Why You Should Support ECHOES by Ayumi
Recently, Crunchyroll has announced that the manga, ECHOES by Ayumi, a 28-year old artist, has won first place in the Kono Manga ga Sugoi! (This Manga is Amazing!) Grand Prix Awards.
Why is this important? Well, the Manga is about a female basketball team, however, the main protagonist is a transgender boy. I know, yes, there have been other instances in which there have been trans characters in both Manga and Anime – For example, Grell in Black Butler and Inukashi in No. 6. However, not only is this a sports Manga which is increasing in popularity, but this Manga was based off of the real life experiences of the author who said he began to feel gender dysphoria as young as the age of three.
The main character is called Sei and while the story follows all of the characters’ personal growth, it also focuses on his confusion and distress surrounding his gender identity. Other characters include Asuka, who has a dislike of humankind due to previous relationships with others, and Kaneko, who has trouble getting over guilt from her past and inner weaknesses.
The author has said he wants to send the message that many different people can co-exist within one community and he wishes that the world will become a place in which transgender people will no longer be considered weird or strange.
I didn’t find out about this Manga through Crunchyroll. A tumblr user asked me to promote it as the entire Manga has not been translated to English yet. After signal boosting it, @juupun on twitter found it and has begun translating; but when the official translations come out please do buy them and support the creators!
You can read the first chapter of ECHOES here.