Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hourou Musuko - 116

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“State of Mind”


Sorry Takako-sensei, but these 20-page chapters after waiting a month just aren’t cutting it.

I’m sure this can’t be the first, but I can’t recall another chapter where Nitorin didn’t appear in the flesh (he does show up briefly in Takatsuiki’s daydream).  While the depth of the cast is definitely a strength of Hourou Musuko, monthly manga run a risk by ignoring the lead for even a chapter or two.  Especially with things left as they were between Shuu and Anna, in this case it’s a lot to take.

In fact, the chapter focuses on Sasa, at least in the first half, and that’s a reach well into the depths of the supporting cast.  She’s been a rare sight since the high-school era started, and here we see her in the midst of her first (presumably) real crush, on Sasaki-kun - who’s alas smitten with Saori.  Asking a girl to invite another girl to a mixer – especially after being told she has a boyfriend – is pretty clueless behavior indeed, but it’s just possible Sasa’s surprise confession over the phone (after telling him that Saori and Chi-chan want to beat him up) may have turned his head a little.

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From there, things turn to Takatsuki – who’s been somewhat less prominent in the manga over the last year or so.  She’s still modeling – we have a brief interaction with Anna, but no mention of the kiss – and still musing over how her POV has changed.  “I always thought I wanted to be a boy…  And Nitori-kun wanted to be a girl.  Recently I’ve stopped thinking that way – and it feels like I’m betraying him somehow.”  Intellectually of course, Takatsuki knows Nitorin doesn’t feel that way – but it’s clear that she’s still in the midst of wrestling with what this change of heart means. 

Finally, it’s Chiba and Takatsuki together in the cafeteria -  and Chiba is still her usual, completely tactless self.  But she does get an important message across from Yuki, part of their conversation two chapters ago when Makoto dragged her there – “there’s nothing wrong with changing your mind.”  It’s fair to say that both Takatsuki and Nitorin are less certain about their future path than at any time we’ve known them, but far too early to say whether either has really changed their mind.

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6 comments:

  1. I don't know why people bother with this series. It's just another hyper real character dorama with in your face GID issues. Just watch/ read Utena which imaginatively weaves the concept of gender into a larger story.

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    Replies
    1. I don't know why people bother commenting if they're just gonna trash the series and then recommend something they enjoyed. You're not going to get Enzo to stop reading and you won't be taken seriously, either.

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    2. Are you Enzo's backdoor lackey? It's my opinion that this manga isn't all that and I'm happy to spread knowledge of greater things.

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  2. Hi! I'm a japanese university student. In English class, we made PDF about Japanese manga and onomatopoeia.I want you to see it.

    This is the URL.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeG0bL_RCe8

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really liked this chapter - of course, I'm always happy when Chiba-san makes an appearance, but seeing the entire female cast was a rare treat. We get some heart warming bonding between Chi-chan and Chiba-san ("you've opened up to me!" - "no I haven't"), And Sasa's somber confession was really sweet too.
    As for Shuu not making an appearance, after the development he had last month, it's understandable that the follow up will take some time - it is Hourou Musuko after all..

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