The Interesting Choices About Lily’s True Identity

SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 8 OF ZOMBIELAND SAGA!

You have been warned.

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So, as it turns out, to my complete and utter surprise, Lily was formerly a male by the name of Masao. I had to pause the episode for about a minute to freak out about it, because of a.) how she died, and b.) she used to be a dude.

It’s such a strange yet rather interesting choice to make for a character, and I enjoyed it. It might just be me, but it is rather rare for a genuine transgender character to be in a show. Most of the time, they’re androgynous or effeminate and don’t really lean towards one gender, but Lily very clearly identifies as a girl, so much so that she rejects any masculinity upon her appearance (and causing her death).

I honestly thought that she was just a girl who freaked out over some mild facial hair, but when the name dropped, I basically realized what was going down. I have to say, I really liked it.

Lily’s backstory is about two things, genetics and expectations. It’s a rather sad tale of how it feels for a person to be born in a body that they not only don’t feel happy in, but also actively working against them. Lily was androgynous, but as she grew older, more of her male characteristics started manifesting, so much so she got a heart attack from growing a single facial hair. The heart attack, also presumably due to a hereditary heart disease from her mother when died.

The expectations of her as a rising star as well, her being known primarily as a girl, and the stress with the disease probably took it’s toll on the 10 year old child. The rise of criticisms for this toxic work culture in Japan is something that I am in support for, and I like that a comedy show about idols also brings up the more unsavory sides of stardom.

Upon rewatching some episodes, some stuff about Lily starts to make more sense, such as the fact that she has an interest in construction equipment:

And her horror at going to a hotsprings where she, presumably, has to be nude.


It gives a light comedy some nice food for thought. I’m not gonna claim it’s any deeper than that, but it did make me think a lot about it, and that deserves mentioning.

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