Hourou Musuko Episode 7
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: Hourou 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 gets a girlfriend, Yoshino and Shuichi grow apart.
Episode Summary: Shuichi reaches out to Anna for advice about his pimply face, and they end up falling into a relationship. When Yoshino finds out, she decides it would be best that she and Shuichi should only be casual friends, leaving Shuichi feeling distant and frustrated. Instead, Yoshino tries to make up with Saori, who still says she hates her. When Saori learns about Shuichi and Anna are dating, she stops going to school, and Yoshino visits her, still trying to mend the relationship.
My Impressions: After seven episodes, I think I’m finally getting a feel from some of the characters. One of the persistent questions I have about Shuichi, Yoshino and Makoto is whether they really wish they were the opposite gender, or is that cover from some other teenage emotional conflicts? In Makoto’s case, I wonder whether he truly wants to become a girl…or rather, perhaps he’s simply gay and doesn’t realize it yet. His reaction to discovering Shuichi was dating was…peculiar.
Once again, I am more pleased when this show is about the general teenage angst of uncertain young relationships instead of the main theme of the show itself (e.g. gender-bending). This episode barely touched on the topic, other than the tangential effects it had on how the relationships are evolving. The most interesting reaction was Yoshino, where it seemed like something clicked and suddenly she was two steps farther away from her mirror, Shuichi. Saori continues to act like a world class dick and self-hating sad sack, but honestly you have to feel for her somewhat. It’s not that she is inherently insufferable, it’s that she cannot process what is happening around her, and reacting badly to it. Thankfully, Yoshino is not willing to give up on her, and hopefully will drag her kicking and screaming back into the friendship she needs.
The puppy love between Anna and Shuichi is somewhat odd, I don’t exactly see what either of them would see in each other. It’s an odd and unexpected pairing. Then again, it really is just a case of young puppy love, so it’s not like there needs to be a logical explanation. I doubt they really understand what they are doing, either. Even so, sure did put a monkey wrench in the works, didn’t it?
The verdict: – Glad I didn’t let the transgender stuff put me off the series
For more information:
- My earlier reviews: Episode 1 (April 10), Episode 2 (May 21), Episode 3 (June 30), Episode 4 (July 29), Episode 5 (August 18), Episode 6 (September 3)
- Info resources: My Anime List, Anime News Network, AniDB, and Wikipedia
- Watch full episodes online: on Crunchyroll
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “Hourou Musuko… just surpassed itself. Seriously, this episode was better than any of the previous episodes so far, and convinced me that the creators know what they’re doing. Finally we have another romance that tries to portray love realistically, and FINALLY we have another series that subverts the “lead characters are soul mates” trope. Grade: Awesome.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
- “Now this is the type of episode I’ve been waiting for. I knew that Anna would become more involved somehow, but I hadn’t quite expected her to become romantically involved with Nitori. Their relationship changed up literally all the character dynamics in this show so far, affecting Saori, Takatsuki, Nitori, and Anna. Just seeing the effects of their relationship is really intriguing, and not to mention, it makes the show feel more realistic. Grade: 4.4/5.” – Emory Anime Club
- “I wasn’t sure what to think of a series about transgendered kids, but transgendered seems to be more of a selling point. The series itself is more of a typical artsy, touching, young adult anime drama (it’s a surprisingly broad category). There’s not much to complain about; it’s stunningly drawn, very well paced, and has great characterization–overall, a really good adaptation of the manga given the time constraints.” – Sekijitsu
- “The creators have done a great job portraying the complex interwove relationships between everyone by putting nearly all of the characters in every episode. It’s particularly impressive that they do this without the plot seeming to suffer from any issues with a lack of focus.” – Draggle’s Anime Blog
Coming up next from the Winter 2011 Season: Yumekui Merry Episode 7, Gosick Episode 7, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Episode 7, Level E Episode 7