The entelechy of ‘reverse traps,’ and the 7th Philippine Toy Convention
I went to the 7th Phil. Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention yesterday. The event was actually far from our place, and I had a sore throat. I decided to go there, however, because it is most probably my last year of stay here in Manila and conventions occur only once a year. I actually enjoyed the convention a lot because it was the first time I was able to meet with other members of our anime organization; I also had friends who accompanied me in my search for good but cheap merchandise. Finally, I was able to purchase two CDs of the brilliant green and some very cheap books (not comic books, but non-graphic ones), so I didn’t go home empty-handed.
The brunt of my post, however, will not be about my experience with the convention. It will be about the entelechy of reverse traps. This post came to mind when I saw a cosplayer who was a good example of this phenomenon: she wore a Prince of Tennis cosplay of Kunimitsu Tezuka (I think), and she was quite attractive both as a guy or as a girl. As I already had the inspiration for the post, I decided to interview her: this would allow me to flesh out the entelechy of the phenomenon better.
Reverse traps are a phenomenon in some anime and manga. This arose from the trap phenomenon, which most non-casual anime fans are familiar of. A trap is genetically a human male (with a penis) that looks a lot like a human female. Notable examples would be Mizuho from Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru and Jun from Happiness!. Conversely, a reverse trap is a human female and is someone that looks a lot like a human male or can pass off as one.
Before I saw the lady I interviewed yesterday, I was thinking of reverse traps purely and solely within the world of potentiality: it was highly implausible, but it was possible that it could happen in the real world. The situations where Mizuho is placed in is an absurd one; the same can also be said with regard to Fujioka Haruhi‘s situation.
Having seen a lady that can pass off as a man without any plastic surgery, however, made me decide to interview the lady. My friend even took pictures of her. Without him, I wouldn’t have proof of a reverse trap existing in real life. Thanks, Steve.
In my interview of Raissa (for that was the name she gave me), I noted quite a few similarities in the situation of the reverse trap purely in the realm of potentiality (anime and manga) and the same situation in real life.
1) The women are as straight as arrows.
Fujioka Haruhi and Ashiya Mizuki are women who are straight. This means that they have romantic feelings only for beings of their opposite sex. Haruhi struggles with the advances of her harem, and so does Mizuki.
The same can be said regarding Raissa. When I asked her whether she was straight, she quickly replied that she was. She admires Haruhi and Mizuki, however, because she likes female empowerment.
2) The interests of the women involved are often masculine in nature.
Haruhi is fond of her studies to the extent of doing all those things so that her academic education would not be destroyed; Mizuki wanted to be close to her idol, but also excelled in a sport that men are more prominent in, which is track and field. Likewise, Raissa is fond of Filipino poetry (she told me this was her interest), which is a field dominated by men.
I think this is what allows them to adapt easier to the more brusque nature of man: they have interests that are masculine as well as feminine, so when they are required to adjust (more will be said about this in the third point) they have an easy transition.
3) Their transvestism, or dressing up as men, is more a necessity than a desire.
This is very obvious.
Mizuki had to dress as a guy because she belonged to an all-boys’ school; likewise, Haruhi has to dress up like a man because she had to belong to a girls’ host club.
Raissa had to dress up as a guy because she cosplayed as a guy in Prince of Tennis.
Their adjustment to acting as men, however, has an easy transition because they are steeped in masculine actions and interests. Were these ladies interested in only in Barbies or dolls and using make-up, the transition would be quite difficult. Being a reverse trap is also an art.
I believe the incidence of reverse traps in recent anime signals the shift from purely male-dominated anime (Fist of the North Star comes to mind) to a more balanced treatment of men and women. I applaud the shift: I appreciate women who think and act for themselves; I don’t, however, like women who act like doormats (which is why I disliked Hot Gimmick). I could actually add more to this post, but that will have to come later as I still have a ton of academic requirements to fulfill. 🙂
P.S. Click the thumbnails for the full picture. The camera doesn’t do her justice, but it was a camera from the phone of my friend.