Sophism recommended this show to me after I reviewed USAGI DROP, suggesting that I shouldn’t read anything ahead of time so I wouldn’t spoil the controversial surprise. Truthfully, my thoughts up until that surprise (which hits a little after the second commercial break) center on how, while this show had a gorgeous water color aesthetic, it reminded me of just how few things of interest there are in most middle schooler’s lives. I don’t know if anybody would want to make a show about my life as it is, now, but I’m sure there’d be even less people interested in dramatizing what my daily routine was like between ages 10 and 14. Going to school, watching TV, doing homework, playing N64 and going to tennis practice on some afternoons isn’t the stuff of intriguing drama, you know?
I was ready to opine about how this show meanders in the absence of a clear premise like USAGI DROP’s “Twenty-something dude adopting his younger, illegitimate aunt” concept, but the aforementioned surprise actually then presented a rather clean high-concept. You’ve got two young friends; one’s a boy who wants to be girl, the other’s a girl who wants to be a boy. Direct and simple. Not only would that fit neatly onto a movie poster’s copy, it also seemingly offers a younger, more down-to-Earth and gender-balanced riff on REVOLUTIONARY GIRL UTENA.
And I don’t know…
First, this pretty clearly seems like a story that’d be better suited for a stand-alone feature. Or, at least, it’s not something that can be adequately-evaluated in installments like this. Second, this feels less like a show to be enjoyed for what it is and more recommended viewing material that would precede some college symposium on gender identity, child development and whatnot. Honestly, I'm not adverse to material that doesn't involve giant robots and shape-shifting demons, but I'm not going to act like WATCH & LEARN is the venue for such politically-prone discussion. You users are certainly welcome to it, of course, but I'm less interested in talking about such serious topics here when they aren't filtered through the lens of at least some kind of abstraction or fantasy.
Watch this episode “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” here and decide for yourself.