's the one who first introduced Haru to the concept), she is also straight. Haru has one girlfriend who is revealed to be a lesbian and only dating him because she doesn't really see him as male, but it's also revealed that the reason she can "only love women" is that she was abused as a child and is now afraid of men. :( And the childhood friend who's MTF was very femmey as a kid and I had hoped that she would just be a femmey gay boy, but no, when Haru is trying to figure himself out, he talks to the friend and she says "For a while I thought I was gay, but now I know I really am just a woman". And I just really wish that being trans didn't feel like it was being presented as an alternative to being gay.

Still, I liked it a lot and will definitely try to get my hands on the other trans manga she's written (which I originally thought was a sequel, but is about different characters). I'm also adding this to my scanlation queue. :)

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