Time for my second new show of the Winter season, and it happens to be the 2nd half of noitamina’a block (following Fractale), Hourou Musuko, or Wandering Son. This is an 11 episode series about a pair of transsexual friends – one a boy who wants to be a girl, and a girl who wants to be a boy. I thought it sounded interesting enough to give it a shot.
This show started off excellently, I thought. It’s nice that the pair, Shu and Yoshino have some friends who understand, empathize, and even support them with their gender identity, but it’s clear they still have to deal with those that don’t understand, such as Shu’s sister, who finds his liking to dress up as a girl sick (though it seems that even at some level she understands too).
I think the fact that these characters are just starting junior high school makes this story more interesting as it’s teens trying to figure out who they are and not a high schooler or adult, which might be more seen as a fetish than a real internal conflict. Also, it seems like Yoshino gets a little bit of a break since it’s easier (and more acceptable) for a girl to dress as a guy than vice versa, though she still seems hesitant to try to wear a boy’s uniform to school. Of course, wearing a girl’s uniform to school is out of the question, though Shu obviously went out in public dressed as a girl, where people wouldn’t realize who he was.
Also, not only are the pair trying to get through their gender identity issues, but Shu confessed to Yoshino (before the start of the series) and, while they made up at the end of this episode, that’s gotta be an awkward thing hanging over them as well. It’s hard to know exactly what their sexual orientation might be with gender identity issues too. Shu still seems to be attracted to girls, or at least he is to Yoshino. However, we get no clue about how Yoshino feels in that regard. It could be that Shu likes her just because she’s masculine too, who knows. I figure that might be some of the issues the show ends up covering before it’s over.
Also, I thought Saori was cool. She seems like she could be sort of a brat, but she understands both Shu and Yoshino and gave the boy trying to bully Shu what he deserved.