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From Fantagraphics Books:
Fifth grade. The threshold of puberty, and the beginning of the end of childhood innocence. Nitori Shuichi and his new friend Takatsuki Yoshino enjoy happy homes and loving families, and are well-liked by their classmates. But they share a secret that further complicates a time of life that is awkward for anyone: Shuichi is a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino is a girl who wants to be a boy...
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This manga is sooooo amazing. The author wrapped the gender manga issue so beautifully. And yep, somehow it's unpredictable, just like life itself. As it's a seinen, some sexual issues are included here, but, well... that's kinda added more spices to this manga? I don't dislike it. It's just fit there. A boy who wanted to be a girl, and the girl who wanted to be a boy. How they dealt with their emotional complexes, how the plot was flowing uncontrollable (as I said before, unpredictable like a life itself), and how the author chose the -somehow, bittersweet ending. Of course there were some flaw here and there, because of the slow paced, and runabout thinking. But I think that's what make the story seems more realistic. Highly recommended.
I'm only on the 3rd volume but it's a MUST-READ!!! Totally emotional and realistic. No bs complete knowledge about one's gender or 100% acceptance from others. I love it and think everyone should.
read this manga people!
I love how these two characters (japanese names are hard to remember) taka something and nitori started as opposites and I love even more how one still wanted to become a girl and the other just "grew out of it". It's realistic and I've seen it happen in real life.
I highly recommend this
It's not for everyone. It relies heavily on trans* themes and is very slow paced. It spends the first four volumes in elementary, spends a large chunk on middle school, then high school passes in less than 40 chapters. It's a very realistic, soft paced manga. No mecha, magic, or goofy school antics here.
The protagonist of the manga is Nitori Shuichi, an elementary aged trans girl who transfers to a new school mid-semester. She has a temperamental sister one year older than her and two nice parents. On her first day of school she meets the secondary protagonist, Takatsuki Yoshino, who is a trans boy. The two quickly become friends and eventually learn their mutual interest to live as the opposite sex. Thus the story begins.
The manga conveys many emotions. It delicately discusses everything from bullying to dissolving friendships. It's themed around puberty and those awkward teenage years. Changing bodies, friendship changes, romance, sexuality.. All while the two protagonists are transgender kids in 2000s Japan, which adds fuel to the fire.
The art style is decent at first but will eventually evolve into Shimura's signature style. I just love her art, especially when it's colored in watercolor.
The last dozen chapters are controversial and I see why. Everything goes by incredibly swift and a dozen plot points are never filled.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
The manga also ends on a very ambiguous note for Takatsuki. He's a model and apparently cis identified but Shimura has said it's up for the readers to figure out the genders of the protagonists. Nitori ends with a very Shimura meta "I am a girl" making it obvious where she stands but Takasuki can go a dozen ways depending on the interpretation. Mako, another trans girl Nitori's age, has plot threads created but glossed over. Maybe Shimura didn't want to spend 6+ years on the already decade old series
It was interesting
Well I started reading it before it was finished by author, and plot is interesting but a lot of time skips through me of the track often... So I put it on hold and decided to finish reading it yesterday. I really liked the ending especially reaction of the girlfriend of the main character. So I think this manga is worth it if you like Gender Bender stuff, it is not the best though.
It's really a disappointment what with this senseless love story with anna-chan then why did she started with Takatsuki Yoshino? I really was looking forward to a development but no there was just stupidity in wanting to be a girl and having a girlfriend at the same time noting but disappointment. (o-o)
Or maybe it was always boring? The story telling isn't engrossing, i think what made me like it a lot at first was the unique plot devices (e.g. exploring sexuality growing up). But it's not realistic and the plot was painfully slow, and then suddenly jumps forward in time... I find it hard to feel attached to any specific character in the story, and there are manyy sideplots developing which don't interact with the main plot (if there is one) which make it a drag to read after a while. Unfortunate...such interesting concepts to be explored. also, I think Shuu is constantly zoned out. It would be nice to see more expressions on his face.
... Last updated on September 27th, 2013, 12:19pm
Shimura Takako does an amazing job of portraying these characters and telling their story. Though it may be confusing at some parts, seeming as if there are time skips, it all fits wonderfully together. Though some may question the characters' "emotional realism," I feel like it's entirely realistic which adds to this masterpiece. As you read, you clearly watch the characters grow, physically, mentally, emotionally. I would definitely recommend this piece, though if you are sensitive about lgbt issues then be warned. However, the author deals with these topics in a very sensitive(?)/delicate(?) way. I may be slightly biased though, being questioning myself
... Last updated on July 31st, 2013, 12:39am
An insult to the trans community. Read this manga for an excessively drawn out love triangle and plastic characters, not a serious look at transphobic bigotry (in Japan or anywhere else.) Phoned in and very cheap, don't waste your time.
Observations of minor quibbles
Vol.1 Sweet story. I was actually a little confused in the beginning. Despite reading the description, I thought the boy really was a barely boyish girl and it took me awhile to recognize who the second character was suppose to be. There's one extra character that in the first volume that got so much screen time for the first half that it only added to my confusion. She basically works to push the plot but a well-told story, this story, doesn't really need her as she was used. If she had just been more conscientious, empathic. She doesn't really have an issue, other than liking to dress someone else up. Not really looking forward to where she's going with christianity either(and what for?). It takes away from the two that are the focused early on. The boys don't come off well in this story. The fathers do, but all the little boys are barely depicted and not very positively.
I usually only do a review this early when I'm thinking of quitting, but that's not the case here. I'd give this an 8.5 if I were to rate it now.