There is nothing I love more then walking through my library's manga/graphic novel sections and seeing volume one and volume two of a series right next to each other. It's like striking gold! So was the case with my encountering Wandering Son and damn am I happy!In this second volume we see the story and characters really get fleshed out. I could feel that moment when the author and/or translator really got comfortable with what they were trying to accomplish with Wandering Son and how they were going to do that. We get a lot of the same wonderful storytelling that we got in the first volume with new and interesting situations, as well as a transgendered mentoring character and more meaningful interaction with classmates and family. And I'm just going to stop there. I don't want to spoil anything by talking about specific moments because this is the sort of story that grows with each volume and it is incredibly satisfying to see each little change in the characters. Something else I enjoyed in this volume was the short essay at the end of the book by Matt Thorn. It's all about the opinions Japanese people generally have about LGBTQ issues. Because the story is set in Japan I think this section sets the scene a bit more and gave me a little insight into the environment these characters are experiencing and exactly where the tensions lie. To quote Thorn: "For Western homophobes, the mere existence of LGBT persons, anywhere, is upsetting. As a rule, their existence cannot be accepted. For Japanese homophobes, "homos" and "queens" are fine on television, fine as entertainers to be laughed at. They are fine as long as they remain out there. But not in here. Not under my roof. Not in my head." This to me, explains how we can see so much cross-dressing and gender swapping in Japanese exported entertainment, but then still be confronted with a place that can be just as ignorant and homophobic as everywhere else. There are also a lot of other really interesting things that he mentions unrelated to being transgendered, such as that this series was originally serialized in an adult manga magazine with a 50/50 male/female readership and not a shojo magazine. This could mean a lot for the story. It's pretty obvious that this manga is not shojo, but this difference in publication also means that this isn't confined by any shojo limitations. This isn't an "idealized fantasy world" like most shojo manga exist in and thus Thorn very ominously mentions "There is no guarantee of a happy ending."