Hourou Musuko Episode 5
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here.
Series Premise: FHourou Musuko, a.k.a. “Wandering Son” is a weekly television series that aired between January and March 2011, based on a long-running manga series by Takako Shimura. Shuichi is a boy who wants to become a girl, and Yoshino is a girl who wants to become a boy. Both of them are on the cusp of puberty, exploring their own identities and such unexplored topics as transsexualism and gender identity as they enter the difficult years of junior high school.
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ep. tl;dr review: Shuichi is inadvertently outed as preparations for the play continue; No, Saori, the world does not revolve around Shuichi and Yoshino, but it also does not revolve around you either.
Episode Summary: Everyone gathers at Saori’s place to work on the play (much to her annoyance), and one of her non-school friends reveals Shuichi’s crossdressing secret, much to Chizuru’s surprise. As the script is finished, Shuichi is pleased but Saori is unsatisfied at the team effort. She is equally annoyed when they end up drawing lots for the parts; she ends up as Romeo, but is shocked when Makoto ends up as Juliet. In anger, she attempt to re-write the script where everyone dies, but is talked out of it and they decide to do their best in the play.
My Impressions: Wait a minute…I thought this was a series that focused mainly on Shuichi and Yoshino and their desires to change their genders. So, why is this episode suddenly all about that dark-hearted little soul, Saori? Not that I’m really complaining, because she is actually one of the most interesting characters in the whole bunch, alternately lashing out at everyone who is trying to reach out to her or moping in her own self-imposed despair. Here she is, watching everyone change around her in ways she never wanted, feeling her puppy love being crushed, and feeling totally powerless to do anything about it. In one sense your heart is breaking at her angst, at the same time you want to slap some sense into her. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Saori’s self-destructive attitude, how long will she close herself off before she breaks?
Also in interesting reaction from Yoshino, who mostly takes a backseat in the episode…except when he is outed among his close-knit group of friends. He is strangely not overly bothered by the exposure of the secret, you can feel the “I’m glad I don’t have to hide it from my friends anymore” sort of vibe of relief coming from him. Instead, Yoshino is the one to express indignation and anger in his stead, which speaks wordless volumes of her own feelings and deep secret.
For more information:
- My earlier reviews: Episode 1 (April 10), Episode 2 (May 21), Episode 3 (June 30), Episode 4 (July 29)
- Info resources: My Anime List, Anime News Network, AniDB, and Wikipedia
- Watch full episodes online: on Crunchyroll
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “To be perfectly honest, while Saori might act very selfishly and cold hearted, I think she is the best character in this show so far. While Nitori and Takatsuki both struggle with their gender issues, which are also interesting, Saori is facing a much more easy-to-relate-to issue; how to handle unrequited love. Grade: 3.9/5.” – Emory Anime Club
- “Saori meanwhile got the bitchy character right. Throughout the entire series she’s being strange and trying to stand out, but she does it in this subtle way that doesn’t make her annoying, yet uses the drama that she created well. And at the same time, her character is far from one-dimensional so she doesn’t end up as your typical stereotype weirdo. Grade: Excellent.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
- “There wasn’t really much that was extremely interesting this week, as the entire episode was simply the class getting ready for the Romeo and Juliet play and some other people being revealed as being connected or a part of Nitorin’s little interest in crossdressing.” – The Kotatsu
- “Throughout the episode all the way till the end, I felt bad for Chiba because not once did she smile. A smile really suits her best, it’s too bad she is so negative about everything and is constantly angry. It would be great if she can somehow get around this.” – Angry Anime Bitches
Coming up next (not necessarily in this order): Yumekui Merry Episode 5, Gosick Episode 5, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Episode 5, Level E Episode 5, Broken Blade Episode 5, My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute Episode 14, Seibu Tetsudou Ekiin Tako-chan Episode 1, Highschool of the Dead OVA, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt OVA, Detective Conan OVA 11, Kung Fu Cooking Girls Episode 1, Appleseed XIII Episode 1, Asobi ni Iku yo OVA, K-On Season 2 Episode 27, Fate Stay/Night TV Reproduction Episode 1, Pokemon Ranger of Light Episode 1, Hetalia Paint It White, Je t’Aime, Karigurashi no Arrietty, Out of Sight, Naruto Shippuuden Lost Tower, Kaichou was Maid-sama Episode 27, Senkou no Night Raid Special, Shiki Episode 21.5, Pokemon Best Wishes Episode 1, You Are Umasou Movie