July 2nd, 2011


Finished series: Hourou Musuko

We've finished watching Hourou Musuko. My first episode review is here.

One thing to note: the series doesn't start at the beginning of the manga -- so there's a bit of backstory that's not told, but in flashbacks and by off-hand remarks from the characters, you get a good idea of what went before.

Main character is Shuichi, a shy and quiet boy. He is pretty cute, and he would rather be a girl. He dresses up as a girl (using a long-haired wig) sometimes, and walks around town like that -- nobody sees that he is actually a boy. Yoshino has the exact opposite: she is a tall girl with short hair, who would rather be a boy and wear trousers. In the past, Shuichi confessed to Yoshino, but she turned him down. They have a friend Saori, who has a crush on Shuichi, and who loans him her dresses.
And then the series starts, with them entering middle school. The series documents those awkward two years, when you're not a child anymore but also not a teenager -- the years where you have to get to grips with your gender and what that means for your sexual identity.

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The animation looks like every frame is a small watercolor painting, which complements the story quite well. The voice acting is superb. The characters are well-drawn, and with clothing being important to the plot, there's lot of attention to the outfits they wear -- not always wearing the same thing.

Good points:
- Very honest treatment of a difficult subject;
- Looks gorgeous;
- Never boring;
- Ends well.

I can't think of any bad points. I highly recommend this: I'll give it a 9.5.