In Takako Shimura’s series Wandering Son, Volume 6, the school festival rolls around again and again Shuu-chan’s class has chosen to do a gender-switched play. Not just a gender-switched play, this one will be an original work. But as the festival nears, it is morphed back into a typical Romeo and Juliet. Chiba-san objects and with her steamrolling the class, she and Shuu-chan rewrite the play again to reflect the more realistic concerns of trans people…and add some random violence.
I feel I understand Shuu-chan and Yoshino, Mako and the rest, but still find them rather on the prickly side. Hormones and alliances and identity all mixing up, as Shuu-chan worries how hairy his legs will be, or as Yoshino suggests switching names…or as Chiba-san stays angry with almost everyone.
I was discomfited by Yuki-san appearing – again – in a suit.With this series, I constantly feel like we’re do-si-do-ing back and forth every volume over the same three of four steps. I understand this in regards to Shuu and the others, but am much less forgiving in regards to Yuki-san, whom we are meant to believe is living her life truthfully.
Finally, as the pages of the book come to a close, I cannot stop thinking that Shuu-chan is going to have to talk to Maho sooner or later. There is also one serious flaw with the entire narrative in this volume – no school would have allowed a play like that to be performed. Educational administration in both Japan and America are notoriously conservative. Combined with the feeling of going over the same territory again and again, I’m starting to feel the narrative grind down to a halt.
Still, I’m rooting for the kids in Shuu-chan’s class to find themselves and grow up with a chance at happiness, so I’m still reading.
Art – 8
Story – 7
Characters – 8
LGBTQ – 8
Overall – 7
Seya is the only character that seems to have actually matured so far, and he’s done a good job of it.