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Epimondas

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Best Gender Bender Anime

I rate this not only on how good an overall show and anime it is but how it specifically dramatizes and deals with gender issues depicted in each series. Gender issues a weighted s bit more, but time spent on the subject as well how serious and well it is handled. The quality of the anime combined to equate a final scored evaluation.
1 Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil

Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil

Let's face it, though only 7 episodes into the season, this series seems to get better with each episode.  It is already one of the best new animes this year and one of the best animes period. As far as how it deals with gender issues, they are there but more subdued and subtle that they maybe hard to notice.  Tanya joins the army due to few opportunities, and though it is not really highlighted part of those lack of opportunies comes from her being a woman in this alternate world.  Her unit only has her and one other woman in it, which shows a glaring gender inequality but she is not only that but so far the only two women who are battle mages anywhere in the series.  There are other women seen or heard during the series such as the radio operator but no other battle mages and there are few in the military too.  These subtle but noticeable gender division examples come through the screen strongly if not quietly.  Even as a young girl and orphen, she looked pretty despaired.  Her strong will and powerful magical gifts as well as her sharp tactical mind are what keep her in demand and able to skirt by the gender division in her new alternate world.

Ironically, gender is part of “his” punishment because in the world he is sent to, women are oppressed so he is in a greater “dire” peril.  This in turn makes him work and struggle harder to get an easy safe employment position which continuously backfires and makes him not only look more heroic but convince others to “believe” in the very god that punished him and simultaneously working to even out gender imbalance since he not only inspires other “women” to step up but actually get advanced in ways not so commonly possible before he arrived.  In a sense, he becomes both this world’s Susan B. Anthony and it’s Billy Graham though he doesn’t like god or preach, his miraculous successes and the fact he has to pray to use some powers spreads belief.  God wins either way in this story.

2 Genshiken: Second Generation

Genshiken: Second Generation

This is not one of the best overall animes but does show a pretty good dramatic story and the trials and tribulations inherent in crossing the gender lines.  Though the reasons may seem a bit unreal or at least rare, you still get a good glimpse into how different gender diverse people handle their real lives.  In fact, there are two or three other characters who cross gender lines seen in the show.

3 your name.

your name.

Few anime can really show the other side of the gender question as well and literally as this movie does.  It may not happen consistently through out the movie but when it does you feel the differences jump off the screen and effect each other's lives for better or worse.  Kimi is a good movie and perhaps the best anime movie of the last year.

4 Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl

Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl

Kasimasi may not specifically focus on the drastic gender questions in and of themselves so much but does dramatize the effect such a change has in a realistic similar vein as if someone opted for gender reassignment surgery.  You see the emotional torment and uncertainty both the affected and those around her have to deal with.

5 Working!!

Working!!

Working only crosses the gender lines in a few episodes but they have a broad reaching powerful impact because of the reason it happens.  One of the lady characters struggles to deal with men at all so the lead male character dresses as a lady to help her adjust gradually over the course of the series.  It maybe breif glimpses compared to othe rshows but these glimpses are very well done, however if not a tad repetitive since the lady with the issue often hits the main male character alot.

6 Kokoro Connect

Kokoro Connect

Kokoro handles gender issues in a similar way as Kimi no na wa does but among more characters.  It is not the sole focus however and is fairly brief and random for only a few episodes.  Even within those few serious questions are brought to light what happens if one finds themselves in the other gender suddenly.

7 Birdy the Mighty: Decode 2

Birdy the Mighty: Decode 2

More of the same but season two actually explores those issues more especially after a traumitic accident puts Tsutomi's mind in the wrong body.  It is one of the most indept explorations of the whole gender question seen in an anime for that arc.  And according to some, the last arc features a near shot for shot original of what the new superman movie did for a fight with General Zorg.

8 Birdy the Mighty: Decode

Birdy the Mighty: Decode

Birdy takes a different spin on the concept and provides a less frequently used but solid execution of a kind of alien symbiotic relationship.  One short fall however, is you are never told nor does the main character ask, how it happens.  I would just like to know if it is some kind of solid hologram, illusion, or some kind of actual metamorphisis and if it is actual, alot of other questions come up such as, how is her power suppressed?  She might change to look like him but how does that effect her uniqueness?  It is a fun and entertaining series to watch but has alot of open and unanswered questions.  Though, the series does feature one of if not the coolest antagonists of all time in anime, Gomez.  

9 Log Horizon 2

Log Horizon 2

At least one main character is not their real, natural, born gender but the new world modified him to being the gender of the character he played in a game.  Tetra comes a little later in the series but has a bigger impact and longer duration than the gender issue seen in season one, but it is implied during a speach by the science team that those gender changes are happening across the world among many people.  Though, it is implied Tetra's behavior is too boy like not to be obvious, it wholly negates the fact that some women do act quite boyish.  That aside, her portrayal is memorable.

10 Le Chevalier D'Eon

Le Chevalier D'Eon

You actually see this same kind of story in other well known gender issue stories and movies.  Some even happen in the west.  It is basically a ghost sticking around and affecting lives of loved ones directly or indirectly.  In this case, the ghost haunts her brother and takes over to finish her war against various enemies and monsters.  Once again, though, it is somewhat unclear if any physical change occurs or it is all in the head.  Though you see the body change that doesn't prove that others always see it that way since it only occurs during fighting so the question is at least a bit fuzzy.

11 Happiness!

Happiness!

Jun's reason to dress like a girl is that he looks good in such clothes and better and alot seem to agree even becoming members of his fan club.  He has a crush on his best friend and frequently tries to lure him to cross the line but Jun, never pushes it too far since he doesn't want things to be uncomfortable or lose his friends.  You can sort of sympathize with that kind of situation, unrequitted love or falling for a friend or tricky sorts of relationships that are dangerous if you rock the boat.  But at the same time, the writers skillfully avoid making Jun a total cliche or a pointless hentai type illogical adventure.  The ova, makes the situation even more ambigious and tricky and explores the gender question further than most others ever have.

12 Mayo Chiki!

Mayo Chiki!

You might call this a heartwarming sort of story albiet with a bit of a strange dominant playing trickster who likes setting up uncomfortable situations.  It might make you question if this Mistress actually has her butler's or the guy's best interests at heart.  It is one of the few reverse cross dressing stories, though that might be unfair to say as such but then they call women with male harems, reverse harems??? Hmm, eh it is a tad easier to say even if illogical.  Then again, so are people, illogical that is.  It is a very good story addressing real types of issues people have.  Guys, even if they don't have bullies for family, tend to be nervous about approaching girls first already and in recent times this is getting worse, due to all the red tape, baggage, and risks that come with it.  Naturally they would be.  Her situation is a bit more difficult to comprehend though but we know from stories like Mulan, as rare as it is, it sometimes happens where girls are expected to take over masculine duties or roles or inherit family responsibilties usually aimed at guys.  So it happens, it just takes an extreme variation of that making her live and dress and identify as a guy.

13 Kampfer

Kampfer

Ya Natsaru is a wimpy guy and a bit too meek and wimpy even for meek and wimpy guys with respect to girls.  His constant hesittation, doubt, and indecisiveness is aggrevating.  We all know only the president is good for him. His neighbor had plenty of confidence and courage and years of chances as well as proximity and never made a move.  The shy freak thinks she likes but constantly tries to kill him or threaten him, umm thats not love and barely passes for some whack version of stalking.  Kaede is possibly not even human let alone genuinely interested in him.  I don't love the president either, she may have killed many school girls before the series starts, but of all the girls strangely clawing at him, shes the only one thats believable.  Kaede and the president try to get him to pick a gender as his power gives him that option but he can't control it.  Honestly, with his personality, he is probably better off as a girl.  The gender question story isn't really that strong or serious, but the look and the sorts of interactions, environment, and atmosphere do a great job to give you valuable insight into the trials each gender navigates.

14 Minami-ke

Minami-ke

Minami is a unique case because at least 2 characters are going through gender related issues, crossdressing, but at times the question goes a little further.  Makoto sometimes starts to wonder if he is enjoying the experience too much or if it will hinder his struggle to prove his own masculinity.  Touma has the opposite problem.  After living with her brothers for so long, even she is worried that she doesn't even know how to be a girl or what is girly.  Ironically, these two know what each other is going through and are best friends.  There are occasionally other instances but it is mostly these two.  For Makoto, he is tricked into doing it just to spend time with a girl he likes.  For Touma, she has no female influences to learn from so boyishness is all she knows.

15 Minami-ke Okaeri

Minami-ke Okaeri

Minami is a unique case because at least 2 characters are going through gender related issues, crossdressing, but at times the question goes a little further.  Makoto sometimes starts to wonder if he is enjoying the experience too much or if it will hinder his struggle to prove his own masculinity.  Touma has the opposite problem.  After living with her brothers for so long, even she is worried that she doesn't even know how to be a girl or what is girly.  Ironically, these two know what each other is going through and are best friends.  There are occasionally other instances but it is mostly these two.  For Makoto, he is tricked into doing it just to spend time with a girl he likes.  For Touma, she has no female influences to learn from so boyishness is all she knows.

16 Minami-ke Okawari

Minami-ke Okawari

Minami is a unique case because at least 2 characters are going through gender related issues, crossdressing, but at times the question goes a little further.  Makoto sometimes starts to wonder if he is enjoying the experience too much or if it will hinder his struggle to prove his own masculinity.  Touma has the opposite problem.  After living with her brothers for so long, even she is worried that she doesn't even know how to be a girl or what is girly.  Ironically, these two know what each other is going through and are best friends.  There are occasionally other instances but it is mostly these two.  For Makoto, he is tricked into doing it just to spend time with a girl he likes.  For Touma, she has no female influences to learn from so boyishness is all she knows.

17 Minami-ke Tadaima

Minami-ke Tadaima

Minami is a unique case because at least 2 characters are going through gender related issues, crossdressing, but at times the question goes a little further.  Makoto sometimes starts to wonder if he is enjoying the experience too much or if it will hinder his struggle to prove his own masculinity.  Touma has the opposite problem.  After living with her brothers for so long, even she is worried that she doesn't even know how to be a girl or what is girly.  Ironically, these two know what each other is going through and are best friends.  There are occasionally other instances but it is mostly these two.  For Makoto, he is tricked into doing it just to spend time with a girl he likes.  For Touma, she has no female influences to learn from so boyishness is all she knows.

18 Birdy the Mighty

Birdy the Mighty

This is a shorter older version of the above birdy about a alien symbiotic relationship but I think you get to see a really good fight with Gomez in it.  

19 Princess Jellyfish

Princess Jellyfish

Jellyfish is not the most memorable series but has some memorable characters.  Aside from a few tacky elements, you witness a real feeling quagmire of gender questions.  One of the reasons vaguely hinted at is the main male character is swamped by women only interested in him for the most material of reasons and this was one of the ways he could escape that quagmire.  Truly there are many and varied reasons why gender can be fluid.

20 Log Horizon

Log Horizon

This should really have both season one and 2 on here and at least 2 major characters deal with gender related issues.  Season one doesnt have much, just Akatski has to switch genders as she has always used a male avatar but when it becomes real and unescapable, she doesn't think her tiny girly voice will work in this new world and begs Shio to help her out.  Season two, Tetra has already gone through a real voice change having been stuck as his female avatar for months by that time.

21 To Love Ru

To Love Ru

Two reasons this is on here, Rito and Run.  Both characters have frequent episodes of switching team outfits so to speak.  Run is the deeper character in this respect because that is the way of the planet Run is from are so it is a more psychological and deeper emotional issue.  Rito however does have his own gender issues since in part Lala starts comparing him to the same people that Run is to bridge the gap and Rito runs into plenty of gender related issues.  There might actually be more stories and screen time for Rito’s cross gender adventures than Run as most are short.  Still as haphazard as they are some real and meaningful issues and sentiments are expressed here.

22 Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

Yamada’s isn’t centered on gender dilemmas but does frequently display and explore them even when there isn’t body swapping.  Frankly, some of the responses to body swapping are to quick and simple but so e serious ones are least hit upon or suggested.

23 Gonna be the Twin-Tail!!

Gonna be the Twin-Tail!!

Souji might have a fairly straightforward dive into gender adventures but there sone serious moments and at least one inaccurate gender offensive one.  The show implies girls are weaker after Souji is kissed and loses control of his transformations.  I find this a bit conflicting since at the sane time, two of his comrades are girls with no power issues whatsoever.

24 Sword Art Online II

Sword Art Online II

When Kirito first logs onto Gun Gale, he looks effeminate if not actually a girl though we are later told he is still a guy.  Well, whatever the case some of his more profound gender related run-ins come from being hit on and gender biased reduced expectations.

25 SHIMONETA: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist

SHIMONETA: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist

There is some cross dressing here though forced by the main character at the same time it sparks a revolution in thinking for another major character.  Oddly most the gender oriented issues don’t arise from cross dressing or any conventional gender bending visual expression but from girls wanting to explore dirty words, images, and video.  There's some girl cross dressing as guys and another crossdresser compelled into the role. More than half the episodes feature at least one cross dressing incident.

26 Strike the Blood

Strike the Blood

This has one of the better initial gender/body swapping reactions.  Starting in season two, or episode 14 depending on the version you watch, the mc wakes up a little different.  It’s body jacking just like in that Stephen Baldwin movie or better the movie about the man falsely accused of murdering his girlfriend and is punished by being forced to live in her body in prison.  Ya odd story but unique and similar to how season two plays out.  In season one, you sometimes get the impression his creators ghost is still with him just like in Tokyo Ghoul.

27 Hayate the Combat Butler!

Hayate the Combat Butler!

Technically, gender boundaries are crossed a few different ways.  Hamate is forced to dress up and model, but sone of the girls act more like boys to which has their own appeal and gender related struggles because Hinagiku often tries to figure out how to act like a girl partly to appeal to someone she likes.

28 07-Ghost

07-Ghost

This show is very subtle if not a bit confusing.  There is a vague hint of bl but nothing ever overt.  On the plus side, if it really is there, it isn’t done in quite the creepy unrealistic and unappealing way most other anime that touch upon this subject do it.  However, it is also suggested that though Frere is a brother/preacher, he has strong perverted interest in women and the dirty magazines he hides.  There is another gender related reason this show is on the list but that isn’t fully explored in he show though it is faintly hinted at especially at the end.  I can’t really say more without slipping a mega spoiler.

29 The Ambition of Oda Nobuna

The Ambition of Oda Nobuna

This one opus obvious.  This is about an alternate world where historical figures are the opposite gender.  Hmm well that pretty much says it all.  You might get a few hints what things would be like or different if certain figures from the past had a different biology.

30 Witch Craft Works

Witch Craft Works

First off, the red witch calls her protected male charge “Princess” so right off you know standard gender rules don’t apply here.  The man is small compared to the giant woman protecting him.  It’s implied he has some sort of power of his own but that is never quite made clear.

31 Infinite Stratos

Infinite Stratos

From the gender uncertain roommate to the relative role of men being in the background, this show essentially turns gender norms on their head.

32 Actually, I Am…

Actually, I Am…

This is an anime version of Dr. Jeckyll and Ms. Hyde at least for the child hood friend character of the main vampire girl.

33 Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

This gender bender like theme is focused around role reversal at least in part because Bell is often treated like the cure transfer student all the guys ( actually several significant female characters in the role) see, to want.  Even his name is more commonly associated with women than men.  The series starts off with a guy, Bell, getting saved by the girl, Ais.  The introduction even spells out one of the gender twister themes right at the start when Bell's grandfather's words are played to go to a dungeon; fight monsters; and save a cute girl.

34 Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? OVA

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? OVA

See above.

35 Simoun

Simoun

Honestly, I find this show a tad confusing but it’s about underage  mecha pilots who until they reach a certain age can pilot them and pick a gender.  You might say it’s in a sense more gender neutral than gender bend.  It might not be a bad thing for one to pick a gender though purely androgynous or no gender I find might be insulting to both genders if is made a rule.  Who would want to feel it is wrong to be a gender?  The romance angles get a bit blurry because frankly the gender fluid non gender thing makes it difficult to understand either the appeal or where characters are coming from but on the other hand it cuts through genders and shows love could cone from knowing a person just be carful of this concept because you can know a pet or a relative well and lovingly to and not want a romantic relationship.

36 Gokudo

Gokudo

I Gokudo the gender grey Ed’s is mostly in the form of punishment when Gokudo show any lack of understanding women which hits again for a seemingly extended punishment as if fate itself gets annoyed with him.  Btw, don’t confuse the position of this show on the list.  It is actually a great quirky and funny show, but as it relates to gender, it is still good enough to be on the list but it doesn’t do it as well as the others on this list.

37 Vandread

Vandread

Vandread’s take on gender twist is mostly the roles/positions but there are a few more direct examples.  In the beginning, you hear two guys discussing making a kid together.  A female in a husband like and wife like roles have unique names that don’t exist in our world.  The human planets are divided b gender in this show.  It downplays what if any intimacy is involved but it does explore such gender related questions in ways no other show has.

The reason it is not higher on the list is, although such things are addressed p, they are also ridiculed but not necessarily in a way intended to be offensive however not everyone may see it that way.  This series takes a Mel Brooks like approach to gender comedy in the way that everything is made fun of equally most specifically, this show pokes fun at all kinds of gender based stereotypes.

38 Vandread: The Second Stage

Vandread: The Second Stage

See above.  Season two s in the same world but we learn a few things that make sone of those gender themes even more profound.

39 Dog Days

Dog Days

There USA brief sequence were the mc is swapped with a female character’s body.  Aside from that there is a general sense, the ladies have a slightly better position in this alternative world.

40 Our Home's Fox Deity

Our Home's Fox Deity

41 Reikenzan: Eichi e no Shikaku

Reikenzan: Eichi e no Shikaku

42 Tower of Druaga: the Aegis of Uruk

Tower of Druaga: the Aegis of Uruk

There is a segment where several characters get their gender switched.

43 Maria Holic

Maria Holic

44 The World is Still Beautiful

The World is Still Beautiful

Ya it is brief but it is in fact in this anime too. As for the, transgenderism treatment or how the show handles this brief element, it is every bit as noteworthy as most on the list. He feels uncertain and even uncomfortable in his change of attire and is later ridiculed though not in a mean spirited way. This provides a very surprising intense and very real way in which those in the gender dysphoria might feel. So, much to my surprise it did a very good job and handled it quite well despite it being only a very brief incident in one episode.

45 Ixion Saga: Dimension Transfer

Ixion Saga: Dimension Transfer

The show is a fun, quirky, funny, oddball, bizarre mix of styles and genres centering on a campy and cheesy type of entertainment.  At least two characters are given gender bending ish personal attention.  One is through a joke from a serious injury that is treated like an almost creepy running gag that'd make most guys cringe.  The other has a backstory similar to Qi Wang'sof Kingdom.  

46 Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Heart Throb

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Heart Throb

47 Date a Live II

Date a Live II

48 Black Butler

Black Butler

At least one sequence had sone cross dressing.

49 Shounen Maid

Shounen Maid

Umm hm  this is kind of a half assed cross dresser.  I couldn’t watch it to much because The whole creepy sicko adult pedo incest suggestion thing isn’t that appealing to me.

50 Sword Oratoria: Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side

Sword Oratoria: Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side

In addition to the general theme where several female characters are acting a bit tomboy or the intro role reversal spelled out in the original series, there's a female character who disguises as a man.

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