|Original Manga||Takako Shimura|
|# of Episodes||11|
Sum it up in a Sentence:
A young effeminate boy befriends a tomboy and together they struggle to come to terms with who they really are.
Shuichi Nitori is a shy, quiet and feminine boy. After transferring to a new school, he befriends the tomboyish Yoshino Takatsuki who sits next to him. The pair soon learn that they each wish they were born as the opposite gender. Nitori and Takatsuki help each other deal with their transgenderism, while still dealing with the usual trials and tribulations of adolescence.
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From the same author:
This show isn't for everyone. A few of the scenes were pretty uncomfortable to sit through, so if you have any qualms about the premise or subject matter, you should probably turn back now. That being said, it was an excellent and touching story. The controversial premise is handled tastefully. The art is fluid, bright and unique. The characters are incredibly complex and are well-developed. The pace is somewhat grueling, but the payoff at the end is well worth it.
This is primarily a review of the manga, although most of what I'm going to say does apply to the animated version as well.
As both an author and an artist Shimura has a very deft and delicate hand. Wandering Son is not only a sensitive and nuanced look at growing up LGBT in Japan, it is one of the best depictions of adolescence that I've encountered in fiction. The characters are all well developed and grow and change in believable ways as the story progresses. As a bonus the US release is so well made it's almost ridiculous; hardcover, great paper and really amazingly nice colors on the opening pages of each volume, the translation is quite nice as well, as are the small essays on LGTB issues in Japan and gender and personal pronouns in the Japanese language.