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Manga / Nozomu Nozomi

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Poor Tao Nozomu. He's an androgynous late bloomer who's constantly teased for his girly looks, and it sure doesn't help that he and the rest of his middle school baseball team are forced to dress as cheerleaders and cheer for their rivals as punishment for losing a big game. It's all very embarrassing, especially since his crush, Cute Sports Club Manager and Cool Big Sis Yuka Ide, seems to have taken a particular interest in making him look "cute" for the occasion. Unfortunately, she does a good enough job that people actually mistake him for a girl. And it only gets worse when he looks at himself wearing Ide's clothing and realizes to his horror that he's just found something he may like even more than baseball.

And so begins his new interest in crossdressing, which takes an even stranger turn when his body spontaneously transforms into that of a girl after his father nearly catches him wearing his little sister's clothing. Now he has two things to hide, and if hiding his new interests and anatomy from his family and friends wasn't enough, he's finally hitting puberty, just like all of the other boys on the team... only the changes he's experiencing, like wider hips and bigger breasts, are not the same changes they're going through, and not likely to improve his baseball skills, either. In fact they just might give the whole game away.

A lighthearted Ecchi Gender Bender story which nonetheless manages to play around with relatable themes of teenage gender identity, puberty, and sexuality, Nozomu Nozomi is a short full-color manga consisting of about 15 chapters in two volumes.

In order to acknowledge the fact that Nozomu spends most of his Gender Bender experience thinking of himself as a boy trapped in a girl's body, we will refer to him using the pronoun "he" in our examples under the premise that it is more accurate to refer to someone by their self-identified gender rather than something as relatively incidental to personality as the anatomical or biological nature of their body at any given moment.Exception (spoilers) 

Nozomu Nozomi contains examples of:

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Averted. Nozomu's little sister Kanae aids and abets his crossdressing and later comes up with the ultimate solution to their problems.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Nozomu finds himself attracted against his better judgement to the roguish Yasu rather than the more mature Kouji, though Yasu isn't so much a bad boy as he is just an immature horndog.
  • All Men Are Perverts: The manga portrays teenage boys as inherently horny, and Nozomu realizes his incipient manhood is fading fast when it starts estranging him from them.
  • Ambiguous Gender Identity: After his Gender Bender, Nozomu's feelings gradually evolve to the point where he wonders if he truly is a boy who likes to dress as a girl in private or a girl who has to dress as boy in public. One could even ask the same question before the transformation.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Even before his unexplained sex change, Nozomu could pass for a cute girl while crossdressing.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • Nozomu just wanted to play with the external trappings of femininity and ended up getting much more than he bargained for when he wished his former Gag Penis would stop getting in the way while he was secretly trying on his sister's clothes.
    • Kanae said she'd rather become a guy than deal with getting her period and got her wish that very afternoon.
  • Big Prick, Big Problems: Nozomu mentions having a large penis when he had a male body, but he simply thought of it as something embarrassing the other boys would tease him about, and an obstacle to convincingly passing as a girl when he was crossdressing.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Nozomu and Kanae never learn the reason for their spontaneous sex change, and there’s doesn’t seem to be any way to reverse it, so there’s nothing they can do but adapt to their new circumstances. In order to keep the secret of what happened to them, they decide to switch identities so that Nozomu can live as a girl and Kanae as a boy. There’s some sadness in saying goodbye to their old lives and gender identities, but it's not all bad; after leaving behind the expectations of their former genders they can enjoy the clothes and activities they like without raising eyebrows, and there are new opportunities for romance where gender used to be an obstacle.
  • Bluff the Imposter: Yasu finally confirms his suspicion about the Gender Bender by tricking Nozomu into responding to his old name after he trades identities with Kanae.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Downplayed. Nozomu helps Kanae to masturbate after she grows a penis and doesn’t know what to do about her raging hard-on. It's never about them being sexually attracted to each other; Kanae get aroused for no reason except a flood of male hormones, Nozomu wants to help relieve her pain, and he stops doing it for her as soon as she’s learned to service herself.
  • Can't Catch Up: Nozomu's increasingly feminine body causes him to gradually lose ground on the rest of his team and eventually his place in the starting lineup because they're getting bigger and stronger and he isn't.
  • Catapult Nightmare: After the sex partner in Nozomu's dream changes from Ide to Kouji, Nozomu jolts awake.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Nozomu has several near misses when people walk in on him, nearly exposing his crossdressing early on, his Gender Bender later, and eventually a perfect trifecta of crossdressing, gender-bending and masturbation.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Nozomu's little sister walks in on him while he's changing: The comedy comes not from her catching him wearing her panties (she expects that) but from his attempts to prevent her from noticing they are a perfect fit.
  • Coming-Out Story: Nozomu's gender bender can be viewed as a metaphorical take on a classic Coming Out Story, as Nozomu realizes his orientation is different from the boys around him in early puberty and constantly wonders "Is it normal? Am I normal?" until he finally accepts this aspect of himself. However, it ultimately subverts the trope because Nozomu only "comes out" to the two people who already figured out his secret and Takes a Third Option for everyone else. Her eventual acceptance of the gender bender means it's technically a Coming Straight Story as well.
  • Cool Big Sis:
    • Ide to the team, though she's actually in their grade.
    • Thoroughly subverted by Nozomu when he's pretending to be Nozomi with his little sister. She acts more like a cool big sis to him—which only makes sense as she has a lot more experience being a girl.
  • Cute Sports Club Manager: Ide is a type 2 (Coach's daughter), Kanae later becomes her assistant. Nozomu becomes one after she exchanges identities with Kanae.
  • D-Cup Distress: Nozomu is worried that people will notice his minuscule breasts long before they're big enough to actually become a problem. By the time they finally do get big enough to require special efforts to conceal they're still barely AA cup at most.
  • Different for Girls: In an unusual example, Nozomu splitting his time between male and female identities leaves him facing separate kinds of awkwardness. As "Nozomi", he experiences the usual cultural aspects of adjusting to a gender he wasn't raised as. Under his original identity, the physical aspects remain worrisome because Nozomu has to first learn how to deal with them in secret and live with them without giving himself away. For instance, when the team watches a porn DVD at training camp the noticeable differences between male and female arousal force Nozomu to retreat to the bath before his body gives him away.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: A rather squicky example, since Nozomu's buddies actually discuss him as masturbating material... in his presence. Covertly subverted as Nozomu has already been transformed into a girl at that point, he's just so immature and androgynous they haven't noticed. Even his budding breasts are slight enough that his teammates just think he's still carrying baby fat, an assumption that's unfortunately reinforced by his lack of progress on the field.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Yasu might not know about Nozomu's secret, but he admits that Nozomu turns him on with his girliness.
  • First Law of Gender Bending: Nozomu gets the feeling he'll be stuck as a girl. He's right, but it's also an inversion, as his sister's bender into a guy turns out to be just as permanent.
  • First Period Panic: Nozomu's first period pretty much eliminates what little hope of regaining his manhood he has left.
  • Freakiness Shame: Nozomu hides his Gender Bender for a full year—even from his sister, who knows he's a crossdresser—afraid of what everyone might think.
  • Fridge Logic: Used in-universe, as Nozomu gradually comes to realize how profoundly his life will be affected if he doesn't change back.
  • Fridge Horror: invoked Used to avert Man, I Feel Like a Woman when Nozomu realizes he has undergone the physical transformation that would make it possible and it might imply he's actually accepting his change.
  • Gag Penis: Nozomu starts out with one (though it's an Informed Attribute never depicted) and it gets complicated when Yasu wants him to prove it to their other teammates after it gets swapped for a vulva. Kanae later gets one just like it as part of her subsequent transformation.
  • Gender Bender: Nozomu spontaneously and inexplicably turns into a girl after he nearly gets caught wearing his sister's clothing; Kanae later turns into a boy, complete with Nozomu's former Gag Penis.
  • Gender-Bender Friendship: Nozomu's crush on Ide turns into this as he gradually becomes more feminine in his thinking.
  • Groin Attack:
    • After his change Nozomu takes a line drive to the crotch while playing shortstop and finds that a) yes, it does indeed hurt if you're a girl and b) the techniques that boys use to work off the pain of getting hit in the balls don't necessarily work for a vulva.
    • Yasu almost learns Nozomu's secret by miming a groin stomp while the two are horsing around but gets distracted by a teammate before he figures out why Nozomu's groin doesn't feel right underfoot.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Played with. The boys play it straight, particularly Yasu; Nozomu is a bit more nuanced, with honest trepidation about the changes he is experiencing. Played straight with Nozomu's attraction to Yasu, though, Nozomu even hangs a lampshade on it:
    Nozomu: My heart beats for a douchebag.
  • Imagine Spot: Nozomu wonders what life will be like if he remains a girl for the rest of his life, imagining things such as getting married to a man and becoming pregnant.
  • Important Haircut: Kanae gets one in the last chapter that proves to be vital. By cutting her hair, she makes herself indistinguishable from her brother, allowing her to assume his identity and him to assume hers.
  • Jumping the Gender Barrier:
    • Nozomu's growing interest in Yasu makes him realize that he's about to reach the point of no return. Especially distressing when he finds out that Yasu keeps a picture of him dressed as a girl from the cheerleader incident in his student book.
    • Yasu's response when Nozomu finally reveals that he isn't just crossdressing is lewd enough to make Nozomu deck him and ironically triggers Nozomu's final Second Law of Gender-Bending declaration when she realizes she's appalled that he'd think of her as that kind of girl.
    • Implied near the end when Kanae turns into a boy, which might make her receptive to the girl with a lesbian crush who confessed to her earlier.
  • Kick Chick: Played straight when Nozomu, disguised as Kanae, decks Yasu and Yasu responds that a real girl (and Kanae in particular) would have kicked him instead (he still thinks Nozomu is crossdressing at this point.)
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Nozomu's Gender Bender goes unnoticed because he's still prepubescent. Even after a year as a girl Nozomu still passes as a boy because his haircut is fairly neutral and he still has a fairly flat chest. The crisis comes when he's no longer androgynous enough to pass as a boy without outer clothing.
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman:
    • Subverted - Nozomu is so terrified of his condition that it takes him several months and an, ahem, very eventful evening to explore the physical side of his femininity. The reason is that he's got a feeling that experiencing pleasure in his new body might prevent him from turning back.
    • Double Subverted in that Nozomu admits that as a boy he'd always assumed that he would engage in Man, I Feel Like a Woman given the opportunity but facing the reality of actually having his own girl parts to play with subjected him to Fridge Horror instead.
    • Kanae's transformation into a boy comes with a Raging Stiffie that won't come down. Nozomu suggests rubbing one out to get it down and is about to leave, but Kanae is too afraid to do it alone, so Nozomu offers to help just this once.
  • Maybe Ever After: Kanae had said before getting gender bended that she's fond of Shiori, her female friend who confessed to her, and that she’d love to go out with her if only they weren't the same sex. Once Kanae becomes a boy, the possibility of them hooking up in the future is teased at. Meanwhile, upon confirming that Nozomu is a girl, Yasu proposes that they become more than just friends. Nozomu rejects his confession in a huff at the point where the manga ends, but given that Nozomu has admitted to herself that she's attracted to Yasu, maybe it's only a matter of time before she comes around.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Nozomu tries very hard to remind himself he's really a boy, but his hormones have a different idea.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Nozomu and Kanae's folks never notice what is going on. They don't examine the implications of Kanae insisting that Nozomu help her pick out clothes. They even fail to notice when Kanae and Nozomu exchange identities.
  • Pretending to Be One's Own Relative: When Nozomu wants to spend time presenting himself as a girl, he pretends to be his own cousin "Nozomi".
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: Kanae and her best friend Shiori fit the classic pattern. Shiori even gave Kanae "sincere chocolate" for Valentines day but both agree Kanae would have to be a boy for their relationship to go any further.
  • Recursive Crossdressing: As "Nozomi", Nozomu is so girly that even his Love Interest doesn't recognize him.
  • Second Episode Morning: Chapter 4 opens with Nozomu waking up in the morning and realizing that it wasn't a dream and he really did become female the night before.
  • Second Law of Gender-Bending: Inspired by Yasu and takes the form of "I'm not that kind of girl!" as in, "Yes, I am indeed a girl, just not that kind." Nozomu is referred to as a boy on this page since her final second law declaration literally takes place on the last page of the comic.
  • Shirtless Scene: Kanae convinces Nozomu that she's accepted her Gender Bender by taking off her shirt, because, as the metatext reminds us, boys get to do that.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Nozomu and Kanae are only one year apart and one haircut away from looking identical, especially after Nozomu stops growing and Kanae doesn't.
  • Third Law of Gender-Bending: Subverted: Nozomu manages to hide his Gender Bender for a whole year. It's eventually a Double Subversion: He may have started out as as Wholesome Crossdresser but he gradually crosses over to Sweet Polly Oliver thanks to The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body. Ironically, Nozomu is the rare Gender Bender protagonist who actually wants to wear women's clothing but isn't permitted by his circumstances.
  • Transformation Comic.
  • Transparent Closet: Nozomu is able to keep his secret from the rest of the school, his team, Ide and even his parents but learns that he hasn't been fooling the people who know him best: His little sister (who wasn't the least bit surprised by his crossdressing) and eventually his best friend Yasu. Neither of them figure out it goes deeper than crossdressing, though.
  • Weirdness Censor: Nozomu's teammates fail to connect the dots despite a lot of evidence over the course of an entire year, because a boy changing into a girl is the sort of thing that only happens in manga. Kouji even fails to twig after spotting Nozomu naked in the bathroom, though the Censor Steam might have helped with that.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Nozomu's dad takes a strong interest in his baseball career and Nozomu wonders if he'll disappoint him if he comes out as a girl.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Nozomu, first as a girl, then later as a boy. He can still pass as a boy after his change because he's still prepubescent.

Alternative Title(s): Nozumu Nozomi