2011年9月9日金曜日

Japanese TV drama: IS -- Intersexual -- Sex which is neither a man nor woman

Have you heard of 'intersexual?' LGBT stands for 'lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender' and 'intersexual' is not mentioned in this acronym. Intersexual is different from 'gender identity disorder (GID).' Although intersexual is not an official medical term but it means androgyne (epicene or hermaphrodite). There is a Japanese television drama titled "IS (intersexual)--Sex which is neither a man nor woman." The drama explains in the beginning of each episode that "intersexual is a condition that a new-born baby cannot be distinguished as a boy or a girl. Some say such babies are born one every 2000 or 4500, and no accurate number is known."



Eight episodes out of total ten have been shown by this week. IS is based on a comic book with the same title.


I didn't know much about intersexual or the original comic book itself but the drama is pretty well done. There is a main character, Haru, who is born with both (under-developed) sexual organs but has grown up as a boy through middle school.

His parents take a more liberal approach and decide to let him choose his own sex when he has grown up and understands his own situation. Until middle school, Haru thought he was more like a boy than a girl, but he had his testicles taken out in his infancy because of a health emergency. So Haru is actually registered as a girl on his birth certificate (Japanese official family registry).

Haru's parents talk about him honestly to his high school, and (of course!) high school principle and teachers are confused. The school principle forces Haru to attend school as a girl because it's his official sex on the family registry.

The drama develops as Haru starts his new life as a high school girl who loves to play soccer. Haru makes good friends with Miwako at school, but Haru finds out about Miwako's secret and her troubled family. At home Haru still acts like a boy but it seems he starts showing more feminine character as his body develops more like a woman. A-year older male student at school falls in love with him, and Haru cannot deny his own feeling to him.

The original comic book is in the "shoujo manga (girl comics)" genre so the story is obviously crafted to appeal to teenage girls but still it's worth watching for sophisticated adults!

Episode 1:

Sorry but there's no English subtitle for this video!

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メインブログ:アメリカ・ゲイ・ライフ American Gay Life (since 2004)
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単身渡米してなんとか生き延びてる日本人。主にアメリカで起きてるゲイについてのニュースやハリウッド・セレブ、スポーツ選手たちのゴシップが中心のブログをメインブログで書いてます。恋バナや個人的なことはサブ・ブログで。

 Born and raised in Japan, I decided to immigrate to the U.S. to pursue a more liberated gay life. I am mostly writing about gay-related news and gossip about male celebrities, LGBT issues in general, and sometimes personal bromance. Most of my posts are in Japanese, but I sometimes introduce Japanese television programs and gay-related cultural stuff in English. Feel free to leave comments in my blog. ;)