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Set in early 20th century France, Claudine...! follows the story of a transgender man into adulthood. He struggles through life, being the first child after three older brothers to take after his father, and is constanly misgendered by those around him. He wants only to be able to find true love...
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For what its worth, this is one of the better manga out there about transsexuals. Every action and feeling of Claudine was realistic, and the presentation of the story made it highly believable as to how Claudine came to adopt the mentality of a man instead of a woman. The only qualm I have with this manga is that it was too quick. The manga started out with a nice pacing, but at the halfway mark the story started to progress with break-neck speed, as if the author wanted to hurry and finish. In addition, certain characters and their interrelationships could have used more scenes for build up and introduction.
Either way, the pros far outweigh the cons, and I highly recommend this manga as both a ground-breaking shoujo for its time (1978) and a pioneer in its genre.
... Last updated on November 18th, 2008, 4:26pm
Not Shoujo Ai
The genres are completely wrong on this one. The magazine Margaret published all of one other thing that had the shoujo ai tag while everything else it published was outright shoujo. Claudine is essentially the story of a man who was born trapped in the body of a woman who was doubly unfortunate of also being born in a past era where things like corrective surgery didn't exist.
truth is i wasnt bothered with the fact that she was a girl. it`s actually pitiful that she was born a girl but that`s what makes it so interesting and heartwrenching. great story, unique characters and twists. this kind of story exists in reality and its not your usual fluffy hot guy romance. it`s actually hard and i could speak from experience.
This story isn't a shoujo-ai and I wouldn't ever categorize it as such. As it says in the manga, though Claudine is woman in body she is clearly a man inside.
It's a sad and pretty story however!
A heartbreaking story.
Truly one of the saddest stories I've ever read. Her desire to find love, yet be trapped somewhere between two genders and being unable to truly find someone to love, it's sad. I feel like it's very realistic too. I know people who are just like this, who can relate to this story. Short read, well thought out, and packed full of emotion. 10/10.
rather enjoyed this manga
I generally enjoyed Claudine...! It's set during a time period where discovering that you're transgender would have been very difficult. The fact that Claude's parents take it so well (not kicking Claude out) is rather incredible. Riyoko has a distinctive art style, and Claude looks similar to some other protagonists she's drawn (Oscar). At times, I felt that the story moved too quickly, and we never got a chance to fall in love with Claude's romantic interests as he did. The story is very dramatic and tragic, and occasionally feels over the top. Only Claude's friend Rosemarie refers to him as a man, and by the name Claude. In fact, while at the very end, Claude's doctor refers to Claude as a trans man, the doctor still refers to him as a woman. It's disheartening because this character acknowledges that Claude is a man, yet refers to him as if he were a woman. However, I do think the subject matter is respectfully handled, as this manga was published in the late 70s. I have expectations of language as a *modern* reader, but that language simply didn't exist, or wasn't widely known, in the mid to late 20th century. For the most part, I found this to be an honest, heart-breaking portrayal of a trans man trying to find love in a cissexist society, and coping with cultural and familial circumstances.
"Bifauxnen", beautiful girls that look and act more like beautiful boys, are a staple of Ikeda's work. Usually, though, these characters are as fantastic and exotic as their sumptuous settings. In no other work does Ikeda explore the real feelings behind a female bishounen, the feelings behind transsexuality.
Ikeda has obviously browsed at least a few psychology books before writing this story. Every explanation for transsexuality that had been thought up by 1978 is mentioned here. But scholarly debate doesn't make a shoujo manga classic. It's the expertly-molded romance and melodrama of Claudine that makes it so memorable. It's the tragedy of the ending that makes the reader wonder why the world has to be so inhospitable for a being like Claudine.
It's quite an interesting and original read. It is quite fast paced and like jomyblue said I felt like I didn't have enough time to fall in love/get attached to the characters, although at the same time maybe I would've felt more negative about some characters too. I felt like Claude would be someone I'd fall in love with and he did remind me of Oscar who's one of my favourite characters. I consider myself pretty open-minded and I like to surround myself with equally open-minded people, so I feel like the sadness in this manga comes from how others can be so harsh to someone just on the basis that they don't fit in their idea of 'normality' in their small minds. That makes me feel sad and I honestly hope it's not as harsh for people nowadays.
How do I say it…? It was awesome!!! So well-written, eloquent, breathtaking! I am confused as to how I should describe Claudine… a “she” but a man or a “he” as truly was inside? This topic is not something I am qualified to explore anyway. From the first pages we get introduced to a creature unique, beautiful, intelligent, strong and so sentimental in the same time. Her relationship with her family and especially her father, her first love, the consequences of being herself, the ways she was being used from the people she cared for and the final betrayal. What an uneasy feeling must be not to belong anywhere! And in this period of time where everything where still under research. Topics such as homosexuality or being transsexual or even bisexual - although present -where not acceptable as they are today (?). I didn’t want her to die like that alone, forsaken, in such anguish!!! But I guess being unique sometimes has its repercussions. What a waste! Nonetheless, I have to say it is one of the very few serious yuri manga I have read! It saddens me that the majority is about silly schoolgirls with uniforms! They are good as you get introduced into this genre of manga but after awhile they seem all the same.
... Last updated on June 7th, 2012, 6:07am
i think this was a quite nice read... i liked the retro feel in the art too...classic 70's manga style! it's a nice short read...a short story only 110 pages...i have to agree with the approach of how claudine came to think of herself as a boy and not a girl...by idolising her father so much that she wanted to be just like him...this is one way these things can happen and it's true