International Comic/Manga School Contest 2021 Storyboard Category Storyboard Text 2 (Courtesy of Shueisha)

◆ Characters, personalities, and relationships

  • Makito: A boy in his first year of high school. He’s been a childhood friend of Kazusa since they were in kindergarten. They are starting at the same high school.
  • Kazusa: A brave, thoughtful, and popular student. From an early age, Kazusa felt uncomfortable wearing men’s clothes and began to have long hair from junior high school. Kazusa unexpectedly wore a girls' school uniform to the first day of high school.

◆ Script

Some people like to start high school with a totally new image. Starting high school is an opportunity for students to reinvent themselves, whether it be dyeing their hair a new color, getting new piercings, or acting tough by taking up smoking. I didn't do it, but I understand why other people do. However, I never thought that my childhood friend Kazusa would come to school in girls’ clothing. When Kazusa went up on the stage as the freshman representative in a blazer and checked skirt and began to read the speech, a commotion ran throughout the hall. No wonder, seeing the glossy brown hair like dripping honey, the peach-flushed skin, and model-like figure, anyone would see Kazusa as a woman. After reading the speech in a rough, low voice, Kazusa gave a deep bow and came down from the stage. Kazusa walked back leisurely amidst the gentle buzz in the hall, but upon noticing my shocked expression, gave a mischievous smile and waved at me lightly.

After school.

I called out as Kazusa was leaving from the school gate alone with a school bag slung over one shoulder.

 Kazusa turned around, seeing me, and stopped.
“Oh, Makito. What’s up?”
 We started chatting while walking side-by-side.
“Hey, can I ask something stupid?"
“No. I’ve been asked stupid questions thousands of times already today. If you want to ask something, make it interesting."
“...Will you be changing your look every day? Will you be in the boys’ uniform tomorrow, then a cloak and top hat the day after..?”
 Kazusa huffed out a laugh.
"... Haha, what do you mean by a cloak and hat? Okay, I'll answer because you made me laugh a little. This isn’t a daily makeover. I want to keep dressing like this until we graduate.”
“Weren’t you wearing the normal boys’ uniform in junior high? What made you suddenly...”
“I hated that ‘normal’ uniform. I wanted to stop lying to myself.”
“I always felt like I wasn't really myself, even if I was dressed as a man. I felt like I was playing the role of a man. Do you remember last winter vacation, when we all played around and dressed up as women?"
"Oh, when we had that contest of who looked the best in women’s clothes. Everyone knew it then, but you were the best by far."
“And you were the worst. But you were so funny that I still have it as my phone background, look."
“Oh no, stop that! I’ll have you know I tried my best. Don't make fun of me for trying."
"Hehe, well, that was the trigger. It made me think, oh, this is who I really am. After that, I started to buy women's clothes online and wear them around my room. Eventually, I started going out in them, and finally, this happened."
"But did your parents or the school just say okay?"
“When I found out I got accepted to this high school, I told my parents I wanted to wear the girls' uniform."
"Wow. You’re so brave."
“It was hard. But what you think of yourself is more important than what people think of you. So, I told them everything. Like that, I was going out in feminine clothes and stuff.”
“How did they react?"
"Well, it didn’t go great. But my life isn't my father's or my mother's, it's mine. I told them that if they don't accept it, then I'll drop out of school and move out, then they accepted it and talked with the school. Well, I think that kind of life is okay too.”
 Kazusa stared into the distance, and I let out a sigh without thinking.
“Hey, really, that's amazing, you...”
“It's not amazing. As I said, I just wanted to stop lying to myself. I want to dress however I like. So if I decide I want to come to school with a top hat and cloak, maybe I’ll do it,"

Kazusa laughed. A gentle breeze was blowing through Kazusa's beautiful hair.

(From “A blue we don’t know (Bokura no shiranai aoi)” from RIKIMARU on TanZak, a Shueisha short story app)