Thursday, 31 March 2011

Wandering Son - Episode 11 (Completed)

Yes, I know, Wandering Son's episode count and layout has become decidedly confusing over the past couple of weeks, but here we are at the proper finale of the series, even though last week's instalment somehow felt like a proper and fitting end to proceedings as it was.

Despite that however, there's still quite a lot for this eleventh episode proper to explore - perhaps most important is the thawing in any tension between Chiba, Nitori and Takatsuki, who end up hanging out again at Chiba's house just like old times at her invitation... well, almost like old times, and probably about as close as things will get between the three of them I would imagine.  This episode also offers a surprisingly quick chance for Nitori to patch things up with Doi, who continues to baffle regarding whether he is teasing or helping Nitori but nonetheless proves himself to be an even more proficient script-writer for the culture festival's play than Nitori himself - thus, the two of them end up working together to make Nitori's original work even better.

If last week's episode was all about the growth of some of its main character, this time around the focus is very much on redemption for these characters, as others begin to accept their quirks and foibles as normal and therefore go on to accept those individuals themselves in what is perhaps a convenient but nonetheless satisfying way.  As we reach the day of the school culture festival, even Anna and Nitori's relationship is ironed out (although we don't get to hear the entirety of their conversation), and come the end of the series our main male protagonist is applauded out on stage very much as an accepted part of a group rather than the increasingly isolated individual we saw last week.

So, now we really do come to the end of Wandering Son, and I think even given this additional episode my summary thoughts from last week still stand true - this is a visually beautiful and surprisingly thoughtful series, that manages to fill itself with believable, well-rounded and realistic characters despite the slight incredibility of some of its scenarios - a combination that keeps you thinking, and even guessing, as to the motives and inner thoughts of those characters in a way that makes for a viewing experience which leaves you captive.  Add some neat touches of humour to the mix, and you have yourself a great series - so much so that I already have the first volume of the manga in English on pre-order.

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