Friday, September 11, 2015

Wandering Son #1-8 by Takako Shimura.

Publish date- 2003, 2011 in English.
Publisher- Fantagraphics.

Review time...

(A Brief) Synopsis:
The journey of a boy who wants to be a girl and a girl who wants to be a boy as they go through middle school and high school.

What I thought:
Wandering Son is a passion of mine. Beautifully, emotionally, honestly and heart-wrenchingly told, it is the story, primarily, of a boy who wishes to be a girl and a girl who wishes to be a boy. And it tells this story in a way that makes me want to swear colourfully and with passion in an effort to convey just how incredibly well done and real it is. The presence, the comprehension, the growing power of this need to be recognised as a gender to which our protagonists, Nitori and ? were not born carries the story and leads them to acts of bravery and friendship; they form a bond, these two incredible souls, and it does get risked. Aspects of their friendship get found out at school, and among the people who are real friends, quirky and ever present and full of childhood’s solidarity, are also bullies and manipulators and people who are scared or stupid or don’t understand. And they do hurtful things, these people, and they don’t even think about it. There is clever, wily manipulation that I loath and in the later volumes plot lines have strayed in directions, particularly with the most recently published edition (#8), that I’m not particularly happy with- mostly because I want my characters, these people I cherish and love and want to protect and hug, to be happy- genuine as these plot lines continue to be.

It is a detailed, gradual manga, the dialogue simple and fast to get through. Time isn’t sacrificed, though- we get to understand and comprehend the characters, the ones we love and the ones we loath, intimately and gradually, each volume taking us a step further on the path of their lives.

Rating: Big explosion MIND BLOWN.
Wandering Son isn't perfection. I mean, I don't really believe in perfection but that's another discussion I probably won't have. But it's real. It's genuine. It's incredibly heartwarming and breaking and excellent in many, many ways.


  1. ASDFGHJKL. Why did I request so many August and September released? *cries rivers* I still haven't had time to read this beautiful sounding manga because I have no self control, and have been drowning under the weight of all my review copies for the last two months.

    But at least I know I have something truly superb to look forward to when all the stress is over.

    I really cannot WAIT to read this series for so many reasons. I just. I. YES. ALL THE YES.


    1. Ahaha! I can comiserate as to what it feels like to be drowning under review books (even when it's secretly and not so secretly the best feeling ever), although now I've finished QOS I feel freeeeeee. It was so long. But amazing. I'm actually *whispers* reading a library book! "Romi teaches everyone how to get through their review books" I am awesome.
      I could recommend you just take a day and read it, because it's quick, but I don't think you should do that. When you're over your review books take a day and just... let it wash over you. Don't worry about anything else and DO. NOT. RUSH. IT.


  2. I haven't read a manga in soooo long, but I remember the days when I was OBSESSED with them. They're such beautifully drawn, and I love how the simplicity of art can help build upon a story as well. Wandering Son seems very heart-breaking, but also a very meaningful read. I'm always amazed by how Japanese manga writers are able to create such deep and soulful emotions. A lot of the manga I have read have deeply moved me to tears, and I have no doubt that this one will as well. Thanks for sharing Romi! I'm definitely going to check it out :D

    1. They are so gorgeous, definitely. And I'm so glad that this is going to be the manga you plan to read that MIGHT just get you back into reading a whole bunch of them. It's so utterly gorgeous and the art is amazing, too. Not hugely detailed, but simplistic and perfect for what the story is.
      I'm sure you'll love it! xx

  3. I do like reading manga so knowing this one is done so incredibly well that it is heartbreaking, emotional and just drives home the meaning of the words it says? YES. Yes please. I want this so bad right now! I didn't know it was about what it was about until you mentioned it, and I don't think there are even many YA books that address that theme. Consider me intrigued.

    1. I'm so glad that you really want to read it now! That makes me really, really happy! I'm sure you'll be just as moved as I was, and I do hope you'll let me know how you go with it?! Aah. I'm so excited you're going to give it a go.
      Definitely not something that's discussed nearly enough in YA, or any genre/age group, really. xx


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