American Release Japanese Anime With Transgendered Themes

Titles Available As Of Jan. 29, 1997

Compiled by Jennifer Diane Reitz

 Otaku World


Transgendered themes and characters abound in Japanese anime, and this list is not a complete compilation of all titles which possess transgender content. The release of the TV series 'Robotech' in the west - a restructured compilation of several anime series and movies - featured a crossdressing character, and other western-release TV series, such as the popular 'Sailor Moon' feature multiple transgendered characters. In the case of the latter, the English version has attempted to eliminate the transgender aspects altogether, presumably for marketing reasons. Hentai, or sexually explicit anime, often have transgendered characters, and more English language versions exist than I have listed. I have endeavored to list only those of particular note, both in terms of quality, and current availability.

Quick Facts about Anime:

Although it is unlikely that anyone visiting this site has a lack of information on the topic, the following brief explanation of the nature of anime may be of use to some.

Anime is an animated extension of Japanese manga. Manga is not unlike a comic book, is a illustrated work with word balloons and all the conventions - and some unique ones - common to comic art. Manga, however, functions at all levels of Japanese society, from the childish, to the very mature. Often, manga is considered to be just another vehicle for literature, a serious and respected art form. Manga is also used for textbooks, instruction manuals, and all manner of work which Europeans and Americans would consider solely the province of the unillustrated written word.

Anime reflects manga in all these aspects, and is commonplace on television, and in the motion picture industry. Often, Anime takes the cultural place of major studio motion pictures as they exist in America and Europe, and attract a mature audience. Anime and manga are enjoyed by all segments of the population, from the young, to the old. It is considered to be a unique and powerful artistic medium, and there is nothing whatsoever of the attitude displayed by Americans toward 'cartoons' as being an entertainment created almost entirely for children. Most entertainment anime is geared towards an audience of adults, often containing nostalgic situations set in college or high school days, before the rigors of the adult workaday world. Anime liberally employs and creates original elements from fantasy and science fiction, both genres considered also to be of high literary merit.

Those who become addicted, or fanatical toward the art form are often called 'Otaku', a word taken from the familiar form of saying 'you' - a reference to the habit of obsessed fans dispensing with formality in pursuit of their desires. In America and Europe, an Otaku is almost always an individual obsessed with Japanese anime, whereas in Japan, the word covers a wider application involving fandom of any sort whatsoever.

All of the anime movies, TV series, and OAV's (Original Animation Video- works created solely for distribution as tapes and laser disks, and not generally shown on television or in theaters) listed here are available from numerous sources in America and Europe. The works can all be found in subtitled or in dubbed form, as the viewer wishes.

Anime is becoming increasingly mainstream in American and European society. Some cable TV channels carry it, it is carried by various networks such as Fox and YTV, and doubtless will continue to grow in importance and visibility.

Most anime is essentially suited to general audiences, but some anime is adults only. Anime with a high content of sexuality is sometimes referred to as 'Hentai' anime, the Japanese word for 'pervert' or 'weirdo'. The term hentai is shortened to 'H', or occasionally written as 'ecchi' (after the Japanese pronunciation of 'H'). Extremely adult volumes are noted.

Where to Obtain Anime:

Some anime achieves theatrical release in America and Europe (Akira, Ghost In The Shell, My Neighbor Totoro), but most titles can be found at almost any metropolitan video rental or purchase outlet. Most comic book, and RPG gaming (Role-Play Games) shops also carry anime as a lucrative sideline.

Ranma 1/2

Ranma 1/2 is the story of Ranma Saotome, a young and reluctant heir to the Saotome School Of Anything Goes Martial Arts. On a training mission to The Accursed Springs Training Grounds in China, Ranma and his father fall into cursed springs, which cause them to thereafter change shape, according to what had last drowned some centuries ago in a given pool. For Ranma, this means that whenever splashed with cold water the young man transforms into a young girl, a process reversible with the application of hot water. A vast number of humorous complications ensue from this basic premise. Over time, Ranma slowly comes to a degree of acceptance of his unusual circumstance. This TV series, shown for nine years in Japan, and one of the most popular anime series of all time, is both comical and sweet. Dozens of volumes.

Viz Video
P.O. Box 77010
San Francisco, Ca. 94107
PH# (800) 394-3042

They Were 11

In the far future, galactic civilizations have finally unified. The centerpiece of this achievement is the prestigious Cosmo Academy, a training facility for the leaders of the future. The final exam of the difficult and elite academy consists of a group pass or fail real-life test, where ten randomly selected students must cooperate to survive a given scenario. The movie follows the efforts of one such class, a group of diverse beings who find amongst themselves an eleventh member. This anomaly causes enormous paranoia and disruption, as all have their own reasons for desperately needing to pass the final exam. The most desperate student of all, however, is Frolcheriberi Frol, a hermaphroditic/eunucoid entity whose very right to determine their own adult sex will depend on the outcome. Romantic, exciting and cerebral science fiction. The subtitled version is to be preferred to the dubbed version due to a more accurate and compelling translation. 1 volume.

U.S. Manga Corps
250 West 57th Street, Suite 831
New York, N.Y. 10107
Ph.# (212) 977-7456

Here Is Greenwood

The misadventures of an average college student, Kayuza Hasukawa, who by circumstance resides in the 'Outcast' dormitory on his all-boy campus. The Greenwood Dorm contains a quirky cast of characters, including one prominent student of indeterminate sex and gender. The OAV series is both humorous, yet often poignant and heartwarming. 6 volumes.

Software Sculptors
Central Park Media Corp
250 W 57th St. STE 317
New York, N.Y. 10102-1090


A near future retelling of the classic Chinese saga 'The Water Margin', Suikoden takes place in a balkanized, Yakuza controlled, earthquake-devastated future Japan. Following the plot of the ancient classic, a young man rises to heroic status, aided by a band of star-blessed, reincarnated warriors, all reborn to bring justice and equality amidst tyranny. Of note is the modern-day version of the Fated Hero's eternal companion, protector, and lover. Originally a court eunuch, the anime recasts the role as a lovable and powerful self-professed 'She-male', who finally seems to win the heart of her initially repulsed object of desire. Romantic and action-packed. 1 volume.

A.D.V. Films
SW Plaza Bldg., 5750 Bintiff #217
Houston, TX 77036-2123
Ph# (713) 977-9181

El-Hazard (The Magnificent World)

Makoto Mizuhara, an average high school boy is summoned to a beautiful and dangerous alien universe, a universe with a strange and complex relationship to the universe that contains the Earth. Upon a world within that universe, Makoto becomes involved in the life or death struggle between two warring species, one humanoid, one insectoid. In a comical play upon the 'Prince and The Pauper', Makoto is forced to impersonate a missing princess who he, apparently by coincidence, resembles exactly. Makoto must cope with this full time female impersonation, all the while attempting to survive and return home in this four volume OAV mini-series. El-Hazard also features a romantic relationship between Makoto and an oft-used symbol for the transgendered, an artificial being. Comedic action adventure. 4 volumes.

Pioneer LDCA, Inc.
P.O. Box 1720
Long Beach, Ca. 90801-1720

Please Save My Earth

The story of a group of young people drawn together by repeating, shared dreams of a past life together. In the dreams of their previous incarnation, the protagonists see themselves as the last members of their alien species, a humanoid race destroyed by conflict, but whose last seven members are saved from a terminal biological war by virtue of having been stationed as scientific observers of a young and developing planet: Earth. From a base on the primitive Earth's moon, the aliens suffer the loneliness and isolation of being the last of their species, with no home to return to, until they too begin to die of the genetically engineered disease. The dreams of the students gradually become increasingly overwhelming and detailed, becoming the focus of their lives for a time. Of note is one young man who dreams of having been a female alien, who after suffering unrequited love, had determined to be reborn as a male in order to at least share friendship with her object of desire. The memories of the past intrude to such a degree that the delicate young man realizes that he is still a woman inside, and still deeply in love...with one of his fellow students. Poignant, moving, and dramatic current-day science fantasy. 3 volumes.

Viz Video
P.O. Box 77010
San Francisco, Ca. 94107
PH# (800) 394-3042

Rei Rei

(Adults Only - Hentai)

Based on the famous erotic manga by Toshimitsu Shimizu, Rei Rei follows the workings of a recently manifested, mysterious, modern day Goddess named Kaguya. Assisted by her servant Pipi, the strangely melancholy Goddess uses her reality re-shaping powers to provide mortals with a chance at achieving their hearts desire. Kayuga helps a young boy to attempt to win the love of the girl of his dreams, a girl who is in love with her governess, a woman of evil ambition. The events so transpire that the young lad must choose between his manhood and love, and so permits himself to be transformed into a woman for a time. When he is to be restored, he is offered the chance to remain female, an offer he almost accepts. Rei Rei contains sex and nudity. It is also a comedic, romantic, and fascinating work with memorable characters and an intriguing plot. 1 volume.

SoftCel Pictures / Pink Pinapple
SW Plaza Bldg., 570 Bintiff #217
Houston, TX. 77036-2123
(SoftCel is the adult-only subset of A.D.V. Films)

Count Down

Count Down Continued

(Adults Only - Hentai)

A collection of erotic fantasies based on the manga by Utane Hiroyuki, both volumes contain a story each about the adventures of Jun, a transgendered, and partially transsexed, individual. Although this anime is essentially an animated masturbatory fantasy, Jun is depicted as a strong, likable, capable individual who is completely secure in her existence. Jun is definitely a memorable and positive character. The other stories on the two volumes are lighthearted science-fantasy romps. Count Down contains much sex and nudity, and some comical science fantasy violence. 2 volumes.

SoftCel Pictures / Pink Pinapple
SW Plaza Bldg., 570 Bintiff #217
Houston, TX. 77036-2123
(SoftCel is the adult-only subset of A.D.V. Films)

Jennifer Diane Reitz

Copyright (c) 1997 by Jennifer Diane Reitz

You can contact Jennifer via e-mail at

For more information about Transsexuality specifically, visit Jennifer's dedicated site on

Return To Giniko-Chan's Toy Chest