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    MANGA: Boy Meets Maria

    Boy Meets Maria – Peyo

    Taiga’s always worshiped the heroes he’s seen on TV. And now that he’s started high school, his fateful encounter with a certain girl compels him to make her his heroine. And she was known as the Madonna of the drama club, Maria. After seeing her perform on stage, Taiga falls head over heels and confesses his feelings to her and is tragically shot down. And to his surprise, the beautiful lady is actually a beautiful boy…

    A mix of humor and drama, this is a manga that tackled heavy topics like broken families, child abuse and gender identity.

    Aspiring actor Taiga dreamed of playing the hero part on stage. He fell in love at first sight with Maria when he saw what he thought was a beautiful girl dancing on stage. He confessed to her but was turned down. Even after he discovered the true identity of his idol, he refused to give up his pursuit.

    The humor is not the laugh out loud kind. It’s more of the amusing kind courtesy of the energetic Taiga and his dorky friends.

    There is a dark, psychological aspect in relation to Maria a.k.a. Arima. He was forced by his mother to dress up as a girl at a very early age, causing him to question whether he is a girl or a boy. He was later on molested by his teacher (TW here for graphic depiction). He was rescued by a stranger who for some reason reminded him of Taiga.

    The gender identity issue was handled and resolved well. I liked how Arima’s confusion turned into empowerment when he realized what he is capable of. There were no slurs directed towards Arima. The little bit of name calling present was directed towards Taiga and used humorously.

    Taiga’s determination to win over Arima was earnest but Arima was not convinced Taiga was sincere. Taiga never once gave up even after being rejected several times. He learned to speak from the heart and showed everyone, most especially Arima, that he was a true hero.