Thus, while seems innocuous (and often even somewhat condescending toward both fan culture and cross-dressing), its engagement with these fundamentally disruptive traditions suggests a subtle undermining of Japanese patriarchal and heteronormative traditions.
Despite the entrenchment of established gender roles in Japanese society, is a liminal figure who is "visually and physically neither male nor female; his romantic and erotic interests are directed at other beautiful boys, but his tastes are not exclusively homosexual; he lives and loves outside the heteropatriarchal world inhabited by his readers" (Welker 842).
In the western tradition of camp, this move is often associated with queer appropriations of popular culture, the most obvious being the overdramatic drag queen, who calls attention to the role playing associated with the female gender by overemphasizing it to a degree that, in the right hands, can be sublimely ridiculous.
Similarly, the more recent Japanese tradition of fan parody is associated with by creating their own counternarratives that involve well-known characters in fantastic, often absurd, situations and unexpected homoerotic pairings, creating a subtext that complicates and questions the inclusiveness of the master narrative.
Tamaki defied his conceptions, and his Wide-Eyed Idealist attitude genuinely shocked him.
Boys dressed as girls – girls dressed as boys – boys dressed as girls in love with girls dressed as boys – incestuous twins – mafia heirs dressed in maid fetish uniforms.
This is neither a scene from cutting edge queer cinema nor the milieu of a Hollywood fetish club, but rather an average episode of the wildly popular 2006 Japanese animated television series engages two important aesthetic traditions, both of which explicitly question traditional sexualities and gender roles, the queer practice of camp and the fan practice of parody.
Ouran Academy is an elite upper school catering to the ultra-rich.
Haruhi Fujioka is a middle-class scholarship student, a rarity at the school.