IS ~Otoko Demo Onna Demo Nai Sei~ why japanese dramas are awesome

Hello DramajjangersIS-P1-tvtokyo

I have to admit I’m a fan of Ayame Gourouki, she still has a long way to become a recognised actress. But her works I’ve seen, she always charismatic and has a captivating aura.

I was looking into her works and I run into IS ~Otoko Demo Onna Demo Nai Sei~. I read the description and it seemed interesting and since Japanese dramas never fail to impress me, I started watching it.

The drama is about Haru Hosino (Saki Fukuda), that was born intersex with both male and female physical characteristics. He was raised as a boy and when he has to go to high school, he has to become a girl student because that’s the only way the high school would accept him study there and become a patissier.

Intersex is a very sensitive subject and people in real life are not aware of it. Sometimes they use the word to make fun of people. But japanese dramas are so awesome that they make a drama about it and explain the situation of intersex. The drama is based on the manga with the same title, so I equally praise the writer of the manga.

contains spoilers

Every intersex condition is different and the drama explains it clearly. We get to know about Haru who is born with both female and male parts but because of a complication, his male parts have to be removed. That’s why he is registered as a girl. Despite he grows up like a boy and it’s only before high school he has to become a girls.

The drama shows, how hard is for the parents to accept their baby is intersex in the beginning. As the years pass they realise their child is a beautiful person and being intersex is that person’s nature, it doesn’t have to be bad. Haru’s childhood friend Leon (Jingi Irie), one of the few people that knows about the condition thinks the same and is supportive.

But this subject is a taboo to the society and it’s portrayed to the neighbor’s whispers, to the high school teachers who persuade Haru to keep her secret.

Haru becomes friends with Miwako Aihara (Ayame Gourouki) and feels comfortable with her. She then reveals she is intersex too and her father made her go to that high school because she knew about Haru, who could help her. Miwako’s family is in denial, especially her mother who dolls her up since she was a kid. They have removed her male parts but still she doesn’t have female hormones, her period hasn’t come yet unlike Haru, who gets it for the first time in high school. This is hard for Miwako who has been pressured from her mother and because of that she leads a rebellious life. Haru helps as much as she can.

But Haru gets confused when he meets a boy Kenji Ibuki (Masahiro Inoue) and starts having feelings for him. Haru though being a boy would be the choice of his life, he would just pretend in high school to be a girl and then after becoming a patissier he would turn back to being a male. But life is like this that his feeling get more to his female side. Kenji doesn’t know about the condition.

When Haru is full with the lies, he want to reveal the truth to the students of the school and live like who he really is. He has to take the brave decision to let the boy he likes know, who he really is. When he does that the students reaction is not the best. It’s one of the dramas which is more realistic so there is no exaggeration, of how people act towards intersex Haru.

Although in the beginning everyone is avoiding him and are judgy, Haru as a person with courage tries to inform people about the condition and puts an ask box. This is one of the strongest messages in the drama. If you don’t know about something ASK, get informed don’t hurt or avoid people just because they are different.

Kenji gets a bit shocked in the beginning, but his good personality doesn’t change and he tries to get to know more about intersex. People’s reaction towards Haru reminds him of his younger sister, who was sick and everyone shut her out.

In the end after a lot of hardships, change of emotions and tears, the drama has a happy ending.
her parents finally accepts her and she decides to embrace her female side. She would get the surgery to be able to carry children not because her parents want to, bu for the person she loves. I couldn’t imagine a more understanding boyfriend than a Leon I really liked they end up together.

Haru decides to continue living as boy, that doesn’t mean she leaves out his “female feelings”, it’s not clear what will happen between her and Kenji, but it shows people are people and love is love not always there have to be labels. All the characters in the end stay together and even if the world doesn’t accept them, they have each other.

IS ~Otoko Demo Onna Demo Nai Sei~ is an interesting drama, of course as a drama it has some faults, but the acting is good especially Saki Fukuda’s. But I won’t stand to that, since it’s a drama worth watching and understanding.

It’s hard for IS people out there, so I hope you guys find strength and lead a happy life.

Closing this post with the ost I loved from the drama.

gifs and pictures credits on tumbr

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  1. July 9, 2015 at 2:23 pm — Reply

    Thanks for writing about this one. I’m on the market for a new J drama, and this might fit the bill 🙂

    • July 10, 2015 at 12:50 pm — Reply

      You are welcome. Did you read the spoilers too? The drama is very intresting.

      • July 11, 2015 at 2:50 am — Reply

        I did, sort of! I’m wary of spoilers, but I took a cursory peek XD. I have a general idea and I’ve put it down on my ever-growing to-watch list

        • July 11, 2015 at 5:28 pm — Reply

          When you watch it come back and share your thoughts^^

    • Myra
      July 10, 2015 at 3:22 pm — Reply

      I have a top 14 of J-dramas I recommend on my blog if you’re interested.
      This drama is in my top 14, I watched it a few years ago, good choice 🙂 Now that I’m more concerned about gender roles in society I might watch this drama again (for social analysis lol) because I think it kinda pushed the idea of “bravery=men” “weakness=women”. But no drama is perfect, like you said.

      • July 11, 2015 at 5:29 pm — Reply

        Hmmm I wouldn’t say it portrays women as weak and men as strong, but the message was humans are humans they just have different feelings, it doesn’t have to do with the gender.

  2. Myra
    July 11, 2015 at 6:26 pm — Reply

    I need to watch it again, I don’t have a great memory and probably ended up mixing some stuff in my head lol Yes I agree with you, the drama was quite open-minded and refreshing as a whole.

    • July 12, 2015 at 9:40 am — Reply

      no worries, it’s just what I got from the drama, art is for people to explain it differently^^

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