Initially consisting of a series of blog posts, The Bride Was a Boy ultimately became a 4koma diary manga chronicling Chii’s life story and experiences as a woman who was assigned male at birth.
Essentially, this one-volume manga could be described to almost be like a fairy tale since Chii is incredibly fortunate to have been blessed with a supportive family, friends, and a boyfriend-turned-husband. Some have gone so far to claim that The Bride Was a Boy is overly idealistic and unrealistic considering how everything goes so smoothly for Chii.
Be that as it may, not every transgender story has to be wrought with peril and unfair tribulations. With so many transgender individuals being forced to struggle with unreasonable circumstances in real life, the demand for heartwarming and rosy fiction is palpable. It just so happens that The Bride Was a Boy cleanly fulfills that particular need.
With that being said, the diary manga is noticeably less successful at providing meaningful advice regarding her transition and how she overcame conflicts and difficulties, which is what less fortunate transgender people genuinely want to help get through these trying times.
For what it’s worth, there are a considerable amount of pages dedicated to defining terminology and explaining Japan’s rules (and shortcomings) in regards to officially transitioning on paper as well as the restrictions pertaining to marriage. These “A Little Explanation” sections can prove to be informative for those who are less informed on queer discourse and/or on how things are done in Japan. However, as mentioned earlier, Chii easily overcomes any obstacles in her way which simply makes The Bride Was a Boy unable to meet the expectations belonging to those who were seeking words of wisdom and guidance.
The story for the most part follows Chii’s life, starting from being a child who struggled with gender dysphoria and ending with becoming a bride to a loving husband. Although there are some switching between outlining her past and her progress in transitioning, The Bride Was A Boy remains readily coherent since the sections of her life are cleanly divided into separate chapters.
As for the illustrations, they’re cute and competent at conveying emotions despite its simplicity. Nowhere is it stated that Chii is a professional artist so critics should be understanding when it comes to appraising the quality of her art. All in all, it’s a solid job for someone who isn’t specially trained in art.
In short, The Bride Was a Boy is lighthearted and upbeat story based on a transwoman’s real life and true events. While the 4koma is not overly helpful at providing tips for transgender readers, everyone can stand to learn something from reading this diary manga.