To Strip The Flesh Manga Review – Insightful, Educational and Genuinely Beautiful

    Title: To Strip The Flesh
    Author: Oto Toda
    Release Date: June 21, 2022
    Publisher: VIZ Media

The importance of representation in media is constantly debated in society, either defending the practice of inclusion or arguing against it. It can become dangerous to insert political or sociological views into a story as a writer because there is no guarantee that the perspective will be well received – no matter its intention. It is essential to understand that representing a minority group has to be done correctly and respectfully for the point of inclusion to be understood truly; that is how To Strip The Flesh impressed me.

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The story presented in this manga focuses on Chika Ogawa, a woman who loves to hunt deer and other wild animals. She even has a vlog where she shows how she skins the animals after hunting them, but her father disapproves of her hobby even though he is the one who introduced it to her. Her father is against her hunting because she’s a woman, and he wholeheartedly believes that his daughter should not participate in a “boy’s hobby.”

What makes this dynamic so interesting isn’t the stereotypical conflict of sexism where the superior male tries to dominate the interests of the female counterpart; it is the conflict that Ogawa faces internally as a woman who identifies as a man. Ogawa is a man, yet was born a woman and has never identified with other girls since she was a child, yet admires his father and his skills as a hunter. The tragic death of his mother at a young age created a wall between them due to her last words being, “help her grow up to be a beautiful bride.”

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It’s easy to imagine how these words cause even more difficulty for Ogawa as he tries to balance his personal feelings with the desires and dreams of his parents and the world around him.

We see how Ogawa handled and coped with the difficulties before he is a gripping and well-represented story that gives a realistic insight into the reality of transgender people. The title “To Strip The Flesh” is a one-liner that hones in on the theme of this manga from beginning to end, showcasing an aspect of our world that has been shunned and put to the side due to the lack of understanding and communication.

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To Strip the Flesh is a unique, simple yet necessary story that focuses on the story of a trans-man. Still, it represents what all transgender people experience as they try to discover and accept who they are, no matter the body they were put into. Reading Ogawa’s journey to becoming himself was insightful, educational, and genuinely beautiful, even when the story shifts to other characters and their perspectives on Ogawa’s life.


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Jalil Shareef

Name is Jalil but everyone calls me Danchou! I am a major JRPG & Animanga nerd who loves breaking down the analytical aspects to stories as well as the writers behind them! My favorite animanga of all time is Hunter x Hunter & I hope to make a fantasy story of my own some day!