Watashi no Shounen tops this year’s Kono Manga ga Sugoi list. The guidebook is released yearly, containing the top manga series. What made me curious about Watashi no Shounen is the fact that the title says “shounen” but the cover looks like a girl?? It turns out, this beautiful kid is indeed a boy.
The 30-year old Tawada Satoko leads an ordinary office lady life. One day, she finds the beautiful Mashuu, practicing soccer in a park. Being a former futsal player herself, she guides Mashuu in his practice.
When Satoko’s ex-boyfriend deceives her and Mashuu fails to become a regular member of his soccer club, the two lost souls find solace with each other despite the age gap.
The story starts with them showing how they live their lives. They both maintain a certain distance from people around them. As the story progresses, they involve themselves in each other’s business. It’s like they are part of the other’s life for a long time.
The story is not only shown in the main characters’ perspectives, like in one chapter where Mashuu’s classmate narrates the boy’s life. I love how we get to know Mashuu’s everyday life and how other people perceives/treats him. But despite the cold shoulder they give, he remains pure and unadulterated. Highlighted by many of his full-page portraits.
Also, we get to see how his view of life changes, thanks to Satoko.
Mashuu might have changed but not as much as Satoko as per her ex’s notice. Yeah, that same guy who deceived her. He appears as a jolly person who watches her like a hawk and stringing her along. But while I get bad vibes from this guy, he notices the important changes from Satoko. For instance, she looks happy and blooming compared to the grumpy Satoko we met at the start.
At this point, I don’t know what Watashi no Shounen is trying to achieve. Is it a slice-of-life? Romance? Mix? Or a different thing altogether? Even so, I like the bond shared by the main characters. I like the relationship they have right now. It’s not the romantic kind of connection, but it is a special bond, a friendship that transcends age and gender.