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Wandering Son, Vol. 3
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on May 10, 2015
Wandering Son takes a slice of life approach to its coming of age story, but to get a full picture Shuichi and Yoshino's journey it's best to follow them from the beginning. Start with volume 1.

Shimura's beautifully melancholy coming of age epic featuring a pair of transgender children continues along wonderfully in its best volume yet. The delicate balance between the few that know Shuichi and Yoshino's secrets is upended when an unfortunate incident at school brings bigotry and cruelty down on them in full force. The impact is all the more pronounced for the restraint exercised by the author. Nothing is over dramatized or overblown. Simple, realistic teasing and abuse is leveled at them by other children and it's chilling in its plausibility. The struggles of the individual characters to come to terms with these events and their conflicting feelings about each other's reactions carries the majority of this volume. It's extremely compelling, provides a lot of intriguing character development, and hints at future struggles that await our protagonists.

The other major focus here is on the changing relationship between Shuichi and his sister Maho. I'll avoid plot specifics but two important and diverse plot threads come out of this and push things forward for both Shuichi and Maho while introducing several new characters that look to be important going forward.

Wandering Son just keeps getting better and better. Highly recommended.
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on April 16, 2013
This was my favorite volume so far. It did such a good job making me remember what junior high was like, with the awkwardness, fights between friends, and the sense that no one understands you. I knew how hard it was for me, and I can't even imagine how much harder it must be for kids like Shuichi and Yoshino. I really liked Shuichi's new friend, and the insights that friend was able to provide were really interesting, and their sense of humor and perspective were priceless. It was nice seeing Shuichi's sister growing in her understanding of Shuichi, and I was proud when she bit back the nasty words she almost said. I have a feeling that things are only going to get harder for both Shuichi and Yoshino from here, but I am heartened to see that they have people in their lives who I have a strong feeling will stand by them. The artwork, and the story telling continue to be among the best of any graphic novel I've ever read, and the senseitvity of the author gives these characters such life, and humanity.
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on July 4, 2013
I consider this to be the best of the first four volumes (these volumes correspond to the elementary school years). In this volume, we see Shuichi and Maho audition together to become models (at Maho's insistence) and get accepted. Maho sets up a boy in her class, Riku Seya, on dates with Shuichi, but with Shuichi dressed as a girl and lying about her identity! A pair of bullies steal Shuichi and Takatsuki-kun's exchange diary while at school. And a new character is introduced who has some things in common with Shuichi. All these story arcs proceed through this volume and make for an entertaining and highly engaging read.
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on November 3, 2013
This manga packs great sensibility and psychological depth through the most challenging of characterizations: that of grade school children. The narrative is very sincere and logical. This is an outstanding manga that is appropriate for any age.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2012
The artwork was simple and clean and the storyline progressed with an unexpected turn. It was poignant and thought provoking and gave a very interesting viewpoint as to a young transgender's first crush and subsequent date. All in all, it was a very beautiful book and an excellent read. I highly recommend this series.
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