I was going to try and watch more of this before writing about it, and I'm still worried that it's about to take a sharp turn into unpleasantness without warning, as I'm only three episodes in yet. But so far, Hourou Musuko is a remarkable show and I've got my fingers crossed that it keeps its sensitivity for the duration.
Anime's not really known for its subtlety or respectful treatment of... well, anything really. What makes Hourou Musuko stand out, for me, isn't just that it's willing to talk about gender dysphoria (in 11-year-olds at that), but that it approaches the subject with such sensitivity and empathy.
It's kind of hard to see where the story's going to end up, but at the same time in a slice-of-life show like this the destination isn't really important. I'm not even sure what I'm rooting for, either - the main characters' goals are so nebulous and far away and (for me) difficult to identify with, but I'm really hoping they get what they need. Even if it's just acceptance, as unlikely as that would be in junior high school.
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