I feel women are getting stronger more and more lately. Why do we have so many words to describe how strong and powerful women are and how vulnerable men seem to have been like 草食男子[soushoku danshi] or イクメン[ikumen]? I also feel women might even take over men’s place and rule this world in the future. But I think that would be nice because it is better for this irritating world where obtuse men rule. 別にそれはそれでアリだと思います。
At any rate, I found a word to introduce, and again this is to describe such a powerful and cool lady…that is 男段位[otoko dan’i]. 男[otoko] means a man, and 段位[dan’i] means a rank or a title to place your ability in a technical way. The higher the better. In Japan, 段[dan] is most likely to be used for martial arts like 柔道[judo] or 空手[karate], and 将棋[shougi, Japanese chess]. Four[四段] or five[五段] dan onwords seem to have a great reputation.
I said 男段位 means a cool and strong lady, but at the same time it also means such an 俺女[ore onna]. The way she is, and the way she speaks look like a man, yes, she is entitled to be 男段位. Besides, the maximum is 8[八, hachi] though I don’t know why, so we say 男八段[otoko hachidan] to mean such a coolest lady. I introduced 兄貴[aniki] before, and men use it to admire such a cool guy, and 男八段 almost works the same way. Please know 男八段 does not necessarily mean a crossdresser, I mean we call such a lady おなべ[onabe], and おかま means such a guy, which means lesbian and gay respectively. Both おなべ and おかま mean a person who crossdresses(or behaves as the other sex) in order to switch his/her gender.
This word was born in the radio program by Megumi Ogata[緒方恵美] who voices Ikari Shinji in Evangelion, Kurama in Yu-Yu-Hakusho, and Sailor Uranus in Sailor Moon. The program named 緒方恵美の銀河にほえろ！[Shout at the galaxy!] was aired from 1996-1998, and so popular among not only her fans but other anime fans. Speaking of Sailor Moon, the series has a lot of male and female fans, so I must say she is really loved by most anime fans. In this program, there was a section she hosted as a life advisor for listeners, and she good took care of her fans. Sometimes she got to an brutal conclusion. The funny thing is that she used to read the letters from her fans over a glass of sake named 男八段. I have never tasted the sake, though.
Then who could be a 男八段 in anime? Speaking of such a cool and dashy woman, I can think of Oscar in Rose of Versaille, and Tenjo Utena in Revolutionary Girl Utena. ただしだからと言ってウテナのように自分を「ボク」と呼ぶのは痛いので止めましょう。あれは2次元だから萌えになるのであって現実にやるとただの厨二病なんで。Oscar is destined to live as a man so she has to give up happiness as a woman. I have no idea how hard and tough such a life is. That might be what Oscar chose for her own, but can you imagine how hard being always surrounded by a bunch of men to lead them? Besides, she can’t be allowed to show her weakness to anyone else…oh no, I really adore Oscar! No wonder most women respect and adore her.
By the way, 男装[dansou] means a woman’s crossdressing. Wherever it is, whenever it is, even in the olden time, it seems to have been a kind of feticism. In kabuki[歌舞伎] or the likes, we have seen such a heroine who was raised as a boy. It is really extraordinary, but at the same time it is something women might get captivated, isn’t it?
Meanwhile, 女装[josou, crossdressing by men] is getting popular more and more. We could see a lot of male characters occasionally crossdressing. Anime fans always come up with a new term or a similar one. I already introduced 女装少年[josou shounen], but here is a similar word, おとこの娘[otoko no ko], which means a little boy who looks like a girl. おとこ[otoko] can be written as 男 in kanji, but hiragana somehow makes it sound childish. 娘[musume], or girl is not officially read as こ[ko], and the correct one is 子[ko]. The hybrid of a little boy and a girl is…such a おとこの娘. By the way, if you think shota is a moe for girls only, it is wrong. Actually there are quite a few of male fans…