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Japanese Anime Makes Massive Strive for Gender Acceptance

'Hugtto Precure!' is making history with a gender fluid superhero in a children's television show.

Precure is a franchise celebrating its 15th anniversary this year with its current season Hugtto Precure! Some may know of Precure, as it is the franchise that is used by Saban to create their franchise Glitter Force. With it being the 15th anniversary you would expect them to make some landmarks in the franchise, but one has been a massive stand for gender fluidity while making some Precure history in the process.

He's simply got his own style and will be himself.

Henri Wakamiya was introduced early on as a supporting character and ice skating partner of the heroine Homare Kagayaki/Cure Etoile. The character clearly had his own style and flare for fashion when he first appeared, but ever since his first sparkle on the show he has made a great stand for gender equality and fluidity. 

During one episode he took a stand against the Masato Aisaki the older brother of one of the heroines Emiru Aisaki/Cure Macherie. Masato had a clear idea of what boys were meant to do and what girls were meant to do. In his mind, his younger sister should not be playing guitar as rock music is more fitting for a boy, meaning a girl had no business wanting to play that type of music. Henri instantly challenges Masato's idea of gender roles by taking a stand for Emriu while wearing a white silk dress.

Dude looks good in a dress.

Masato tried his hardest to shame Henri with mocking and laughter, but this only made Henri more determined to shame Masato by having such a closed mind. After this confrontation, Henri and Masato become close friends, with some even speculating that Masato has developed feelings for Henri. But that is not where it ends with Henri making his stand for gender fluidity. He has challenged viewers by stating "Even boys can become princesses."

While he knows Pretty Cures are magical girls, he has never given up hope that he himself will get to become a Precure one day. His wish finally came true as for a single episode as a miracle occurred and granted him his wish. Having been injured and unable to compete in an ice skating competition Henri started to listen to the negative feelings within him. This gave the enemy a chance to corrupt Henri. Thankfully his corruption did not last long as the Precures reminded him of his true self and gave some of their powers to free him. This is when the miracle shined and the first boy Precure was born, Cure Infini.

Birth of Cure Infini

Precure has had the odd male Precure before, but they were male fairies given human form and mainly showed up at the end of the series or in a movie. Henri is the first human boy to become a Precure, and many fans want to see him transform again before the show comes to an end in February. 

With the current attitudes of some towards the LGBT community and those going through gender reassignments, you have to question if this is one small show making a large stand for all. Precure is not a show aimed at adults, but primarily young girls. Have the producers created Henri to aid in teaching the next generation to be accepting of others? I think it is highly likely, and a brilliant move by the creators to show children that gender is not what defines how we should live our lives. 

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