Skip and Loafer – Misaki Takamatsu

This is a charming slice-of-life/romance series that follows Mitsumi Iwakura while she moves to Tokyo with the ambition to become a government official so she can help develop her home prefecture that has been depopulating for years. Surprised by the massive transit hubs on the way to school, she ends up losing her way and is in danger to be late for her opening ceremony. Sousuke Shima, her soon-to-be laidback classmate, helps her get to school just in the nick of time for her opening ceremony speech. Shima thinks school will be very interesting with Mitsumi attending and shows up daily.

The series is fantastic, the target audience is young adult men, but I know lots of girls who are hooked to this one. 😉 But one of the best things about this series is that Mitsumi’s aunt Nao is transgender.

Mitsumi & Nao

Nao is introduced at the very beginning of the series (both manga & anime) while accompanying Mitsumi part of the way towards her school on her first day. You see two girls standing close by gossiping and giggling about Nao’s Adam’s apple. Luckily for Noa or Mistumi, they don’t hear this. When they split up, Mitsumi loses her way and runs into Shima who helps her out. Mitsumi will stay with her aunt while she attends school in Tokyo.

Nao is a stylist and has a boyfriend. She helps Mitsumi with her outfit choices as Mitsumi has totally no clue what fits together and what not. When the story progresses you find out more about Nao’s youth. How she struggled living in a rural area where people weren’t accepting of her gender. In Tokyo you can find kindred spirits, a larger group of LGBTQIA+ members that will support you. I see this in my hometown, it’s not a small town but you can’t walk hand-in-hand with your same sex partner without being called out, harassed or worse. And people here will also single you out when you look not feminine or masculine enough for your gender. I am sorry to say that transphobia is big here in the southern regions of the Netherlands. We still have a lot of work to do.

The reason I love Nao so much in this series is that she is very supportive of Mitsumi but also listens to the struggles of Mitsuki’s friends. When there was a sleepover she informed Mitsumi’s friends parents that she is biologically male and was sleeping over at a friend’s house so they wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. She really aware of how unaccepting people can be and she doesn’t want Mitsumi to get hurt. She is the bestest aunty ever!

Nao is portrayed in a respectful way by the manga-ka. I think it’s great that her family is so accepting and I hope to find out more about her story and her adventures in the coming volumes of Skip and Loafer. We need moar Noa-chan!