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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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I found this series very interesting. The only down parts, if I could say, is the pace which is so slow. But the fact that the whole series progresses realistically following the characters profile mades up with that evenly.
The part which I found interesting obviously the gender issue here. I'm just studying feminism recently. I know there's no slight relation of this series and feminism but there I also study gender stereotyping. On what was supposed for male, biologically, and what was supposes for female, biologically. The two protagonists of the series are against them, and specifically some of Nitori's inner thought are what really interests me, I also found on some Takatsuki's though. Even though their problem or thoughts were mostly personal and somewhat selfish that's the thing that made the series for me. Also you can realize it with ease that Nitori himself was criticizing the misogynist social construct. There's not much feminism but I would say this series is pretty interesting if we were to talk about gender related issue. I sure hope that the author has something in her mind when writing this series.
Also to mention the artist's art are surprisingly plain but beautiful. The simplistic story were in par with its simplistic art style. The most powerful part of the artist's I would say is the cover where she did so well with the, if I'm not mistaken, water color. I've read her other work, Aoi Hana, where she did it well too with the water color and the whole artwork of the series.
I would highly recommend this series. But I also found the issue is rather sensitive, well at least here in my place. Concerning the genre, I don't really know what makes up 'seinen' cause this series just had too much drama with it and its not the kind of drama you would normally found on 'male-oriented' works even though the crossdress might counts and the cute characters maybe. Its just simple 'mature (readers)-oriented' work for me, as the issue here should be handled unseriously but its quite serious. The gender-bender, LGBT, crossdress is not for fun but it's part of the theme brought by the story, it's the issue, the problem.
p.s. pardon me if I sound a bit arrogant or cocky or anything. I haven't read so much manga and I'm also a bit picky on choosing what manga I would read. If there's any disturbing argument with my comments, I apologize, Also pardon if there's many grammatical error, considering English is not my mother tongue and I'm not really on studying it.
An Artistic Triumph of Realism
Hourou Musuko is really quite interesting in a lot of ways, but rather than write a whole analysis here, I think I'll keep it short for once. What we have here is a work with realistic characters, reaistic pacing, and realistic outcomes. In fact, it almost feels as though these events may have occurred to the author or someone close to them at some point. The characters are developed with meticulous timing and accuracy, and hardly deviate from their acceptable courses of action based on this development. This, while quite amazing, will probably be lacking in terms of entertainment for many readers. This isn't an escapist work, and as a result, the audience it attracts will probably be smaller.
At first I was attracted to the beautiful watercolor in the beginning and the realistic characters. The earlier chapters were sweet simple and intriguing. However, as the manga went on, more serious issues came into play; it became a lot more intense. I couldn't stop reading; I just loved it.
It's a kinda plain slice of life like manga, with lots of cross dressing... It's nothing really special or edge of the seat or anything.. But it's alright..
It's a bit confusing here and there though.. Seems like it does some time skip thingy once in a while or something Oo Leaves me confused all the time since there's not really any warning or anything :s
I really like this manga. It's very poetic in my opinion. The characters are likable and they have flaws that people can relate to (not being clumsy and endearing flaws). Sometimes the characters make me angry with the choices they make and sometimes they surprise me in a good way.
The emotions are very real even if it's a very unlikely setting. This manga is definitely worth a try.
Stick With It
This is a great series and to me, a unique one at that. It's a bit slow at the beginning, but once it gets going, it turns to be one of the most thoughtful mangas ever. The art isn't too bad either. Easy on the eyes but kinda easy on the backgrounds too. Another thing that's great is that you can actually see the characters grow up and deal with the problems that come with it. Truly great and you feel for the characters too. To whoever's scanlating these chapters, thank you! And to those reading this review, start this series and stick with it, you won't regret it!
just started reading yesterday
i saw it on mangafox, and i got so into it! i was like, 'wow, this story is so original' since usually all the manga i read are so similar...i rly like this a lot, i hope it keeps going on and that ppl will continue to scanlate and translate it!!!
Contains the most realistic simulation of life Iíve ever seen in manga, especially in its depiction of the fickleness of the human heart. Characters make rash judgments, suddenly change their minds, and are frequently unfair to others, just like real people. This is a real accomplishment.
It's also quite dull.
Real life isn't very interesting, and it's insistance on slow, slice-of-life pacing means the hook (gender issues) doesn't even get much focus. Eventually, I just couldn't be bothered.
... Last updated on May 14th, 2009, 10:13pm
This is the best... :)
This IS my favorite manga. I love the pace and how it's unlikely, but realistic. The characters are really interesting and you love and hate them at times (like Chiba). Not only that, but the art is cool, too. Overall, this is the best!!!
This manga is one of my favorites, I read it several times. I love everything about this manga. The pace is unique, sometimes its quick and sometimes it slows down a bit. Its got funny moments and somewhat serious dramatic moments.
The mangka does a great job of telling this kind of story. Nothing about it seems fake or unrealistic. The events that happen in the story feel like events that could happen to anyone.
whatever your personal beliefs are, if you decide not to read this because you think "transgenders are icky" then you're missing out.