When I first came across images for the anime Kino's Journey I thought what a great show. Here's a show with girlcruising around on her bike solo. Finally, a female character who won't beapologizing, crying, or blushing in every scene. I really like Fruits Basket but c'mon Tohru whatwould your girl gang mom think?
I was waiting for Kino's Journey to come out on DVD when someone who wasdownloading it raw told me that Kino was a boy. Hmmm, I would have sworn itwas girl. Just look at the characters stance. It's very girl like. And the hair is longish, but thenagain so is Piro's. People are always confused whether Piro is a male orfemale character. I searched a little further and found a lot of very gender neutral referencesto the characters. You have got to put some work into being that non-genderspecific. Pronouns are a natural part of speech! The author's notes mention'young man' but the voice for the show is provided by an actress. I foundindividuals who thought the "traveling young person" was male and others whothought female. Maybe the creators intended that or the Americandistributors are leaving it ambiguous to appeal to a wider audience.
I got the DVD this week on our first visit in months to Wizzywig. I swearon the cover to #1 that the character has, uh, girl features. Risky in RiskySafety was also referred to as 'he' in the DVD but was unmistakably female. Sexual ambiguity seems to be really common in anime.
I justthink there is a certain charm and even novelty to a girl character who is areal adventurer - not just clinging to a guy while riding on the back of thebike.