Celebrate Your Freedom with the Anime About Trans Japanese Gangsters Becoming Pop Idols!
As I’ve noted before, I’m not here to explain a culture, just to convey its richness.
Jasmine Gyuh's Back Street Girls.
If you can dream it, there’s probably already an anime about it. And I’m sure someone—a lost soul, perhaps—had their dream come true this week with the premiere of Back Street Girls. This is an anime that, despite what the title may remind some of us of, is not about rebranding a lame media property that already exists to make it pay lip service to female representation, but is instead yet another breezy joust with gender. The fizzy premise of BSG is that after three yakuza (Japanese gangsters) mess up, they’re given two options from a higher-up: kill themselves, honorably, or become pop idols after receiving gender reassignment surgery in Thailand. The choice is obvious. After turning into adorable gals and donning school uniforms, their careers, no surprise, take off! Soon they, too, have old creeps drooling over them. Ah, life from the other side.
The anime is based on Jasmine Gyuh’s manga, which has been serialized in the major Japanese publisher Kodansha’s seinen genre Weekly Young Magazine since March 2015, with ten individual volumes collected and published so far (but not in English, officially).
The anime adaption is only airing in Japan currently, with no simulcast or subtitled version available in North America, as far as I’m aware, but where there’s a will, I’m sure there’s a way to see it. And while you’re snuffling around for obscure anime gems, there’s also always the tale of the scorched bean paste bun to keep your little heart happy.