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CSBG Archive

Month of LGBT Comics – Wandering Son

All this month I’ll be reviewing different comic books with LGBT themes (LGBT standing for “Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender”), based on submissions from the actual creators of the comic books themselves. Here is an archive of the comics featured so far!

The month continues with Shimura Takako’s Wandering Son (as translated by Matt Thorn), a poignant tale of two adolescents dealing with gender identity issues (a boy who is a girl and a girl who is a boy).

Shimura introduces us to the main figure in the first part of this series, Shuichi, as he joins a new school. As you can see, Shuichi has a unique problem…

Shuichi befriends a girl in his class, Yoshino, and as we soon learn, they have a very similar problem. Shuichi wants to be a girl while the reverse holds true for Yoshino.

Shimura brings the conflict within Shuichi’s mind along so beautifully. Look at the emotion in these pages…

The tension is palatable. Eventually, Shuichi gives the dress to his sister, but he soon dreams about it…

It is astonishing how well Shimura brings things to a slow boil, until the story is bubbling with emotion. You really feel the pain that Shuichi is going through as he deals with the fact that he is, well, you know, a she. There is a real sensitivity to this work that I found extremely appealing. Shimura really captures the awkwardness of it all – the idea that these feelings that Shuichi is having, how can he possibly hope to voice them?

As noted in the book, while Yoshino’s inner conflict is no less harsh than Shuichi’s, it is a lot easier for Yoshino to express her changes than it is for Shuichi, as girls can have “boy” haircuts and no one really thinks much of it…

Perhaps the most intriguing player in this volume is their classmate, Saori, who has an uncanny sense of perception when it comes to their gender identity issues. Saori comes up with a plan to allow her friend Shuichi to be like a woman for a time, at least. It’s quite clever and very, very adorable.

The whole book is adorable. This is a great, all ages take on a very difficult to express subject. Shimura’s art has so much life to it and expresses so much emotion that it is just amazing to read.

Recommended.

7 Comments

This actually looks really interesting and well done. Thanks for pointing it out.

An animated adaptation of this series is currently airing in Japan (it’s also broadcast in the US through Crunchyroll). But don’t look for those scenes, they made the bizarre choice of skipping the first few volumes of story.

Saori is a very intriguing character indeed, although it’s fair to say that later chapters don’t paint her in the most positive of lights.

These clippings are amusing and well-drawn. A very nice selection. (Thanks!)

What? Boo! After reading this I went to go look this up and the first volume won’t even be released until June. How could you do this to me, Brian?

In any case, I love the art and storytelling and am glad you brought this to my attention. I just hope I’ll remember to look for it once it comes out :)

This example of the comic was so sweet. I felt emotion.

Look for it at mangafox.com under HOUROU MUSUKO it already has 12 volumes

There anime had me kind of reliving some really difficult times emotionally, Especially since I am transsexual myself. But I was floored by the fact that Matt Thorn translated it. I know Matt, so to learn about his involvement was just the icing on a very emotional cake.

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