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 Post subject: Re: Hourou Musuko/Wandering Boy Weekly Discussion
PostPosted: March 26th, 2011, 10:50 am 
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Welcome to the pits of anticlimactic episode 10!

Shûichi's parents indeed didn't know a thing about their son's sexual orientation, only Maho knew. I guess it's hard to talk about such a matter to anyone... maybe especially parents because the child in question fears they might be disappointed.

The teachers are clearly overstrained with the situation. Shûichi never made it into the classroom. He was brought to the teachers' room along with Chizuru and Yoshino and then sent to the nurse's office. But what is most striking with regard to my argumentation concerning social evaluation differences between boyish girls and girlish boys is that Yoshino and Chizuru were free to go while Shûichi's mother was asked to pick him up and bring him home. They could have sent him home on his own to change his outfit, but that seemed out of the question.

The scene in the teachers' room offers a further bit of character depiction. Shûichi admits that he wanted to be a girl, Chizuru rejects the idea she wanted to be a boy - and Yoshino says nothing, although she is clearly Shûichi's counterpart.
Or... is her case so clear?
You could also say that on the one hand Chizuru knows what she wants and Shûichi knows what he wants, and both admit it openly. Yoshino on the other hand remaining silent in this particular situation offers an interesting re-interpretation of the Anime's title: Still being undecided to a significant degree, it's not Shûichi - Yoshino is the "wandering son".
That sounds like a stretch, sure, but in a way, seen from a certain perspective, it makes very much sense.

In the aftermath of his coming-out Shûichi becomes the target of relatively harmless pranks and banter. He gets strange looks and people whisper about him. He is denied access to the classroom by a couple of boys and he's called a "girlboy" on at least one occasion. The acts of his opponents are daftly insensitive and inconsiderate but not outright hostile, nobody threatens or touches him in an inappropriate manner. Furthermore Anna tells Shûichi to downgrade their relationship to a friendship basis, which is regrettable, but considering his sexual orientation in comparison to her "normal" sexual desires the relationship makes, as I suggested in an earlier post, not much sense anyway.

About support for Shûichi... Chizuru of course doesn't give a damn and supports Shûichi openly despite Momo's reservations, fearing a social backlash. It was indeed cold of her to suggest in Shûichi's presence that Chizuru avoid being seen with him.
Makoto stays close to Shûichi like he always does.

Yoshino writes him letters, at least one. Not open, but still supportive.
A reason for Yoshino's rather covert support might be that she has problems of her own. A fellow student verbally attacks her after she turned down a male classmate (Yama-P?) who was obviously asking her out. Energy is limited, so I guess she does not want to attract more flak.

Kanako (Sasa-chan) wants to help Shûichi by trying to prevent another Tôsakugeki, gender-swap stage play, as she suspects this will be just another opportunity to make a fool out of her friend. It seems she does not adress Shûichi directly, but she is also supportive, paradoxically even in a way that she, together with Saori, encourages him to write the script, about a world in which gender roles are switched. In the rehearsals you can hear the students talk in the respective other's gender-typical language. Should be tough to translate.

Doi is the leading proponent of the theater idea, but on one occasion he ignores Shûichi seemingly deliberately. Shûichi's supporters openly despise him although his involvement is very vague. I guess he just has a bad reputation as a former bully.

Doi no yatsu ne... his motives are still inside the bag. He does not take part in any sort of bullying. I get the impression that he was just curious, not thinking about any consequences that his encouragement might have. He seems to handle the situation rather emotionless, even as he talks to Shûichi about it on the way home. Just when Shûichi tells him he disliked him (implicitly for his role in the whole affair, "I don't want to be made fun of a second time!"), Doi seems strangely affected by the rejection. If Doi turned out to be gay without having fully realized it himself I wouldn't be too surprised.

On a positive note I liked Maho's scene with Riku. The dialogue might be a little enigmatic for non-Japanese but for the initiated it's actually pretty cute, as she initiates that they change from a surname to a first name basis in their relationship. While this is pretty much unknown in the west, at least for young people who go to school together, it is an important indicator in Japan. I've seen comedies in which parents were shocked (exaggerated for humorous purposes, of course) to hear that their daughter's love-interest already called her by her first name when invited to dinner at her house. But it is a fact that such an occasion shows that a relationship has become perceivably more intimate.
Very cute scene, I watched it three times. :sweat:

And again, time flies, must have been several weeks as it suddenly is summer. Shûichi has longer hair and Kanako seems to have lost her twintails, sporting a haircut much like Maho. Changes of hairstyle are often-used indicators for maturation, like Shûichi has come from being a boy to becoming a adolescent, so to speak. He does look cooler than before.
Haha, and he has also outgrown his sister:

Attachment:
File comment: This is from the beginning of episode 1.
Shûichi Maho 001.JPG
Shûichi Maho 001.JPG [ 26.15 KiB | Viewed 2941 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: This one is from the end of episode 10.
Shûichi Maho 002.jpg
Shûichi Maho 002.jpg [ 23.6 KiB | Viewed 2941 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Hourou Musuko/Wandering Boy Weekly Discussion
PostPosted: March 27th, 2011, 6:51 am 
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Apparent the current episode 10 is actually episodes 10 and 11 squashed together. So we're going to have to hold on for a proper episode 10 and 11 release.

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 Post subject: Re: Hourou Musuko/Wandering Boy Weekly Discussion
PostPosted: March 27th, 2011, 6:38 pm 
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Storm_Shinobi wrote:
Apparent the current episode 10 is actually episodes 10 and 11 squashed together. So we're going to have to hold on for a proper episode 10 and 11 release.

Well, the time leap in the episode was quite something, but could you elaborate a bit further?

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 Post subject: Re: Hourou Musuko/Wandering Boy Weekly Discussion
PostPosted: March 29th, 2011, 4:53 am 
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Not much to elaborate on. What we saw is a compilation of episodes 10 and 11. There will be a proper episode 10 and 11 release later on. Not sure if they are going to air it or if its a DVD thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Hourou Musuko/Wandering Boy Weekly Discussion
PostPosted: March 29th, 2011, 4:51 pm 
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Storm_Shinobi wrote:
Not much to elaborate on. What we saw is a compilation of episodes 10 and 11. There will be a proper episode 10 and 11 release later on. Not sure if they are going to air it or if its a DVD thing.

One more reason to get the manga.
What's your source?

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 Post subject: Re: Hourou Musuko/Wandering Boy Weekly Discussion
PostPosted: April 1st, 2011, 6:55 pm 
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Episode 11 prepares the climax of episode 12 - the genderswap stage play.

Initially, pubertal problems are being raised: Shûichi has not just grown to unwomanly lengths, his puberty vocal change has also begun. He makes a wish to stop that process, but it seems he comes to terms with his life and body. When a classmate mentiones the strangeness of his voice he replies that it was okay. I am really curious to learn how this character will manage his (or maybe her) life, since many Male-to-Female transgender people commit suicide when they lose their natural girly child-voices. Shûichi seems strong enough to have come to some sort of decision about his self-image. In this regard it is also important to notice that he has stopped wearing a wig while crossdressing. He's on the right path.

Saori also seems to begin to cope with Yoshino's personality as she invites both Shûichi and Yoshino to her home, for dress-up, as it seems, and they're actually having fun. Yoshino and Shûichi confirm their taste in clothing: Yoshino is convinced that women's clothes just do not become her (Saori spontaneously agrees), Shûichi thinks that men's clothes were boring (he doesn't say it aloud, but his thoughts are made audible for the audience).
Eventually they argue over whether Shûichi is to be considered a special or exceptional boy. Saori says no (I have not understood on what grounds), but Yoshino insists that he is, in a way that all the characters around him - Saori, Chizuru, Kanako, Makoto, Momoko, and herself, Yoshino - are exceptional in a way (which can hardly be denied).

Makoto has problems with his self-confidence, saying that he envied Shûichi for his looks and mind, describing both as "kawaii", i.e. "pretty" or "cute", depending on how you'd like to perceive it according to the situation. Being the little guy with the big glasses he thinks that made him less of a friend or a person of lesser value... which is ridiculous, but problems with confidence are common among teenagers I guess. Less common is two teenagers making compliments to each other, and the scene has a certain beauty to it.

Anna's scene with Shûichi was also beautiful in its execution. Anna apologizes to Shûichi for separating from him so suddenly and admits that she was very happy when he confessed to her because due to her rough personality nobody else had ever dared to say anything like that to her. This might come across strange in the west, even when Shûichi expresses his disbelief considering that she's a pretty girl (and it's so cute to see her soft sides). I've met such characters in person, two really good-looking young women (not tsundere in any sort of way) in their early twenties, one from China, one from Korea, who admitted to never having had a boyfriend and I was wondering whether the guys in their social environment were blind or stupid or both. But East Asia is not necessarily "liberal" when it comes to pre-marital relationships, and especially Korean society seems to be very strict.

The final scene is again wonderfully literary: Shûichi, dressed like a girl for the play, steps into the spotlight. The stage is set, let the lesson for the masses begin and pull them out of ignorance!

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 Post subject: Re: Hourou Musuko/Wandering Boy Weekly Discussion
PostPosted: April 4th, 2011, 9:33 am 
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http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/20 ... ng-to-date
Source for episode 10 being episodes 10 and 11.

Sadly there isn't a climactic episode 12. Or rather that was the climactic episode 12 as 10 was 10 and 11. That is all we are getting!

Definitely sad to see the series end. It is definitely something I could do with for much longer.

What needs to be said has been said and yes, that Anna scene was beautifully done. And I applaud Shuichi for still admitting he likes her.


I'll have my fingers crossed for a season 2 and will probably try to track the manga down.

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 Post subject: Re: Hourou Musuko/Wandering Boy Weekly Discussion
PostPosted: April 10th, 2011, 7:31 am 
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Storm_Shinobi wrote:
Sadly there isn't a climactic episode 12.

Yeah, I realized that, like, ten minutes ago.
It's sad because it's a great story, but then again Shûichi's "stepping into the spotlight" does represent a great way to end the series imho.

Storm_Shinobi wrote:
will probably try to track the manga down.

I sent an e-mail to a friend currently residing in Japan, asking her to find it in Book Off or a similar second-hand shop.
If I'm not mistaken 11 volumes have been published so far and it's not yet finished. I wonder why I tend to like slow long runners? I think Hôrô Musuko's first chapter was published in 2003, which makes less than three volumes in two years, although I do guess that, other than Kishiro Yukito, Shimura Takako has a plan, a conclusion in the back of her head. Hôrô Musuko can hardly be stretched by side-characters' flashbacks, comedic fillers, or action-packed tournaments!

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