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Wandering Son Volume 1 [] writes: "Last night, I was watching the San Francisco Pride parade on TV. As I watched the colorful floats roll by, with all the joyful people dancing in the street, I wondered what Shuichi and Yoshino, the two transgender tweens of Wandering Son would think if they saw such a sight.

Compared to the over-the-top exuberance of the Pride weekend, Wandering Son by Takako Shimura is set in a much more low-key world, but it's no less fascinating. No, scratch that -- it's much, much more interesting, because this unusual manga offers a glimpse into a world rarely seen by most graphic novel readers: the inner world of two young people as they discover their gender identity.Now, granted -- gender-bending and cross-dressing is nothing new in manga. But Wandering Son is a rarity because it treats gender issues (relatively) realistically, and treats cross-dressing as an act of quiet rebellion and desperation rather than just a plot gimmick played for laughs.

Check out my review of Wandering Son Volume 1 by Takako Shimura, from Fantagraphics, and see why I found myself fascinated by this out-of-the-ordinary slice-of-life story.

Want more? You can download a 20-page sneak peek of Wandering Son at, and check out the Wandering Son (a.k.a. Horou Musuko) anime series at You can also check out my chat with Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth back when Wandering Son was first announced."

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