Mogumo just wishes they could have some friends to truly understand them. When Tetsu seems this wish from his classmate, he invites Mogumo to work at his family’s cafe. The workers there are otokonoko - they are boys who dress as girls, maids on this instance. After some initial consternation about introducing themselves as an otokonoko, the staff conclude that everyone can identify how they wish, and Mogumo doesn't have to offer up any gender in their introduction. Tetsu and the rest of Mogumo's coworkers work towards understanding Mogumo's feelings about gender, and this prompts a few others to start exploring their own identities -- maybe it's not just as simple as dressing up in clothes of the opposite gender ... maybe there's a bit more to the feeling they get from wearing these outfits.
At first glance and within the first few chapters, this is a sort of light-hearted, kinda silly story that centers around people playing dress up and trying to find a place they can fit in. But, after the silliness is over, this is a heart-warming story about acceptance, and about letting people be who they want to be without judgment. Mogumo inspires others to challenge the binary and to find where they feel they belong. There are a few instances of misgendering in this first volume, specifically Tetsu towards his brother, who now presents as female, so that is a little jarring amidst the message of acceptance from the rest of the cast of characters. Hopefully, this gets corrected in later volumes -- as nonbinary characters are hard to come by, especially in manga, it would be wonderful to have a story that achieves acceptance and representation at the same time.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Publisher: Seven Seas
Publication Date: June 30, 2020
ISBN: 9781645054672 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, LGBTQ+, Realistic Fiction, Seven Seas
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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