I want to try and do something a bit different from the standard previews and reviews (for series at least), because, frankly, I dislike writing them. So I’ll try and develop a slightly less formal, conversational style, and just give my thoughts and perhaps a score.
ANN (synopsis): http://www.animenewsnetwork.co.uk/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=11875 – ‘Shuicihi Nitori appears to be a shy and quiet preteen boy, when he transfers to a new school he quickly makes friends with the tomboyish Yoshino Takatsuki who sits next to him. It soon becomes apparent that both Shucihi and Yoshino are more than simply a sensitive boy and masculine girl, they both are transgendered. Together they decide to take the first steps toward becoming the people they want to be.’
When this series first started I said this was exactly the sort of narrative that interested me these days, and really, I stand by that. It was fairly slow paced, although it managed to cover a lot of ground in a small number of episodes (as far as I know, it cut a lot from the manga source). It was sweet, capturing quite simple, awkward little moments from childhood and presenting them as naïve melodrama. It was relaxed; none of the characters, save one bubbly girl, ever seemed particularly enthusiastic, and it gave the “action” softness and a sense of subtlety. And above all, it felt natural, despite the fact that the main characters (middle-school children) often seemed impossibly mature. The artwork managed to suite that narrative; simple and understated, yet beautiful. While thematically the show deals with quite a complex social issue (transgender and transsexual feelings) in a simple and caring way, never making light of the subject nor becoming too heavy.
Read on for more on Wandering Son and Final Thoughts on Fractale and Bakuman…