The main problem for the characters is some variation of that, isn’t it?
Anime is full of traps and when you sit back and think about it, it’s kind of like, wow, they’re everywhere, aren’t they? Which, if you think about it, is kind of strange that Hourou Musuko feels so different from everything else. I mean, it’s an anime about traps.
An easy description of Hourou Musuko would be that it’s about gender and sexual identity and it does it realistically, unlike the usual fetish or comedy treatment. But what’s more interesting isn’t just that it examines these things in a realistic and mature manner, but that it starts from square one. These are children that are dealing with these things.
So we have these kids and we’re watching them struggle with it on their own. If they’re lucky, they meet someone to struggle along with. Maybe they’re doing okay for a while. Suddenly, things change, and they’re in middle school and have a whole new slew of bullshit to worry about. There’s never really any rest from these things, there are no answers and the kids just have to keep on growing up and dealing with crap that comes their way.
That the anime chose to focus on the middle school parts was something I found kind of unfortunate. Yeah, it’s really exciting that there’s a ton of relationship drama here, but I thought a nice thing about Hourou Musuko was that it took the time to take a look at the slower parts of the characters’ lives as well. Of course, it worked out that the particular slice that they chose to animate has some sort of closure, so that was nice. But just like how the manga starts long before the anime does, now the manga has gone beyond where the anime ends and everyone’s in high school.
Just like with Usagi Drop, we’ve had our fun times watching these kids grow up, but that’s not going to last forever. I don’t know whether this mangaka typically focuses on long term things, but I’d really like to see where this crew ends up in five, ten, or more years down the road.