Seiko-chan ~ Lovely Complex’s Portrayal of Traps and Transgenderism
Lovely Complex is definitely a great comedy show that is very sweet, but one of the things that struck me the most is its portrayal of the transgendered girl Kotobuki Seiko. Of all the shows I watched, LoveCom does it the best (though I haven’t watched Hourou Musuko yet so can’t compare that). Seiko-chan is my all time favorite trap!Note: I know that the ‘proper’, ‘politically correct’ term is a transgendered person, but I prefer to use the term trap because it sounds better to me in a phonetical/acoustical sense. It’s short and concise. Transgendered sounds weak, trap sound snappy – plus I can say that I’m going to TrapSlap someone.
Seiko is a new student just entering the school, and falls for the male lead after he saves her from a dog. At one point she loses control and kisses him. Nobody knew that she’s a trap yet though, so Otani (the guy) became all cocky for a while.
The reveal where they dropped a Bridget on him happened in the infirmary where Seiko was trying to seduce Otani and took her shirt off. Seeing that she’s completely flat and is biologically male, combined with the fact that she had just kissed him a few days ago (which I assume to be his first kiss too), he FAINTS!
Although she was very straightforward in her quest for Otani, Seiko actually has a lot of concerns about her body. She thinks of herself as a girl, and believes that she was just placed in the wrong body. She knows that a lot of people will disapprove and think that it’s disgusting for her to like a guy, and she said that one of the reasons she fell for Otani was because she thought that he was someone who can accept her wholeheartedly. Being biologically male makes it complicated but she still tries hard.
She was confronted by some fans of Otani that asked her if she was going out with him, and after she said no they went away commenting to each other “there’s no way those two could be dating right” referring to how Seiko is biologically male.
Although Seiko didn’t say anything, Risa, the female lead, stepped in against them and called them out for being judgmental and rude. Up until now Seiko was only seen as being cheerful and happy, but she then breaks down and cries.
Such a heart-wrenching moment. Although the scenes are just a small amount of discrimination, when placed in the context of them being in a comedy show it shows that this is a society isn’t a particularly accepting society. Hell, even in an accepting society instances like these still hurt.
A lot of anime portray being a trap as an attractive quality, sometimes even with a group of fans. Reality is very different, and traps have to deal with acceptance issues. Rather than a group of fans, it’s much more likely to have a group of people beating you up. That feeling of not being accepted for who you are, on something as fundamental to a person’s identity as gender… makes me shudder just to remember.
Even after realizing that Seiko is a trap, the others still treat her normally as a girl. Although Otani doesn’t end up dating her, he says he doesn’t hate her nor does he think she’s disgusting. He even said that cheer girls are cute as a compliment. Because Seiko’s in a different year she doesn’t appear with the main cast very often, but when she does everyone treats her normally as a girl. The part about her being a trap doesn’t even come up later (except maybe in a few fights with the annoying no balls guy), and isn’t used as a gag. Seiko is just like any other girl. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Note: The term used was ‘otoko no ko’ which might’ve meant trap/crossdresser, but I’m no expert so I’m not sure what the right translation would be.
Seiko-chan is very cute and sweet, even down to her voice. I remember the first time I saw her appear I went to the FB wall of a friend who already watched LoveCom and screamed “WHY CAN’T I BE AS CUTE AS SEIKO-CHAN WHY WHY WHY LIFE IS NOT FAIR!”. Even the other characters in the show called her cute, and Risa laments at how Seiko is way cuter than she is (OH HOW I FEEL YOUR PAIN). Although there are some very cute traps out there IRL, few of us look like girls, and usually don’t sound like girls unless they’re 1. very lucky or 2. had a lot of voice training. SCCSAVages would know how ugly my voice is (FUCK. YOU. PUBERTY&TESTOSTERONE.). But I digress.
Yup totally awesome!