“Mii-tan’s Father – 2”
I’m not at all sure how I feel about a new character being introduced at this stage of the game. We’re well over 100 chapters in, and seem nowhere close to wrapping up the arcs of any of the major characters. Many in the cast don’t appear for several chapters at a time as is, as there’s simply too many threads to follow.
That said, Ebina-san – Mii-tan’s father – is a character who seems to have the potential to be a catalyst in pushing Nitorin to the next stage of his personal journey. Almost the entire chapter is devoted to his life – we see him as a (wonderful) father to his little girl, going through marriage interviews set up by his family, and interacting with his Mom, who has apparently moved in to take care of Mii-tan. And all the while, Ebina'-san continues to live a secret life.
As he wrestles with the question of just who the “real” Ebina-san is, he also ponders the fate of the odd boy he met at the café. Obviously, the man and the boy are at vastly different stages in their journey. Ebina asks himself what kind of girl Nitorin would make, and answers in fascinating fashion “Cute – but in what way?” Ebina-san is no longer cute, of course, and soon enough he’ll need to keep his excursions hidden even from his daughter. But will he keep cross-dressing? As the question of another marriage is raised, he must ask himself if “be yourself” is really as practical a motto in real-life as it is in anime.
Given that Nitorin and Ebina have exchanged numbers at Minamoto’s prompting and that Ebina-san has already called once, it seems fair to assume there’s going to be some sort of mentor relationship forming there. We still don’t know if Ebina-san is interested in women, or if he was in love with his wife – only that he sees himself as a woman. I think he and Nitorin might be able to learn from each other, as Nitorin in some ways is the more experienced cross-dresser, and he knows what Ebina never will – what it’s like to pass for a girl in public. But will this take us closer to the big answers – who Nitorin plans to be, and how he plans to get there?