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Boys dressed as girls – girls dressed as boys – boys dressed as girls in love with girls dressed as boys – incestuous twins – mafia heirs dressed in maid fetish uniforms.
This is neither a scene from cutting edge queer cinema nor the milieu of a Hollywood fetish club, but rather an average episode of the wildly popular 2006 Japanese animated television series engages two important aesthetic traditions, both of which explicitly question traditional sexualities and gender roles, the queer practice of camp and the fan practice of parody.
In each case, a marginalized group seizes on an iconic cultural production and draws attention to its ridiculousness through playful, often reverent, exploitation.Moreover, in the case of both parody and camp, this playful subversion is focused particularly on cultural items that contain strongly identified gender type.(Kinsella 304) Since most of these parodies of traditional depictions of Japanese masculinity are penned by young women, the most marginalized figures in Japanese society, it seems a critique of the traditional roles represented by older generations is taking place.Since the late 1960s, young women have been object of peculiar moral concern in Japanese society.Young women are often considered a mirror of Japanese culture as a whole, and their growing interest in more mainstream, less submissive roles for women has long been considered the penultimate symbol of Japan's perceived moral decay and break with tradition.