Claudine

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Claudine...! (クローディーヌ...! Kurōdīnu...!?) is a classic Shojo manga set in the turn of early 20th century France. It was written by Riyoko Ikeda, published in Shueisha's Margaret in four chapters, and its only tankōbon was released on May 20, 1978. It's one of the first Japanese media that treats Transsexuality.

The protagonist is Claudine de Montesse, a softspoken and sensitive female-to-male trans person. Born to a French noble family, he starts to identify as a male at age eight; when he's ten years old, his well-intentioned but inexpert mother then takes him to a doctor. Claudine opens up to him, they become good friends, and then we start to see how Claudine's life begins to develop from the beginning to the end of the story. . .

For the sake of transgender issues, Claudine shall be referred to with male pronouns within this and other pages.


"Claudine...!" includes the following tropes:[edit | hide | hide all]

  • The Ace: At university, Claudine becomes this. Obviously, he's more of a Broken Ace.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Claudine gives one to Cecilia, but is rejected.
  • Arranged Marriage: Claudine's parents.
  • Birds of a Feather: Claudine and Cecilia bonded over their love of books and poetry.
  • Break the Cutie: Claudine, Maura, Rosemarie
  • Broken Bird: Claudine is a female-bodied-but-male-identifying example.
  • Bury Your Trans-people: Claudine.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: 15-year-old Claudine sees a pretty girl through the window of a ballet academy. Two years later, the girl returns to his life: she's his third and last love, Sirene.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Rosemarie.
  • Coming of Age Story: With a Downer Ending, tho.
  • Country Mouse: Maura
  • Downer Ending
  • Gender and Sexuality Tropes: More exactly, transsexuality. It was groundbreaking in its day.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Rosemarie gets half her face scarred in the fire that killed Auguste and Cecilia.
  • Hair of Gold: Claudine is a blond
  • The Hero Dies: Poor, poor Claudine.
  • Hot Librarian: Cecilia Lacques, Claudine's second love, worked as the librarian of the local highschool.
  • Kick the Dog: When Rosemarie "loses" Maura's first paycheck. Claudine notices what happened despite everyone else believing it was lost in the mail, but he doesn't say anything.
  • Jerkass: Louis.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: The doctor (in his 40's at least) and Claudine (starts the story as a pre-teen boy, by the end is in his late teens)
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Louis Lacques, and Claudine in a sense.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Claudine falls in love with Cecilia Lacques, but she doesn't return his affections because she sees him as a girl. Cecilia's younger brother, Louis, is sleeping with Claudine's father Auguste, as is Cecilia. Rosemarie is in love with Claudine since they were kids, is jealous of Claudine and Cecilia and serves as an Unwitting (or perhaps intentional) Instigator of Doom when she reveals Cecilia and Auguste's affair to Louis, who goes Yandere and kills them both. And that's without bringing Maura or Sirene into the mix.
  • Love Hurts: Holy crap, Claudine's love affairs all end up badly. Maura? They share a kiss, but Madame de Montesse catches them and Maura is sent back home. (Then again, her dad had just died so she had to go anyway). Cecilia? She only likes Claudine as a friend, rejects his Anguished Declaration of Love, and later is murdered. Sirene? She chooses Claudine's eldest brother Andre over him... and then Claudine offs himself.
  • Mega Twintails: Young Rosemarie's pigtails were bigger than her head!
  • Narrator All Along: The Doctor, who narrates the story as he reminiscences about his old cases. He does think that Claudine was right into identifying himself as a male.
  • No Name Given: The Doctor, Claudine's mom
  • Not Good with Rejection: This what drives Claudine to shoot himself dead after learning that Sirene dumps him for his older brother.
  • Parents as People: Claudine's mother, who is a good person but is completely unprepared to handle Claudine's situation. Claudine's father Auguste seems to be more of an Open-Minded Parent, though he has his own issues... specially in regards to Cecilia and Louis.
  • Parental Favoritism: Auguste favored Claudine among his children because he was the one more similar to himself. Claudine is said to be pretty much the "second coming" of Auguste.
  • Princely Young Man: Claudine and his brothers.
  • Proper Lady: Madame Montesse, and also Cecilia
  • Shojo
  • Sleep Cute: A very fatigated and cold Maura falls asleep on Claudine's shoulder right after arriving to the Montesse home in a rainy day.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Claudine gives one to Maura when she's grieving over her father's sudden death. Claudine's mom catches them and they have a huge fight, which leads to Claudine going to the doctor for the second time.
  • Snow Means Death: Claudine kills himself in a snowy night. It's still snowing when Rosemarie visits his grave.
  • Spurned Into Suicide: What specifically pushes Claudine into shooting himself dead is how Sirene, his third and last love, leaves him for his older brother Andre.
  • Tall, Dark and Bishoujo: Sirene
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Claudine's brothers Andre, Edouard, and Thomas.
  • Trans Equals Gay: Averted, as mentioned in Yuri Genre below.
  • Transsexualism: Claudine
  • Unrequited Love: Claudine, towards Cecilia. Rosemarie, for Claudine.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: When Claudine meets Louis.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Claudine's neighbor Rosemarie, who confessed her love to him but was rejected. She does seem to be the girl who understands him better, out of all of these involved in his life: she calls him "a true man given a female body".
    • The Mourning After: Rosemarie never stopped loving and caring for Claudine, and we see her visiting Claudine's grave.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: A distressed Rosemarie tells Louis about Claudine and Cecilia, not knowing that Louis was also Auguste's lover. Louis snaps massively and burns down Cecilia's house, killing her and Auguste, and leaving Rosemarie herself with severe burns in half of her face.
  • Uptown Boy: Claudine finds himself as such, when he falls for the maid Maura.
  • Yandere: Louis, who once was Auguste's lover... and ends up killing Auguste and his sister Cecilia.
  • Yuri Genre: Subverted, since Claudine searches for female love interests yet identifies as male despite his female body. Therefore, it'd be technically incorrect to classify this particular manga as yuri. Remember, kids: homosexuality and transsexuality are both LGBQT issues, but are very different.