Yowapeda is the most unlikely shounen anime hit of the summer—for reasons you’d never expect.
While Sakamichi is clearly a self-insert-character, the storyline of Yowapeda wasn’t originally intended to be that way. In fact, Watanabe had originally envisioned the story to be about a girl. In a hand-drawn section of the manga, scanlated by fans, Watanabe describes his initial idea for the series: ”How about a love story? At a school or something. With this guy that cries… and with a female protagonist?”
As you might expect, this didn’t go over well with the editors of Weekly Shounen Champion, i.e. a boys' manga publication.
Screengrab via Manga Here
So, no quirky sports-loving anime fangirl heroine for us. Sigh. Still, Yowapeda has used its nerdy charm to good advantage….
There’s even an entire Tumblr, transbikes, devoted to showcasing Yowapeda “trans headcanons,” or people’s ideas about the existence of transgender characters in the series. Given the lackluster track record that anime has when it comes to actual trans representation, it’s fascinating to see a growing number of fanbases attempting to create transgender representation where none exists.