Pretty Strong: Ultimo, Shōnen Heroes, and Gender Roles in the Early 2010s

Recently I finished Ultimo, a manga which history will remember only as a footnote in Hiroyuki Takei’s career that weirdly has Stan Lee’s name on it. While I didn’t finish it back in the day (when, after many delays, it petered out into a ‘meh’ conclusion), I was always captivated by its high ambition, its sleek art style, and its sheer charm. Take Ultimo himself: his design strikes me as effortlessly cute, cool, and beautiful at the same time.

Cuteness and coolness. Beauty and strength. Today I notice that for Ultimo’s character, these are not contradictions. If anything, his beauty is implied to be the reason he embodies ultimate power and goodness.

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Another ?Trans? Narrative

I had no thought of writing this until my friend Thedude3445 wrote a great coming-out post and made the point that personal stories all along the gender spectrum need to be shared. But I’m not writing this post hoping to twitch the needle in any big way. I just hope it can be one interesting action, perhaps valuable in its small way, in a sea of actions, in a general movement.

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Thursday’s Dragon: A Tale of Procrastination

I didn’t want to grade papers, so I made a game for myself. I know, I’m the teacher, the role model, the honorary adult as it were, but, to be fair, this is my first time playing this sort of make-believe.  So I wasn’t always this immature.

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