Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations
Another month, another OWLS post, and this months topic is one that I actually like a lot. For January, our topic is Metamorphosis, as described below:
A brand new year means new beginnings and opportunities. We have a tendency to embrace the new year because it’s a time when we can start fresh. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring our favorite dynamic characters who undergo changes for better or for worse. We will analyze these characters’ transformations and how these transformations benefited or minimized these characters’ potential in becoming “great people/beings.” We will also use these characters as a way for us to reflect on our own lives and who we want to become. Lastly, we would like to say “Happy New Year, everyone!”
I would also recommend that you check out the other OWLS members like Takuto.
For this month’s topic, I’ve chosen to focus on a show that I have thought about a lot recently: Wandering Son. With that being said, here is the post:
With the coming of and going of each new year brings with it change. People resolve to change an aspect of themselves they don’t like, sometimes several, and more often than not just end up throwing out said resolutions a month into the new year, returning to the same habits that brought them unhappiness in the first place. However, for a certain group of people, the change that comes with resolving to be better is often scary, because it requires an outright rejection of societal norms.
Wandering Son is mainly the story of Takatsuki and Shuichi. Shuichi, or as she is more affectionately referred to in the story, Shu, is a boy who wishes to be a girl. Takatsuki is a girl who wishes to be a guy. In other words, they are transgender. However, their ability to express their gender is met with scorn and many societal roadblocks.
For those whose true gender is not as it was assigned to them at birth, the idea of change is both liberating and terrifying. On one hand, being able to express your gender in the way that you see as comfortable is great, but it often is not that simple. Many of those of attempt to do this are often met with resistance in the form of being told they are being silly, being rejected by family members, and sometimes even violence. In Wandering Son, many similar things happen.
At the beginning of the story, Shu and Takatsuki both start off in relatively similar places. Both are beginning to feel the social pressures of school clash with their desire to express their true gender, however, both of them have people who understand them enough to support and encourage their true identities. For Shu, that would Takatsuki and Makoto, another boy in his grade who wishes to be a girl. For Takatsuki, its Shu and Chizuru and Sasa. But, even though both Takatsuki and Shu have friends there to support them, the idea of making the change that they desperately want to is still extremely scary. It becomes even scarier for Shu when her sister Maho find her cross-dressing and starts calling her weird.
Fortunately, courage seems to find the two of them, or rather the two of them end up finding courage. While most of the first half of the show revolves around both Takatsuki and Shu being fairly uncomfortable with the idea of expressing their true gender, by the second half of the show, the two of them get a relative confidence boost. Shu starts going out in feminine clothes much more often then she used to, and Takatsuki starts moving towards wearing the male uniform at school. Even Yuki, a trans woman who befriends both Takatsuki and Shu before the beginning of the show’s story, by the end of the show, feels enough courage to go and see the kid’s school play while presenting as female.
Change can definitely be scary. It is by definition unfamiliar, and as animals we are biologically programmed to be scared of the unknown, to be distrustful of the good it can bring. However, much like Shu and Takatsuki are able to do throughout the course of Wandering Son, it is better to let change happen then to be scared of it because it can also be liberating.
Before I end the post, I just have to give respect to The Pendantic Romantic’s Video on Wandering Son that inspired this post in the first place. Her video is way more in-depth than anything I have ever written about… well anything, frankly. It is a fairly long watch, but highly worth it if you have the time. definitely give it a watch.
What kind of changes are you hoping to make this year? Let me know in the comments below. If you would like to support The Aniwriter, or are just feeling generous, consider donating on Ko-Fi or using my Amazon Affiliate Link to buy stuff:
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If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!