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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



This research asks the question of why the anime Zombie Land Saga has been hailed as positive and progressive transgender representation by international fans. I examine a famous episode in which the character Lily Hoshikawa comes out as transgender in terms of its themes of gender dysphoria and identity. After considering the changing understanding about these concepts in Japan as a result of Gender Identity Disorder, those two themes are suggested as key to popularity. The impact of the “wrong body” narrative created by GID on transgender culture in Japan is considered through personal accounts and commentary on recent changes. I conclude that dysphoria and gender identity are key to understanding the story’s reception among fans, and that it makes subtle but meaningful deviations from the narrative created by adherence to a Gender Identity Disorder paradigm.


First Advisor

Professor Bruce Baird

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.