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Trans i manga.: En semiotisk och queerteoretisk analys av avbildandet av transgenderkaraktärer inom serierna Wandering son, Our abnormalities och Ouran high school host club.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Art History.
2019 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this essay is to examine the portrayal of characters within the transgender spectrum in three different manga series: Wandering son, Our Abnormalities and Ouran High School Host Club. I’ve chosen these series because they all have main characters that are transgender. The question at issue have examined how these six characters, Yoshino Takatsuki, Shuichi Nitori, Marika Aoki, Osamu Tamura, Ryousuke Kijima and Haruhi Fujioka have been portrayed in the first and the last cover of each issues of these three series. The questions at issue have also examined the similarities in how the artists draw these characters, what connects them, how the portrayal of these character changes as the narrative progresses, as well as if there’s a difference between how the artists draw transgender characters and cisgendered characters. A formal analysis, semiotic method and a narrative analysis has been used together with a comparative study to compare and establish the design of which has been used. By deconstructing the pictures this master thesis has been able to, with semiotic and Judith Butler’s performativity theory, distinguish the different semiotic connotation that the respective artist has applied on each individual character. The narrative analysis has been placed on the narrative to produce knowledge of how the term transgender and how the characters are used in the story itself. These six characters are shown to break and bend gender codes as well as maintaining the binary norms. The characters are shown allowed to examine and explore different way of gender expressions with support from friends. The majority of the family members of these characters has an uneducated and/or normative view of transgender identity as well as non-gender confirmative performativity. The parents to the characters that has been assigned female gender at birth can be seen allowing them to display a masculine performative appearance due to their youth. As they are young and not yet mature, they are allowed freedom until they are older when they are     portrayed having to become more static, binary in their performative appearance. This can also be seen in some of the friends and supporting characters that are assigned male at birth. In Wandering son and in Our abnormalities the reader is presented with the naked and half naked bodies of the characters that are assigned male at birth. They are portrayed so that the readers can see the characters “biological” gender and thus helps the artist to convey the queer gender status of the specific characters. In Ouran High School Host Club, Haruhi is seen dressed in clothes that displays feminine coded features such as breasts. They are portrayed as androgyny youths, portrayed within the context of moé and is as thus easy to apply a gendered performative connotation on. When the need to show the audience the “real” gender of the character, the artist can simply use the gendered body as a way to convey this. The portrayal is largely restricted by a hegemonic, binary, gender norms in which the people that doesn’t follow these norms made by our society is punished in one way or another.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 122
Keywords [sv]
Transgender, Trans, Manga, Queerteori, Genus, Performativitet, Wandering son, Our Abnormalities, Ouran high school host club
National Category
Humanities and the Arts Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-386508OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-386508DiVA, id: diva2:1327748
Subject / course
Art History
Educational program
Master Programme in Art History
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-08-19 Created: 2019-06-19 Last updated: 2019-08-19Bibliographically approved

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