I finished Level E tonight and found two elements of the show that I really appreciated: the first is that it’s a fantasy/comedy series with a cast of characters whom are all entirely believable and superbly written (especially the Color Ranger kids); and the second is the quasi-gayness of the Prince.
Level E is a shounen series with a good deal of masculinity to it, yet it can’t help but feel quite gay. It’s a rare case wherein there are a lot of attractive male characters, most of whom aren’t effeminate, but rather are manly-looking and handsome guys—probably ones that gay guys would actually be into rather than girls who like gay gays.
Baka Ouji is the most effeminate guy in the show with his long hair and light voice, although he’s still tall, well-built, and has broad shoulders. He also has one hell of a fashion sense, often dressing in outfits that can’t be described as anything but “gay,” in an entirely good way. He shows up in stuff like low-cut pink tanktops and skin-tight leather pants and, of course, always looks good in them. He also isn’t afraid to cross-dress and get himself into gay situations.
What I love about this all is that the prince isn’t gay, nor is Level E a gay show (the only homosexual character to appear is actually female for that matter). For all the pretty boys, there are also plenty of beautiful women. The series goes for having both handsome men and beautiful women, instead of focusing on one or the other.
The way I see it, Level E is a show that’s very comfortable with its sexuality. The show doesn’t have to make excuses for the prince—he’s portrayed as effeminate, but that doesn’t mean he’s gay. The series is willing to let him be that way.
I think it’s fascinating how the prince is almost painted as an “action heroine.” In particular, the opening video and song (which is called “Coldfinger Girl”) resemble a pulp film centered on some sort of femme fatale, when it’s actually about the prince. He’s painted in that sort of style throughout the series, and I love that the creators felt they could represent him that way without having to make him gay or female.