Synopses & Reviews
In the second volume of Shimura Takako's superb coming-of-age story, ourtransgendered protagonists, Shuichi and Yoshino, have entered the sixth grade.Shuichi spends a precious gift of cash from his grandmother on a special presentfor himself, a purchase that triggers a chain of events in which his sisterMaho learns his secret, and Shuichi inadvertently steals the heart of a boyMaho in interested in.The woman who showed so much interest in Yoshino (when she was wearinga boy s school uniform) in volume one reappears with her boyfriend, and becomes a mentor and friend to the twochildren. And the kids go on a class trip that is a rite of passage Shuichi would rather pass up. Shuichi is called a faggot by another boy, and the dramatic nature in which Saori comes to Shuichi s defense leads the two to discover a sharedfondness for Anne of Green Gables. But despite his propensity to cry (a propensity noted repeatedly by his more outgoingsister), Shuichi finds strength and courage he didn t know he had.A sophisticated work translated with sophistication by veteran translator and comics scholar Matt Thorn.
"Transsexuality is often used in manga for laughs or escapism, but Wandering Son is one of the few manga I've read that takes its subject matter seriously. Shimura Takako is known for drawing LGBT-friendly manga, and... in Wandering Son she sympathetically and subtly depicts two young people who are transsexuals, or at least have transsexual leanings....It's a tasteful psychological portrait, with a lot of unexpected little meanders and detours... and a pleasant lack of either over the-top tortured drama or polemic speeches about the subject matter. Just wandering along the road of adolescence, watching our heroes discover themselves, is fascinating enough. Recommended." Otaku USA
"...[L]ike the best coming-of-age stories -- comics or otherwise -- is meticulously accurate in its details, but universal in its emotions. Gay or not, readers shouldn't find it too difficult to identify with kids who feel like their bodies and their friends are equally culpable in the worst kind of betrayal, preventing them from realizing the potential they see in themselves." The Onion's A.V. Club
"...[B]eing a trans woman means I'm used to seeing awful depictions of my lived experiences. I do not see me, and that is when I see trans women or trans people in general depicted at all. Until ... I had never seen my own narrative depicted. At least not closely or accurately." Kat Callahan
A sensitive, sophisticated work of literary manga.
As shown in the first two volumes of this acclaimed series, Shuichi and his friend Yoshino have a secret: Shuichi is a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino is a girl who wants to be a boy.
But one day, abruptly, their secret is exposed, and the two find themselves the target of sixth-grade cruelty. Their friendship is strained, as Yoshino makes a half-hearted effort at being a “normal girl”... and their mentor, Yuki, reveals the harder reality of being transgendered. Meanwhile, Shuichi’s sister, Maho, realizes her dream of becoming a model, and drags Shuichi along for the ride. Shuichi meets another boy who wants to be a girl, and finds himself on an arranged date with a boy who doesn't know that the girl he has a crush on was born a boy.
After an unhurried, almost leisurely buildup that gave us an opportunity to get to know and understand our protagonists, artist Shimura picks up the pace in this latest volume, with tears and laughs aplenty. A sophisticated work translated with rare sophistication by veteran translator and comics scholar Matt Thorn.
About the Author
Shimura Takako lives in Tokyo, Japan.