Hourou Musuko 11

“Honest” is one way to put it, but Shuusuke could really use some scolding from Akira. His re-confession scene was embarrassing enough for me, and I was only watching. He and Ana have a great relationship, which I feel is quite realistic for middle schoolers just entering puberty. When I was that age, I remember it seeming like everyone was swapping boyfriends and girlfriends every week or two. They aren’t really sure about their feelings either- Ana is confused about whether she sees Shuusuke as a boyfriend or a little brother, and Nittori isn’t sure whether he sees Ana as his girlfriend or a girlfriend he goes clothes shopping with. Most anime dealing with romance tend to make the main conflict a “he loves me / he loves me not” rather than anything this nuanced.

Shuusuke also experiences an awkward moment with Chiba smelling his hair, reminiscent of her first attempted rape, but Takatsuki makes the save. Poor Chiba.

The creators couldn’t fit everything in the manga into eleven episodes, but they still did a great job at having a conclusion of sorts. Shuusuke and Doi work on the script together, planting the seeds of forgiveness, Mako confesses his jealousy of Shuusuke and is forgiven, Ana begins to respect Shuusuke’s cross-dressing, and Shuusuke accepts the changes to his body and his voice. Shuusuke begins to be accepted for who he is by his friends and classmates, and begins to accept himself and his male body, making for an uplifting and optimistic ending.

My favorite thing about this show is still how unique the characters are: in their reactions to events, how they view the world, in everything. And their reactions aren’t surprises at all. The characters have been explored so thoroughly that they feel like real people you would know, who act exactly as you would expect them to. I mean look at everyone’s reaction to Takatsuki’s class’ “Wish Upon a Star” event, shown above. Sasa smiles happily and, a few seconds later, tries to draw out Chiba. Chiba complains about how idiotic it is. Nittori stares with his mouth open, dumbfounded. Chi is excited and begins wishing fervently. And Momo tries not to break down laughing. All of these reactions are exactly what we’d expect, and it’s because of scenes like this that we know so many characters so well in the span of only eleven episodes. Not a second is wasted, as in the space of a few seconds, the creators flesh out five characters in unique ways simultaneously.

Last, we got some bonus cross-dressing. (Also, I’m confused… I thought the last episode was a combination of 10 and 11, but now this is 11?)

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