So there was once a rumor floating around the net that claimed that one of the tenants of Hidamari Apartments was originally planned to be a crossdresser, but Ume’s editor rejected the idea. However, because no one could find its source, it has since been deleted from the wikis that once mentioned it.

Guess what? It’s totally true.

So who was it? Was your first thought Sae?

You’d be wrong. It wasn’t her.

It was…

Hiro.

Hiro. Hiro was supposed to be an effeminate male.

The source is the interview with Ume Aoki herself from the Hidamari Sketch Visual Fanbook.  Here is the relevant excerpt and my rough translation.

Q: So, what about Hiro-san?

Ume: The truth is, she was a boy in the original plans.

Q: What!? Does that mean he was your ideal kind of boy?

Ume: No, he was an okama. He was somewhat taller than she is now, but his appearance was the same, even as a boy. I tried making him look especially feminine. I don’t think he was overly feminine enough to be jarring. But I was told by my editor, “Please don’t do that.” So the other parts were fine, but that… (laughs) Hiro-san and Miya-chan are both, in different ways, who I want to become… since I’m not ladylike.

(Earlier, she had described Miyako as her ideal girl, the kind of girl she wants to be.)

It’s worth noting that Hiro is a gender-neutral name in Japanese. Ume (and Hiro herself) chose to stylize it in katakana, which when used to write a native Japanese name, is considered more masculine than the curly hiragana script. Perhaps the characters were named before their designs were finalized. Speaking of which, Ume hasn’t released any concept art of early character designs yet.

So there you have it. I can’t stop thinking about the implications of “his appearance was the same”… does that include the hair?

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