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This is a debate about the ever-popular issue of Haku's true gender. If you are biased and refuse to listen to the other side, then don't bother reading because no amount of proof will convince you. This goes for those who think Haku was a girl as well.
No posts only stating "Haku was a boy/girl get over it", or something like that. This is a topic meant for discussion.
Flaming is not necessary or wanted in this topic. This is not an issue to get so worked up about. I've seen people get worked up over a lot less. If you cannot discuss the issue maturely, then leave now. Believe it!
Quote and agree with peoples' points if you want, but please, no short posts that simply state a belief with no reason why you hold that belief. That is what fan clubs are for.
The debate is divided into two sides: The Geishaku and the Hakubuki, which are terms I made up myself. The Geishaku are the "Girl Haku" side and the term is derived from Geisha + Haku. The Hakubuki are the "Boy Haku" side and the term is derived from Haku + Kabuki. Clever, I know.
There are some mild references to sexuality and physical appearances in this thread, but it is by no means graphic or inappropriate. Still, if you are not comfortable with reading such content, then please do not read the thread.
The basic outline of this thread's first post is that I will disprove the most common theory that Haku was a boy, or at the least cast a considerable shadow of a doubt on it. Then I will state the evidence I have found to back up my claim of Haku being a girl and not a boy. Lastly, I will address any evidence contrary to my theory and explain any discrepancies. The remainder of the topic is dedicated to counter points and discussion.
Quick reference (ctrl+f then search the following terms):
Why is there even an argument?
Haku had been a girl
Zabuza calls Haku a "kid".
Zabuza's take on all of this
The Smoking Gun
The reason why most people think that Haku was a boy is because she was referred to as a male by almost every character connected to her (be it through comradeship or through rivalry). The foremost reason however is because people think Haku referred to herself as a male. While many fans simply accept this at face value and move on, there is actually much more evidence to suggest that Haku was actually a female.
Why is there even an argument?
Meaning, aren't all of the references to Haku being a male undeniable proof that she was one? The answer is clearly NO, because this issue is not so cut and dry as one might think. First, let's take a look at why people think Haku was a boy. The main, and perhaps only reason is because of the references to her being male. That is it. Haku looks nothing like a boy. In fact, Haku is described by the main character to be more beautiful than Sakura, the series' flagship heroine. Therefore, if we can prove that there is a possibility that those references to her being male are inaccurate, the theory SHOULD become less likely to open minded Hakubuki.
(One of the other more important reasons is because some people think that Kishimoto, the creator of the series, said that Haku was a boy. This is completely FALSE. No statement has ever been made or found to be cited as a reference.)
Before we question the Hakubuki however, we must ask ourselves what would prove one theory or the other to be correct.
1. Most obviously the sight of the physical traits of the respective gender on Haku while she is either dead, unconscious, or in a situation where transformation jutsus could not have been present (i.e. while a sharingah was active and on her since it can detect when jutsus are being used, or when such a jutsu would be impossible to preform or maintain).
This proof is also the least likely occurrence since this is a series that is geared toward kids. Haku is also dead and buried. So any character development for Haku has probably already happened. (Though Haku was again referenced in the anime when a character named Kimikaro appeared and yet again when talking about elements. It is also possible that Haku's story will be told through retroactive continuity.)
2. Haku showing physical or romantic attraction toward someone. Simply put: If Haku shows attraction to females, then Haku is a boy. If Haku shows attraction to males, then Haku is a girl. Of course this only works on the basis that Haku is heterosexual, but this is a series that is geared toward younger audiences. So Haku being homosexual is very unlikely, especially since Haku is about 15 years old in the series and especially since there are higher standards in America for kid shows. The heterosexual attraction is the most logical conclusion since it is also the most common type of attraction (especially in the Naruto series, which is yet to feature any gay characters). Anyone claiming that Haku's romantic preference does not matter to this issue must also prove that a homosexual attraction is possible and likely, since that would be the only proof that would make it not matter.
3. Reference to gender by characters outside of Haku's present role. For example, Haku's flashback in the anime presents Haku's mother. If the mother were to call Haku a girl, then that would settle the issue, most likely. The same may not be true for the alternative reference of "boy" since it is a flashback being told by one who uses "boy" for self-reference. It would depend on how the flashback is portrayed. If it comes from Haku's point of view and is told to someone else, then it could be altered in that way to support Haku's present day role of being a boy. If the flashback were actually the past being told by the series itself or through narrative style (retcon), then any reference would be canon and correct. Also, if Haku were to remember the reference through introspection and not through revealing it to anyone, then any reference would be canon and correct.
Unfortunately, the flashback features the mother calling Haku a "child" and not identifying her as either boy or girl. Future episodes or issues may contain flashbacks such as these.
4. Clear statements by the writer of the series. Obviously he is the one to listen to if you want to know something about a series.
Now, I have found at least two of these that prove Haku was most definitely a girl, but like I said, I will first disprove the popular theory.
If Haku had been a girl, why did she call herself a boy?
First of all, this is a common mistake made by Hakubuki and Geishaku alike. The most misread and misinterpreted line of Haku's, which is also the most used for evidence that she was a boy, is the statement she made to Naruto in the woods. Many believe she told Naruto that she was a boy, but this is actually incorrect. This is just how it was mistranslated. In reality, Haku told Naruto that she was a MAN, not a boy. In the Japanese version, Haku uses the word "otoko", which means "man". "Shounen" is the Japanese word for boy, and since Haku was 15 years old, that makes her middle school age level. If Haku had been a male, then that would have made Haku a "shounen" or boy, not a "otoko" or man. Therefore, the claim that she was a man was quite obviously a lie. This is a subtle nuance that was never carried over to the English version of the anime, but it is one that is critical to this issue, because it proves AS FACT that Haku was lying to Naruto when she told him that she was a man. Does that mean she was lying about being male? No. However, the point here is that she did lie about something, which makes it entirely possible that she was lying about being male as well. I can prove that she was lying about being male as well, and I will do that in the next segment.
So why did Haku lie to Naruto? A few explanations exist for this fact and most work together as one theory. The first and most likely is that she does this to conceal her identity and protect herself from being easily tracked down by the true tracker ninjas that were after her and Zabuza. This way, the target known to the trackers as "Haku" would be a boy that dressed like a girl, rather than a girl that dressed like a girl, or perhaps the description was not that detailed. Perhaps they were hunting for Zabuza and a boy, period. This means that while Haku is without the mask, she was a lot less suspicious because she truly did look like a girl.
Suppose that Zabuza and Haku did not die on the bridge but instead escaped from Kakashi and the students. What would Kakashi and his students have told any trackers that could have questioned them? Exactly what they thought, which was that Haku was a boy. They may have also added that Haku dressed like a girl, but if they did, Haku would have still had the "credentials" to prove that she was not a boy. That is why it makes more sense for Haku to give her enemies false information about herself rather than factual information.
To support this theory, we must remember one of Haku's codes of life, or nindos. Deception. Deceiving the enemy (the main characters, and the audience to a degree) is how Haku was introduced. Therefore, isn't it likely that calling herself a man, or even a male, is just another deception?
Think about this. Haku called herself a tracker ninja and said that she had been tracking Zabuza for some time waiting for a chance to take him down, but did that automatically make her a tracker ninja or make anything she said the truth? No.
So then it is logical to conclude that saying she is something and truly being it can be two different things.
Haku wrote: "...deceiving your opponent, catching them off guard, that is the art of the shinobi."
Haku wanted to be a shinobi more than anything. Therefore, her telling Naruto the truth about herself in the woods that day would have contradicted this desire.
Now lets look at this from the other perspective. Let us assume in this paragraph that Haku was a boy. "He" dressed like a girl to throw of the trackers and likely any opponent as well. Why then would Haku reveal to the enemy that "he" is a "boy" and not a girl? What reason could there be for this? Anyone who hears this could report to the trackers that Haku was a boy that looked and dressed like a girl. Haku's cover would be blown. Such a person would be easier to track down, and that is the exact opposite of what Haku would have wanted. So now I hope you are getting a better idea of where the Geishaku (Girl Haku theorists) are coming from. Telling the enemy the truth just doesn't make sense, and it contradicts one of Haku's nindo.
Another consistent theory works under the possibility that Haku did not want boys or men to hit on her, but this is because she had eyes for only one man, namely Zabuza. Therefore the self-reference of being a man was not based on relationships with strangers. Instead this was based on her relationship with Zabuza. You may be asking how Haku's pretending to be a boy actually helps her relationship with Zabuza. This is actually very simple, and such a concept could indeed help their relationship. The following is an image from the Naruto manga.
Now aside from the images of a person who looks very much like a girl, this page depicts Zabuza stating that what he really needed was not consolation or encouragement but rather a weapon or a tool, as Haku interrupts and suggests in another strip. Therefore, Haku thinking of herself as Zabuza's female companion would be less productive than thinking of herself as a tool. To do this, referring to her as a male could actually be a way of eliminating the gender differences and any possible romantic or emotional tension between them. In this way Haku changed in order to please Zabuza and make him more comfortable, which was her primary goal after joining up with him.
Along with this theory I also submit the concept of self loathing. This means that Haku resented her female gender to a mild extent. To prove this, I submit the following image.
In this strip, Haku is telling Naruto about her childhood. When the bloodline trait was discovered within Haku it made her an outcast. She was feared and hated for her bloodline trait. Zabuza took her in and gave her life purpose, hence the sentimental statement "I was so happy!!" in the last image.
Haku definitely had some feeling for Zabuza because he desired what everyone else rejected her for.
Having been beaten by Naruto, Haku requested death when she discovered that she had not become a tool that could protect Zabuza. After that purpose was taken away, Haku stood ready to accept death, knowing that Zabuza only used her for that purpose.
Now the thing to notice here is that in these instances, Haku never referred to herself as a male. Instead she referred to herself as a person. This is an instance of Haku reverting back to the truth or her true self. There is simply no reason to refer to her past self as a "person" when the one being told the story is already under the impression that this person is a boy. This is also the case in the Japanese manga and anime.
Haku is going back to being her true self. Why? It is because her present role had been taken away. She had been forced back into the state that she was in before meeting Zabuza, which was seen as worthless AND human, moreover, a person. A person who was not a boy.
This is identical to the way Haku's mask falls off. It is somewhat symbolic of that. Naruto destroyed the mask and now the façade of being a boy crumbles to reveal the true self, simultaneously the weapon is broken and now all that is left is the "unwanted PERSON". Remember, Haku was facing death at that point. So facing the truth about herself could have in fact been her way of coping with her approaching death, which again leads back to the point of self-loathing. Feeling bad about herself made it easier for her to think of herself as a male as well as accept death after her purpose was taken away from her.
Another point to bring up is that Haku did not refer to herself as a boy, male, or man to Zabuza. She called herself his weapon and she also called herself a kid in the anime and manga.
Now, the main problem in the Hakubuki theory is that Haku told Naruto that she was a man. You may ask how that could do anything but help that theory let alone hinder it. This is because if Haku had been a boy, then when Haku told Naruto that she was a man it would not make any sense, and it would be a contradiction of the facts in the series. First of all, it would contradict Haku's nindo, which was to deceive the enemy, not tell them the truth. Second, it would contradict the efforts to look like a girl. Obviously if Haku had been a boy, Haku's appearance as a girl would have been a disguise. Yet the disguise and all effort to present and maintain it would be contradicted and made worthless by revealing the true gender. Third, this would put Haku at great risk of being discovered as Zabuza's partner, and it would give Naruto true information to pass on to any trackers that could have questioned him. This is why Haku telling Naruto the truth does not make sense in the context of the series.
So there is one reference to being a boy down, and two to go. The second set of references belongs to Kakashi. The Hakubukies could argue that Kakashi is a credible source or judge of character because of his experience and sharingan. However, to claim such a thing would be false. First of all, there is no evidence that the sharingan reveals another person's gender, despite evidence that it allows one to manipulate another's actions or read their movements. Second, Kakashi made the mistake of assuming that Haku was a tracker when she obviously was not. Therefore, Kakashi is not a credible source. His first impression of Haku could have been nothing but a common assumption that was perhaps based on factors that were also meant to deceive opponents. Or perhaps Kakashi could not tell what gender Haku was, so he just went with the generic assumption of her being a male, since statistically there may be more male ANBU than female.
Also, Kakashi's references to Haku being a boy are contradicted by Naruto's references to Haku being a girl. Naruto called Haku "sis" or "lady", so Naruto's unbiased impression of Haku was that she was female. We cannot regard Kakashi's opinion and not Naruto's, neither in context of the series or outside the context of the series as a real life hint to Haku's gender. This contradiction could in fact be an effort to maintain the mystery behind Haku's true gender.
The third set of references is from Zabuza. Notice in the flashback, as depicted above, Zabuza called Haku a "kid". All other references to Haku being a boy could easily be dismissed as Zabuza encouraging the misguided belief that Haku was a boy, which was the belief that everyone else in the series held.
As for the numerous references to being a boy by Sasuke, Sakura, and Naruto, they can all be outright dismissed as conclusions drawn from Haku's deception and Kakashi's assumption.
Haku's Appearance and Physical Characteristics
Males and females are typically set apart by their height, weight, and age, since male and female bodies are biologically different. While this is not reliable in every single case, it is typically a good indicator of who is male or female. So first I would like to present some evidence that strongly indicates that Haku was a girl. This is based on Haku's appearance and physical characteristics in terms of her height, weight, and age.
What gender is Haku most like when it comes to her height, weight, and age? A comparison of Haku's databook info to that of the other gennin characters shows that Haku is most like the girls, and fits the female gender category perfectly in terms of height, weight, and age. First I will post Haku's info, followed by the one girl and one boy character that she matches the most. Then I will post the info on the other characters.
Name: Haku, Gender: ?, Age: 15 (January 9th), Height: 5'1", Weight: 95 lbs
Name: Tenten, Gender: Female, Age: 13-14 (March 9), Height: 5'1", Weight: 93 lbs
Name: Kiba Inuzuka, Gender: Male, Age: 12 (July 7th), Height: 5'0", Weight: 95.5 lbs
This shows the two characters that are closest to Haku in terms of height, weight, and age. While Haku and Kiba are pretty close in terms of height and weight, the main fact to consider here is their obvious and significant age difference. Kiba is about three years younger than Haku, and yet he is only an inch shorter than she was. Tenten on the other hand is the same height and only two pounds lighter, and her age is much closer to Haku's. So how is it that a boy is almost just as tall and heavy as someone who is between 2 and 3 years older than him? If the older person, Haku, had been a boy, then this doesn't make much sense. However, if Haku had been a girl then it makes perfect sense because boys are typically taller and heavier than females. Now lets look at all the relevant characters.
Name: Sakura Haruno, Gender: Female, Age: 12 (March 28th), Height: 4'10", Weight: 78 lbs
Name: Ino Yamanaka, Gender: Female, Age: 12 (September 23), Height: 4'11", Weight: 84 lbs
Name: Hinata Hyuga, Gender: Female, Age: 12 (December 27), Height: 4'10", Weight: 83.6 lbs
Name: Tenten, Gender: Female, Age: 13-14 (March 9), Height: 5'1", Weight: 93 lbs
Name: Temari, Gender: Female, Age: 15 (August 23rd), Height: 5'2", Weight: 98.1 lbs
Name: Kin Tsuchi, Gender: Female, Age: 14 (July 6th), Height: 4'11", Weight: 86 lbs
Name: Naruto Uzumaki, Gender: Male, Age: 12 (October 10th) [15 post time skip], Height: 4'9" [5'5" post time skip], Weight: 88.4 lbs [? lbs post time skip]
Name: Sasuke Uchiha, Gender: Male, Age: 12 (July 23rd), Height: 4'11", Weight: 93 lbs
Name: Shikamaru Nara, Gender: Male, Age: 12 (September 22), Height: 4'11", Weight: 92.6 lbs
Name: Choji Akimichi, Gender: Male, Age: 12 (May 1st), Height: 4'11", Weight: 137 lbs
Name: Kiba Inuzuka, Gender: Male, Age: 12 (July 7th), Height: 5'0", Weight: 95.5 lbs
Name: Shino Aburame, Gender: Male, Age: 12 (January 23rd), Height: 5'2", Weight: 101 lbs
Name: Rock Lee, Gender: Male, Age: 13 (November 27th), Height: 5'2", Weight: 103 lbs
Name: Neji Hyuga, Gender: Male, Age: 13-14 (July 3rd), Height: 5'2", Weight: 101 lbs
Name: Gaara, Gender: Male, Age: 12 (January 19th), Height: 4'10", Weight: 86 lbs
Name: Kankuro, Gender: Male, Age: 14 (May 15th), Height: 5'5", Weight: 132
Name: Dosu Kinuta, Gender: Male, Age: 14 (June 12th), Height: 5'1", Weight: 108 lbs
Name: Zaku Abumi, Gender: Male, Age: 14 (September 14th), Height: 5'2", Weight: 108 lbs
The thing to notice here is that while Haku may be closer to males in terms of height and weight, she is also older than all of them, in many cases by a few years. Another thing is that Temari is actually very close to Haku's body type as well. She is the same age, an inch taller and about three pounds heavier. So the first point to make is that when you think of Haku, think of Tenten or Temari.
This leads to the next point, which is that if Haku had been a boy, then why is it that Haku is only as tall and heavy as a boy who is about three years younger? Wouldn't Zabuza want his weapon to be as healthy and strong as possible? According to the facts of the series and Zabuza's goals, I would say yes. So what was the problem? They had enough food. It didn't look like Zabuza was going hungry. So why was Haku such a malnourished and underweight boy? Perhaps because she wasn't a malnourished and underweight boy, but was rather a healthy and average weight girl. Again, this is not undeniable proof that she was a girl, since short underweight boys exist. However, typically people's gender can be determined based on their height and weight in relation to their age, so while this isn't undeniable proof, it is strong evidence that makes Haku being a girl the most likely option.
The next piece of evidence regarding Haku's physical attributes involves Haku's finger length. That's right, finger length. This evidence also indicates that Haku was a girl.
Read down to 13. It states the following:
13. In men, the second digit is often shorter than the fourth digit, while in females the second tends to be longer than the fourth.
Meaning that the index finger is typically shorter than the ring finger in males and longer than the ring finger in females.
Well guess what...
http://img133.imageshack.us/img133/6486 ... nceym5.gif
An animated gif showing that as she brings her relaxed hand into the flat surface of the Ice Mirror, her ring finger is engulfed before the tip of her index finger is. You can see in the last frame that the tip of the index finger is still visible when the ring finger is not.
http://img407.imageshack.us/img407/4840 ... devth7.jpg
This is from the manga, chapter 29 page 31. Haku has been knocked down by Naruto and she places her hand on the bridge to lift herself up. The image shows that her index finger is longer than her ring finger.
http://img133.imageshack.us/img133/6443 ... ce2tw6.jpg
This is a little harder to see, and though her fingers are slightly curled, if you look closely her index finger is a little longer or at least the same length as her ring finger. Typically a male's ring finger would be visibly longer than the index finger.
And of course, the best and clearest image of them all, proving my point...
This clearly shows that Haku's index finger is longer than her ring finger, and as such is strong physical evidence that Haku was a girl. So these images show consistency in Haku's design.
For comparisons to other characters both male and female, go here:
http://forums.narutofan.com/showpost.ph ... tcount=158
Now, this is not a 100% guarantee that Haku was a girl. There is a 1% to about 5% chance that this rule does not apply to Haku, as some males do have longer index fingers compared to their ring fingers. However, the chance of this being the case is very small. This is strong evidence showing that it is more likely that Haku was a girl. Especially since the series follows this rule in the designs of the other characters. Combine this to the other facts and pieces of evidence and you come up with the most likely case of all, which is that Haku was a girl.
Moving on to Haku's looks. Some try to argue that Haku was a boy with feminine features but because the suggestion is baseless and it is more likely that she was simply a girl, the example of Haku meeting Naruto in the woods is brought up. When Haku bent forward to check on Naruto, they say that cleavage cannot be seen. Well, the reason why cleavage cannot be seen is simply because Haku did not have large breasts that would produce cleavage. This is an invalid point because you cannot point to the absence of an attribute as evidence. By the same token, I cannot say that Haku was a girl just because she had no Adam's apple (or that one could not be seen). This is because some males do not have Adam's apples that stick out or are always visible.
Haku could have in fact had small breasts, since such a thing could have been in her genes. Her mother is a good example of this.
Her mother had small breasts, even though she was an adult. Haku, since she was only fifteen, may not have been one to develop until adulthood.
Another possibility is that Haku had breasts but they were simply not visible in that one scene. Anyway, it is a lame argument to say that Haku had no breasts just because they cannot be seen. The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Staying on the subject of Haku's parents, there is another point I must make about her father's physical appearance. The main feature to notice about him is his hair.
http://img407.imageshack.us/img407/2896 ... sevic9.jpg
As you can see in the picture above, his hair is short and cut like a man's because he obviously was a man. Compare this to Haku's hairstyle shown above that picture. Her hair is much longer, like her mother's. This shows that Haku emulated her mother while she was being raised through her early childhood. This is a very important fact to consider because it shows how Haku was raised by her parents who definitely knew Haku's true gender. They raised her as a girl, and she grew up as a girl. Her emulation of her mother's appearance is proof of that. Had Haku been a boy, then she would have been raised as a boy and she would have emulated her father. She would have had a boy's haircut similar to her father's. Since Haku's hairstyle reflected her mother it is evidence that she was raised as a girl by her parents. Why would they do this unless Haku was a girl?
Haku's appearance is perhaps the second strongest argument for the Geishaku, and this is because Haku looked exactly like a girl. Haku was drawn with the same art style or character design used to draw female characters, Haku also has long hair, feathered eyelashes, painted finger and toenails, girl clothing, and platform sandals.
Granted, it does not take a girl to dress like a girl and any boy could do the same thing, but why would a boy want to do that? Like before, if Haku were a boy and went through all the trouble to look like a girl, why outright state that "his" gender was actually male? Also, why would a person like Zabuza let a boy who dresses as a girl be his partner? Of course it would still be for the bloodline trait, but I mean why wouldn't Zabuza order a boy to dress like one? You can't honestly say that Zabuza didn't care that a boy who is supposed to be his weapon acted and dressed like a girl. Yes, in the looks department, Haku was most definitely a girl. The whole issue with Zabuza leads us into the next point.
What was Zabuza's take on all of this?
Zabuza may have referred to Haku as a male because that was what she was trained as. Haku may have been taught and raised as a male shinobi by Zabuza. In combination with the "no romantic or emotional tension" theory above, Zabuza probably felt better about himself thinking of Haku as a boy so he would not have to go easy on Haku during training. In other words, he treated her as someone who could take more than the average kunoichi (girl ninja). This allowed him to teach Haku many fighting techniques, as he said in the manga.
Another good theory is that some ninja may overestimate a kunoichi's abilities since they assume their chakra makes up for their lack of physical strength. Perhaps seeing what is thought to be a boy dressed like a girl makes some opponents take Haku as a joke, just as Gatou's bodyguards did. Then there is the theory that it is all to protect Haku's identity, which I mentioned earlier.
Now, in the end of the Land of Waves saga Zabuza dies next to Haku but not before revealing some feelings that some could consider feelings one would only have for someone they loved. Now of course love is not bound to mates or spouses, and Zabuza may have seen Haku as his own child or younger sibling, but the way the scene is portrayed in the anime strongly suggests that there was more between the two besides ownership and servitude. The manga went even further when Naruto revealed Haku's feelings to Zabuza, or at least what he gathered from his conversation with her.
Judging by Haku's expressions and tear shedding in the strips before that, this love that Naruto spoke of was much deeper than that felt for a big brother or father. Haku believed in Zabuza and making his dream come true. That was the kind of dedication and admiration that you would only see from a wife figure or a consort.
This next image tells us exactly how Zabuza felt about Haku.
This is the image of Haku that Zabuza recalled to memory shortly before his death! This proves that Zabuza did have some degree of love for Haku. Not only this, but it proves something else. It proves that before death, the image that he recalled to memory of Haku was not the one that could be seen as a boy. It was not the "boy" that he trained to be a killer. It was in fact the Haku that Naruto saw as a girl, and this image proves that Zabuza remembered Haku for who she truly was, a FEMALE!!!
What's more, why did Zabuza get choked up and start crying when told that Haku loved him? I mean, wouldn't being told that a boy loved him make Zabuza feel embarrassed? Especially in front of other people? I think it would. However, I also say that Zabuza cried over it because he knew that Haku was really a girl, and thus the love that was felt by her ran deep and was normal for someone like her.
Now for The Smoking Gun section.
The Smoking Senbon
By the way, senbon is what Haku used as weapons, which is why I got creative just now. Anyway, the evidence I found falls under number two of my above list. Haku showed sexual attraction to a certain MALE, which means the opposite sex of that would be female! Haku was a GIRL, not a boy!
This is from the manga, and this follows the strip of Zabuza being saved from the battle with Kakashi. Zabuza asked why Haku did not simply throw the needles into less vital areas of the body that would have produced the same temporary death state. Haku replied by saying that she did not want to scar his "beautiful body" ("flawless body" in the anime), and she did this while blushing. This is quite obviously the final nail in the Hakubuki theory's coffin.
I suppose you could still argue that Haku was a boy, but not without also arguing that "he", and Zabuza by default were gay. Would a cartoon geared toward kids have gay characters? If it is Japanese, maybe. However, is Naruto one of these cartoons? So far, no gay characters have appeared in the series. Zabuza and Haku were characters that were more notable and in depth than something like gay characters would have been, and the writer has better taste than that as well. Also it would not make any sense if these two characters were gay because it would not fit the facts of the series at all. Believe it!
The rest of this section is here to disprove that theory, since I am sorry to say that people actually do believe that they were gay, so if you do not hold the theory then feel free to skip ahead. Now then, even the gay Haku Boy theory is flawed. This is because it does not make sense in the context of the series. Suppose that Haku had been a boy for this segment, obviously he dressed as a girl because he was "gay" in this theory, and this was done so that he could be Zabuza's "life partner". However, while many in the Japanese culture did see this as a noble pursuit in days long past, there were also many who disapproved of it strongly. This is especially true of today's Japan.
Now, wouldn't it make more sense for Haku to pose as or "become" a "woman" with only he and Zabuza knowing the truth? It would, because even in cultures where homosexuality is accepted, the two people choose their designations of being the male or female regardless of their gender. In other words, the gender roles are assumed because it seems more natural to them, and certainly to others who would not know the true relationship of the couple. Well, outright stating that you are a boy makes others wiser to the different relationship type, which would only welcome ridicule.
Now, could Zabuza really afford to have such a reputation in the world when his main goal was to earn enough of other peoples' money to fund an uprising so that he could control an entire country? Does anyone really think that an entire country would follow the leadership of a gay male (who loved a teenager no less)? A more logical theory would have the boy Haku pose as and claim to be a girl in order to protect the relationship as well as Zabuza's character. However, Haku never claimed to be a girl to the enemy. She never spoke like one to the enemy, nor did she want others to think she was a girl. Why dress and look like one then? So all in all, the Hakubuki theory is not logical in any respect.
To continue the discussion of the gay boy Haku theory vs. the straight girl Haku theory, I submit the following points.
Fact: Zabuza told Haku at the beginning that he did not need consolation, encouragement or friendship, nor should Haku expect those from him.
Fact: Haku understood this.
Fact: Zabuza trained Haku and taught her many of the fighting techniques that he himself knew.
Fact: Zabuza raised Haku from an age of around 8 years to 15 years.
Now I ask you what reason would a boy Haku have to dress as a female and also how could such an idea possibly come about? First of all, and going back to the point about how Haku emulated her mother rather than her father during childhood, a boy raised by a cold blooded killer from that point on to be a shinobi and a weapon would only grow up to emulate the one that raised him, especially if that boy is set on making that person proud of him. Haku's desire to dress and act as a female could not have stemmed from anything that Zabuza taught Haku. Also, Zabuza would not want his weapon to act and dress like a female. He would want a boy to act like a man and dress like one because that would be the best mindset for a boy to be a true shinobi. As I just mentioned, a boy Haku would emulate Zabuza, seeing as how Zabuza was the only male, not to mention the most precious person, in "his" life. So if Haku had been a boy then she would have looked and acted like a male - Like Zabuza. Anything contrary to this would have been deterred by Zabuza.
There was also little to no possibility of Haku being looked at by Zabuza in a romantic way, since Zabuza stated that he did not need a friend to comfort or encourage him. Even if Zabuza did want romantic relations with someone, it would not have been with a boy who looked like a girl. It would have been a woman who looked like a woman. Plus, Zabuza would not have wanted to complicate the partnership he had with Haku with a romantic relationship on top of it. Simple as that. Thus, this disproves the "gay" theory as well (not that the "gay" theory had any evidence to support it in the first place).
However, in spite of all this we know for a fact that Haku ended up dressing and acting like a girl regardless of what Zabuza wanted. So why is this? Most logical answer, because Haku WAS a girl! Believe it! She dressed and acted like a girl because all she could do was what came natural to her. She could not deny who she was or how she felt about Zabuza. Also, Zabuza knew that he could not do anything to CHANGE this since Haku was not really a boy, and he could not realistically demand that Haku stop showing every characteristic of the gender she was born as! He commented about Haku always being too soft and too kind, but why couldn't he change that about her? It's because he did not understand the female mind. A boy would have been changed and toughened up over time, but a girl would have been impossible for Zabuza to change, and that's why Haku did not change and could not change.
Then there is also the fact that Haku was the one to go out and complete tasks for Zabuza, such as buy supplies and gather herbs for healing. Since she was a girl, she would not be suspected by any tracker ninjas that may have been in the area looking for Zabuza and his partner who was believed to be a boy. This was why she told Naruto that she was a man and wanted him to think that her gender was male, because Naruto had guessed the truth about her being a girl, and that would only put her at risk of being tracked down!
Also, we know that Haku loved Zabuza. This love only makes sense for a female Haku, since she would not be able to deny her natural feelings, and because she had the possibility of being Zabuza's woman! That's right, Haku was a potential mate for Zabuza. Sure Zabuza said that he did not want that... at least not in the beginning, but what about at the end? Haku wanted a purpose in life, and at the time, her purpose was to help fulfill Zabuza's dream of ruling over the land of water. During that time a romantic relationship would have been impossible, but what would happen once that dream came true and her purpose as a weapon ended?
Logically, Zabuza would want a queen to rule beside him, or at the very least he would want a MOTHER of his children! Well who better to be Zabuza's wife and mother of his children than the woman who knew him best and fought beside him all those years? Who better than the woman who had a kekkei genkai bloodline trait to pass on to Zabuza's children? This is where Haku would serve him once again and have yet another purpose, only this time for the rest of her life! This would not be possible with a boy Haku, which means that the love Haku felt for Zabuza could only exist if Haku had been a female, since a female Haku is the only one that Zabuza could have had a romantic relationship with. Since that love DID exist, it proves that Haku was female.
Now for EVEN MORE smoking gun evidence! This time under the first category of proof, which is gender identifying body parts. Before, I mentioned the issue of the Hakubuki believers stating that Haku had no breasts and thus was not female based on that assumption and I provided some counter points to that. Well this time I am also providing counter PROOF against the claim that she had no breasts!
And the second from the manga:
http://img407.imageshack.us/img407/3291 ... 1evke5.jpg
The first image clearly shows that the upper part of Haku's female kimono sticks out in a rounded shape, and even the lighting and shading shows a roundness in the chest. This can only be a result of breasts pushing the kimono outward. Since the area directly under that part is flat against the stomach, it shows that this is not just a simple droop in the clothing.
The second image shows the same scene, only from a different angle and from the official manga. The black collar of the kimono bends outward at the chest and then moves back toward the stomach as it goes further down. This shows that Kishimoto's drawing of Haku in her female clothing includes breasts. This is a direct drawing from the creator of the series, and falls under the category of physical proof that Haku was a girl.
Counter Evidence, and some supporting evidence from outside the series.
Yes, it does exist, but the counter evidence to the Geishaku theory is weak and there aren't many points at all. Here is some counter evidence I found whilst researching the issue. Some is from other people and some is from me. There is also some supporting evidence that was not in the anime or manga.
"Haku's mother referred to Haku as a bad boy."
Completely false. This might be good supporting evidence if it existed, but Haku's mother called her a "wicked child" in the anime, not a boy. In the manga Haku's mother had no lines at all. In fact, the entire memory of Haku being caught manipulating water and then killing her father is not even in the manga! Also, the Japanese version of the anime does not feature the mother calling Haku a boy. Rather, the dialog is sort of illegible, but the main point is that the word "shounen" meaning "boy" was never used by Haku's mother.
"The writer of Naruto said that Haku and Zabuza were his first attempt at a gay couple."
I have heard this claimed but never supported by any evidence. I even searched the net for interviews with Kishimoto as well as interviews containing that specific text. Most of the ones I found did not even mention Haku or Zabuza, only one did, and it talked about why "those characters" may have been as popular as they were. Kishimoto made no reference to Haku's gender in that interview. On top of that, the claim itself does not prove that Haku and Zabuza were a gay couple. An attempt does not always end in success. Haku could still be girl posing as a guy and that would still be an attempt at creating a gay couple. Again, I must reiterate that this claim is not supported by an interview or source.
"Kishimoto said in a 2006 June interview with Shounen Jump Magazine that Haku was a boy."
This is very false. Here is a website documenting the June 2006 interview with Kishimoto.
http://www.naruto2.com/Information/Inte ... _Main.aspx
This website has both interviews from Shonen Jump's May and June issues. Click on: Hatake Kakashi and Masashi Kishimoto. This "Haku is a boy" comment of Kishimoto's was supposedly in the June issue, yet this two part interview does not even mention Haku at all.
It was later proven that this quote was taken from a Shounen Jump staff member who has no connection with the Naruto series. The statement was in response to a fan letter inquiring about Haku's gender.
So this was not a statement made by Sakamoto.
"The DATABOOK clearly states that Haku was a shounen or boy a few times."
This could be true, and then again it could be false. Haku's data has not been translated completely. There are indeed Japanese text characters that form the word shounen, however, shounen does not always mean "boy". Other meanings are "few years" or "pure heart" which both apply to Haku. Also, the SAME databook shows the word for "female" or "woman" in Haku's data. Therefore, that reference to "woman" may in fact negate the references to her being male, or perhaps it states that she is really a female who pretends to be a boy. We won't know until all of Haku's data is translated to English.
Also, what is in the databook may not be the true facts. The databook may contain data that is derived from the events of the series, and the observations therein may be based on the opinions of the characters. For example, saying that Haku was a boy may just be based off of how the other characters in the series perceived her. Also, saying she looks like a girl may be based off of how Naruto perceived her. So the databook may not be strong evidence after all. Other character profiles will need to be studied to see if the databook really does contain solid facts and truths about the characters.
"Haku didn't look that much like a girl."
Maybe not to some, but that could be a case of a girl trying to look more masculine rather than a boy looking feminine. To me, Haku looks just like a girl, and even more so in the manga. The artists even went as far as to make the lips more colored (in the manga) and the eyelashes more accentuated in many instances. And lets not forget that the main character of the series thought that Haku was a girl and even thought that she looked prettier than Sakura.
Also, there are females in the series that look more like guys than Haku supposedly did. Tenten has short brown hair and plain features, yet she is not mistaken for being a boy. Granted she has other features that define her gender, but from an art perspective she is drawn out to be one of the show's more butch females. Temari also qualifies in certain cases. She is obviously pretty and feminine in most cases, but in certain battles she can have a very mean look on her face. In those cases, if it weren't for the long hair she would look just like a boy.
http://www.animegalleries.net/albums/Na ... en0097.jpg
http://www.animegalleries.net/albums/Na ... ri0015.jpg
"Haku is described as a male in the official Naruto Trading Card Game."
This is some counter evidence that I found. This is actually good evidence, which explains why I was the one to find it, but it can be explained. I studied the Naruto TCG rulebook, and while each ninja card has the gender listed, this falls under the category of "Characteristics". Now since Haku was said to be male and believed to be male by others in the series, it is logical to simply list Haku as male in the card game, which features a battle style type of gameplay. Also, Haku's fighting style could be seen as a male's since it was so intense and brutal, as well as due to the fact that Zabuza was the one to teach her those fighting techniques. So the cards may not be saying that Haku was male as much as it is saying that she fought like one and was seen as one in the series. This also goes for character descriptions in the video games and their manuals. Then there is the very likely possibility that Viz, which provided the info to produce the cards, simply screwed up like they always do with the anime translations, and listed Haku as male because they don't research anything about the series in depth.
Also, like the American Naruto website on Cartoon Network, this card game is not canon.
The last thing to point out about the card game is that the Japanese version of the game does not list gender characteristics for any of the characters or cards. So this is something that Bandai made up entirely for the English version of the card game.
"But she was called a boy by everyone!"
Everyone but those who matter. Even when the one close to her called her a boy it was always in a time when she could have been and likely was putting on yet another deception. I do not think that we should just assume that Haku was a boy just because Kakashi, Sakura, and Sasuke think she was one. Remember, Orochimaru killed a girl at the Chunin exams and assumed her identity. He even sounded like her and everything. Team 7 also called the disguised Orochimaru a woman a few times. Does that make Orochimaru a woman just because they first thought he was one? No. So it shouldn't apply to Haku either. Lets also not forget that the main character of the series thought Haku was a girl and called her "sis" or "lady". Naruto met Haku face to face, so if anyone is to be most credible it is him, since Haku's parents did not refer to Haku as a boy or a girl in the series.
"Haku said "boku" to refer to herself in the Japanese version."
This evidence is based on the fact that "boku" is used as a self reference by males in the Japanese language. While this is true, it is also true of women. While not traditional, it is common nowadays for females to refer to themselves using "boku".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_dif ... r_.22me.22
Haku also uses some female speak in the Japanese anime. She uses the Japanese [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_particles"]particle[/url] "wa" to express admiration at Sasuke's ability to defeat the water clones that were at 1/10 strength, as well as when asking Naruto if he has anyone precious to protect. This isn't really a clue though, since males can also use "wa" in certain cases like to express surprise or admiration. Though it is a female particle. She also uses "ne" to end certain sentences. This is also female speak. Haku also used "atakushi" at least once in the series to refer to herself, and this is strictly female speak. She said this when commenting about Zabuza's "beautiful" body. Gee, I wonder why she used female speech when complimenting a male on his physique.
Haku did use other words that are male speak as well, such as "temae" for example, but when telling Naruto about her dream to fight for Zabuza and his dream (which can be seen in the YouTube video I posted above), she used the word "atai" to refer to herself as "I". So Haku also used her fair share of female speak. Believe it!
Now don't think that I am using this as proof that Haku was a girl. I am only using it as proof that her using words that are male speak or female speak in Japanese do not prove what gender she was. However, her use of female words casts serious doubt on her supposedly being male. Why would a boy Haku use those female words at all? I doubt she was pretending to be a girl in front of Zabuza and when being open and honest to Naruto. Instead it is more logical that she was pretending to be a boy to her enemies in order to hide her true identity.
Haku was a girl because she looked, sounded, and acted like one. She loved Zabuza and he also with only he and Zabuzareturned those feelings to a certain extent. This is only possible if Haku were female. She had every reason to lie to the others about herself, and if she were a boy, she would not have admitted it to her enemy because that would have endangered her and Zabuza. She is also shown to be a girl in the anime because she had ALL of the standard identifying features of a female; pointed chin, feathered eyelashes, breasts, long hair, makeup, small build, etc. All of this is what made her female, and if Haku was not a female then I don't know what is as far as anime goes.
I encourage friendly discussion in this topic and I leave the rest of it open for that. I look forward to reading all of your posts. Believe it!