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Last checked: August 29, 2016
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Hourou Musuko (放浪息子, Hōrō Musuko) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Takako Shimura. It began serialization in the December 2002 issue of the monthly seinen manga magazine Comic Beam. The first tankōbon volume was released by Enterbrain in July 2003 in Japan; as of December 2010, 11 volumes have been released. The series is licensed in English by Fantagraphics Books, which is scheduled to release the first volume in North America in May 2011. An 11-episode anime adaptation produced by AIC Classic and directed by Ei Aoki began airing in Japan in January 2011.
Wandering Son was selected as a recommended work by the awards jury of the tenth Japan Media Arts Festival in 2006. The series has been lauded for its use of gender reversal as the core of the story, though the emotional realism of the young characters has been called into question.
The story depicts a young boy named Shūichi Nitori who wants to be a girl, and his friend Yoshino Takatsuki, a girl who wants to be a boy. The series deals with issues such as transsexuality, gender identity, and the beginning of puberty. Shimura was originally going to write the story about a girl in high school who wants to be a boy, but she realized that a boy who wants to become a girl before entering into puberty would have a lot of worries related to growing up, and changed the story to fit this model.