Jan 13, 12
Read in January, 2012
I found the first volume a little incoherent and confusing, so felt a little bit let down by this manga that has been so praised up as an LGTB masterpiece. This volume, though, felt much more coherent and relaxed, with a relaxed steady pace that enabled me to acclimatise myself to the world of this boy and a girl with apparently unique "issues". Narratively there's not much to be said for this fairly short volume since not much happens except Shuichi buys a wig, befirends a transexual woman and gets teased as gay on a school trip.
But, like everyone else, I'm growing to love how this manga takes the issue of transvesticism seriously and really takes the time to ponder how it would feel to be a schoolboy (and to a lesser extent at this stage, a girl) who doesn't fit in with a very masculine culture and longs to be different and wishes to be a girl. What's so fascinating following Shuichi at this period of his life is that he doesn't yet understand his thoughts/feelings fully and so he has to struggle to come to terms with how he feels about himself as well as how others feel about him. It's nice that Shimura introduced an older, self-confident transexual character who tells stories about her own growing up as a contrast to this.