Thursday, 17 February 2011

Wandering Son - Episode 5

After a week off last week, Wandering Son returns, and of course its focus returns immediately to that gender-bending Romeo and Juliet play currently being planned for the school culture festival.

With work on the script now extended to the show's entire circle of friends, Chiba can barely hide her distaste at the carefully planned script she sees as being "ruined" by the involvement of so many people, watching the play turning back towards a far more traditional take on Shakespeare's work (gender swapping aside).  As if that wasn't bad enough up pops a friend of Chiba, who proceeds to blab about Nitori's cross-dressing within moments of seeing him - not a smart move, although it seems that Takatsuki's the only one who is upset at this outburst while Nitori remains relatively unfazed and the rest of the group are merely curious about it if anything.

With the Romeo and Juliet script eventually finished it's time to cast roles for the class, and of course this not being some kind of idealistic romance series the lead roles don't go to who you might expect, with Chiba snaring her part as Romeo only to find herself cast against Makoto in Juliet's role.  This only succeeds in bringing the worst out of Chiba - she wants to act alongside Nitori yet at the same time she doesn't want Makoto to wimp out and give the part to his friend, and somewhere along the way she's decided that she wants to rewrite the script anyhow to fill it with death, doom and gloom, requiring some intervention from the teacher to talk her out of the idea.  Come the end of the episode, we're returned to relative normality, although it seems as though preparations for this play will bring up some additional twists and turns yet.

In comparison to previous episodes, this week's Wandering Son was actually pretty light on all-out drama, sporting a lighter touch for the moments that did require serious attention in building, moulding and shaping its various relationships as Nitori figures out a little more about why he likes Takatsuki and the increasingly intriguing dynamic between Chiba and Ariga develops.  Above all though, this episode was really one for entertainment, with lots of perfectly time dialogues, reaction shots and one-liners than underlined the show's comedy credentials which occasionally underpin its character-building.  Of course, all of this was accompanied by that beautiful artwork which has become perhaps the biggest hallmark of the series so far, reminding me why I missed not being able to watch this careful, considered but nonetheless enjoyable slice of life series last week.

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