What is the age difference between Masahiro and Kousuke in Hitorijime My Hero?

Yes, I am still currently stuck in my Boys’ Love phase — obsessively watching and reading any BL anime or manga I can get my hands on, as this Japanese genre has grabbed my attention like no other.

One of the first Boys’ Love anime series I watched a few weeks ago is Hitorijime My Hero — the story of a high school teacher and one of his male students who end up falling in love.

A story that is ‘inappropriate’ to some as the age difference between the student, Masahiro, and his teacher, Kousuke, is wider than in many other BL anime and manga.

An age difference the anime doesn’t try to avoid at all. Even though the story involves a high school math teacher and a teenage student.

So, what is the age difference between Masahiro and Kousuke?

The age difference between the two main protagonists in Hitorijime My Hero is 12 years.

That is because Masahiro is 16-years-old, while Kousuke is 28.

But, before you go on about the age difference and it being ‘pedophilia’, here are a few things to think about:

a) you should probably watch the entire anime before commenting, and especially consider Masahiro’s feelings and the actions he takes because of them. (And if you read the manga, you will see Masahiro pushes the relationship as much as Kousuke, if not more).

b) you may want to note Masahiro and Kousuke don’t have sex, as Kousuke doesn’t believe Masahiro is ready for that, (they do have sex in the manga, but not in the anime), and

c) Japan is a different culture than western countries, with a national age of consent of 13-years-old, even though that age is higher in many prefectures.

So, at 16-years-old, Masahiro is well within the national Japanese age of consent. Particularly as Masahiro definitely consents to his relationship with Kousuke, whether a sexual one or not.

As a westerner, you may not agree with that, but luckily Japan isn’t your country, eh?

Besides, even though Kousuke already knows Masahiro is interested in him, in Episode 4 of Hitorijime My Hero he warns him off saying “… even if you feel that way, I can’t return those feelings”.

Sure, that conversation is Kousuke pushing Masahiro away because he knows he himself has feelings for the teenager, but he does at least attempt to stop the relationship from developing.

Even if later he says he was just “trying to shock Masahiro into confessing his feelings for him”, he really wasn’t. He was looking out for him, while also protecting himself.


Remember too, Kousuke allows Masahiro to pull away from him towards the end of the anime, and to make up his own mind if he wants to be in a relationship with Kousuke or not.

While, at the same time, knowing he will be heart-broken if Masahiro chooses to leave.

That is why, in the last episode, after having read Kousake’s letter, Masahiro realizes nothing else matters about his relationship with Kousuke, except that he loves him and wants to spend the rest of his life with him.

Hence, why we get those lovely final scenes where Masahiro rushes to the overlook as the meteor shower ends to find Kousuke, and to let him know he doesn’t want to break up with him.

Related: When do Masahiro and Kousuke get together in Hitorijime My Hero?

Besides, while the age difference between Masahiro and Kousuke is a large one at the moment, by the time Masahiro is 30 and Kousuke is 42, it won’t matter at all.

Watch Hitorijime My Hero via HiDive or Amazon, or buy the anime via Sentai Filmworks.

If you watch it with an open mind, and think about the feelings of the two main characters rather than their ages, I guarantee you may just love it.

As, regardless of the age difference, Hitorijime My Hero is just a story about two people falling in love. And love isn’t always convenient, now is it?


About Michelle Topham

I'm a Brit-American journalist who spent a decade covering the anime and manga industries while living in Asia. Now based in Vienna, Austria and currently obsessed with Katsugeki Touken Ranbu, KONOSUBA, The Archdemon's Dilemma, Kaiju No. 8, and the Boys' Love danmei Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation.

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