The series’ use of transformation and body horror resonate with the physical experiences of dysphoria and transitioning; its depictions of mental health struggles, particularly self-harm and suicide, may find special meaning with trans audiences; it thematically explores names as potential sources of both trauma and self-actualization; and the characters of Haibane Renmei strive to build a safe community that promotes healing and growth. Yet I have never seen this two-decade-old series discussed through a trans lens, despite the wealth of potential it has to offer. That ends today.
Posts by Iris Von Gonten
Both series, at the surface level, encourage their audiences to be mindful and critical of the ideas they’re asked to buy into as the price of inclusion. However, there is a stark contrast between how these series portray the underlying power dynamics, prejudices, and active malice behind these policies, as well as the particulars of their respective calls to action. This reveals a difference in priorities; where Insight offers vague hope and comfort with no clear call to action, Yurikuma actively aims to elevate marginalized voices.