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To say the least…well, things have been changing around really fast this term around. I’m a little sad I’ve stopped writing intensive review on random things, and since I actually have time (relatively), I ought to be writing more on the things I’ve been up to.


Maybe it’s the return of the realization that this is public space, and how people can read into this, depending in whether they know me or not. To “know” is relative as well. Anyway, enough yammering about things I can’t really put into words, and into the main show!

I picked up Hourou Musuko at a “critical point”…that’s what happens when you pick up something in conjunction with events that coincide with “real” life, and it creates a profound impact on how you would have seen a situation, after watching it. I keep thinking that this show would have helped a lot if I saw this in high school. It’s a little about wanting to change yourself, about friends, family…mostly on vulnerability.

I’m not sure why I picked up on this vibe that this story is about how people can get hurt, whether it was inadvertently or intentionally, but that’s what I see.

Hourou Musuko, aka “Wandering Son,” is about a boy that wants to be girl, and the girl he likes, that wants to become a boy. It’s fairly soft and tepid stuff, sweet, without the tang of actual rejection. Shuichi Nitori dresses up at home in “girl’s clothing,” and has friends that support him with his secret. His sister finds out at one point, and is shocked, but quickly accepts this part of him, despite her misgivings. Yoshino Takatsuki is his female friend that wants to avoid the things that note her as "feminine"...honorifics, clothes, personality.
Nitori’s classmate, Chizuru Sarashinai, would be the boyish counterpart to the soft Nitori- she’s loud, she’s brash, she’s tall. She came to school in a gakuran (the boys uniform) instead of a sailor suit, and didn’t give a flying-damn who saw her and what they thought of it. She’s the strong character type, that takes care of others around her. I feel I can connect with her, despite not being a main character, might because the series is just getting revved up to introduce more things on each character. The series is not so much story-based as emotion and character-driven, lulls broken by new incidents that question their identities as teens, children, as female, male, or other.

The story would be your typical school story, except, in “Wandering Son,” there’s the sense of understanding that the creators have of being in school, not fitting in. you have your school stories with the class presidents that are cool, with mechs in the basement, and a secret in the garden. There’s little moments, like the boy in class watching the back of a girl walk away, and talking about seeing her bra strap through her shirt. It’s not that it was so-called perverted comment either. The way the characters and story is structured, there’s almost no room for the sexual connotations of changing gender, or growing up. It was merely a comment on a classmate growing up, and nothing more.

This anime has the power to lift slight burdens…for me, anyhow. I felt that not-fitting in quite right in the past (in the present? Not sure about that. :P) is a little less of an issue, a little less important. There were a few things that the show brought into focus into my life, and that’s probably why I’m recommending it to you.

In terms of the “vulnerability” that’s in the show, I just felt at the beginning that Nitori was a guy, and by him wanting to be a girl, he gives up a measure of power. The “power” is kind of a sexist way to put it, but in the way he is, him being a guy, and not telling anyone his secret, he is less likely to be attacked for who he is. I know that people say women and men are equal, but the way things are, the way I see it, the only way it works out if people help keep the balance by constantly questioning the status quo, rather than believing that the equality is universal, and it exists constantly.

Those moments where that illusion shatters?

Those are a “surprise.”

On my school campus, there was recently an incident that affected the university as a whole, as it came from more than one direction. Elections were at a pitch, and then, someone, or some people, put a custom poster in top of all the election posters that were of women candidates. Apparently, there were especially prevalent in the Math and Engineering buildings.

I only note this because UW is THE school when it comes to male-to-female ratio, surpassed only by the Royal Military College. I’ve seen both the posters, that were “The Truth” (falsely claiming Marie Curie is somehow connected to the tragedies of the atomic bomb), the Facebook message that appeared in my inbox, and counter-attack poster, titled “The REAL Truth,” and has a factual tidbit on Curie.

I follow OMGUW, I admit it. It’s full of crap, but the crap is the fun part, and it’s even better when you can wait around for a good OMG that sets off a semi-coherent conversation. One such post goes:
Wow, a lot of people are getting upset by this Marie Curie poster. Did something someone wrote really hurt your feelings that much? By making this a big deal, you're letting the coward who posted these posters win.”

I have seen the poster around campus, that that is the “positive” one…In fact, I had ripped one down, thinking it was the “negative” one. Either way, when I think about it, it shouldn’t matter which one I took down.
Why call the police? Why not just have a positive poster campaign?
The answer is…because we shouldn’t have to.

We shouldn’t have to counter a message like that by arguing logically, and matching posters with them. This mentality, that women should not be afraid because of some random poster, that there’s a fake message from the President of the university circulating, that there’s a creepy message that comes from an “Albert Einstein” sitting in my inbox, is downright...I think the word…is..hmm. Maybe insulting. But not, at the same time.

By me admitting it was “insulting” means I care about it, that I acknowledge that I am female. And that I am vulnerable in such a way. There was an incident recently, where a police officer had to apologize for saying that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”… The Toronto SlutWalk is a response to it, a way to take back the word "slut," which I approve. Only women can the sluts? Only women can dress to be, act like, they can be "taken advantage of"?

I would say, “FUCK THAT,” but that’s not the truth either. Because that’s not the way it works. I suppose I’ve been thinking a lot about body language and signals recently, and it’s starting to drive me a little crazy. As a colleague at work said, and I agree with her whole-heartedly: “I do my best thinking in the bathroom.” Mostly because you’re alone, and you’re thinking about others to think about the things you were trying to think through in the first place. No ones asks for things to happen to them, mostly, things just happen. No, I did not go and decide to stand next to a metaphoric open flame because I have never done that before, and decided to stick my hand in it, and hope that I don’t get burned. I need to think more about what my actions say, and who will be affected by them...but that's also limiting yourself. Do you exist to affect as many people as possible, or do you exist to live in a little gap that touches nothing? Am I myself when I choose one decision over another?

Maybe that’s the mentality I have. That letting people have to speak up for me, to have to help me with things, to support me is a sign of weakness. Even little things, like being able to walk through a puddle without being scolded, eating sweets at most inappropriate times of the day, opening my own doors. Not that I don’t appreciate it. :blushes:

I can’t understand the mindset of wanting to change one’s gender, since I’ve never been in that kind of situation, but I can feel that the issue is not so much changing, but the questions if brings up in regards to it. Why wear heels when you can’t walk far? Why wear a dress when you don’t want to talk to the other gender? Things like that. You can think it’s for yourself, but it might be because of other people, the world is already set up when you come into it.

But if you’ve seen enough feel-good anime, you know that’s not the way the story goes. FRIENDSHIP SAVES THE DAY? People can change the world?
Yes, yes they can. In small ways. We try. We fail. We try again. Something changes. We try again. Endlessly.

I guess I should end here, I kind of side-tracked from Hourou Musuko. But, it's an all-ages anime, and no, it will not turn your kids one way or another, if you're still having THAT kind of mentality. Go watch it, and try to reflect on what has changed in your life, who you are.

What you can do the better yourself for the sake of yourself...but sometimes, you might need a little push from others. That trigger is a little harder to find, if you ever find it, and even then, when you encounter it in another person, you might not even recognize it at first. But I suppose, it's bound to happen sometime, hang on until then.

I guess I stopped having one-way conversations with myself for the time being. Still not entirely sure how this came to be, or why I feel like I’m groping around in the dark, trying to understand a whole slew of new things about people. But I suppose that’s how I’ll muddle through it- somehow.

Wireless at my place is the worst, might be because someone is sapping it. The price has gone up above the original stated because the limit keeps being broken…haven’t watched Star Driver in 3 weeks. ;A;

I’m making less and less sense as time passes.
High school never ends- only because you don't let it.

High School Never Ends by Bowling for Soup
Not to say it'll get better anyway. You grow a thicker skin, you withdraw a little, you care less; but you still need to go out and meet the world.…
  • Listening to: High School Never Ends- Bowling For Soup
  • Reading: this entry
  • Watching: neighbour with cat ears
  • Playing: with my imaginary friend
  • Drinking: water
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Submitted on
March 17, 2011