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Likewise, in the all-female Takarazuka Revue, founded in 1913, particular women, known as in particular rapidly became associated with adolescent explorations of gender and identity.
After more than thirty years, critics (particularly those in the West) still struggle to understand the popularity of with young girls. The first, a largely feminist reading, indicates that young women beginning to struggle with the circumscribed gender roles laid out for them by the highly patriarchal structure of Japanese society displace their fantasies of power and liberation onto feminized male characters who display female personality traits yet enjoy the freedoms of the traditional male.
The second pivots on a more practical concern: began to gain popularity during a period when the very suggestion of sexualization of the adolescent female was considered highly taboo, thus making it impossible to depict erotic relationships between heterosexual teenagers and forcing the to utilize (specifically male) homosexual pairings if she wished to deal with physical relationships. It suggests that adolescent girls, afraid to face their own burgeoning sexuality, cope with their new found impulses and desires by projecting them onto a male character, thereby making the sexual conduct in characters, and letters from predominately female readers describing fantasies of male-male and occasionally female-female desire, suggests that a clear correlation was taking place between the beautiful boys and their readers (857).
One reader notes that she has decided, based on reading a number of Oê Chizuka, for instance, explains that she turned to these manga given the lack of representations of female-female desire and that she "really identified with or saw [herself] in [manga] works by people like Hagio Moto and Takemiya Keiko." [...] Activist, scholar, and manga fan Mizoguchi Akiko goes further, declaring that she "'became' a lesbian via reception, in [her] adolescence, of the 'beautiful boy' comics of the 1970s." (843) continue to be a site of identity formations that challenge Japan's patriarchal heteronormativity.
Lady Oscar consistently performs male gender, despite the fact that her biological sex is no secret.