Why is gendering so important? Wandering Son

Wandering Son is a story which focuses around Nitori and Tatatsuki. Two 5th graders who share common ground given the fact that they both are questioning their gender identities. Nitori born a boy, wanting to be a girl and Tatatsuki born a girl, wanting to be a boy. The shifting of gender identities in the series is what makes this story different from other tales of adolescence. The two characters appear to form a strong bond, and this creates excitement in the story as well as faces the audience with the question to whether they are romantically interested in each other or if their friendship is created because they are going through similar experiences. The story goes on to follow their relationship even through puberty where they see the other develop the way they wish their bodies would. Supporting each other through the fear of what changes puberty will bring them is what brings them even closer together. Nitori scared of his voice breaking and Tatatsuki scared of her breasts growing. However, through this struggle, the two characters find small ways to find comfort in their transformations, like Nitori recording his soft tone voice before it changes and Tatatsuki saving up for a chest binder. Therefore, Wandering Son is seen to be a story that explores the internal conflicts of pre-teens battling with their gender identities and finding ways to cope with it. Continue reading