Thursday, 3 March 2011

Wandering Son - Episode 7

With the school culture festival and its play out of the way, it's back to normality for episode seven of Wandering Son... and a rather harsh reality it is too for Nitori as this instalment begins and puberty begins to take its toll on him.

With his sister being as unhelpful as ever in the face of Nitori's outbreak of spots, it's her friend Anna who he instead turns to for advice, finding her to be surprisingly kind and helpful compared to that cold and slightly scary exterior that he kept his distance from previously.  From simply asking for help with his complexion and face cleansing routine, something a little bit deeper builds between them pair of them, and before we know it Nitori has rather bravely confessed his love to Anna, leading to the two beginning to date.

While this is quite the shock to all those who hear it, needless to say it's Takatsuki and Chiba who take the news the hardest.  Takatsuki is first to hear the news from the mouth of Nitori himself, and although she takes the news pretty coolly outwardly there's an obvious and immediate change in her relationship with her friend, as Nitori finds himself subject to her behaving in a detached manner as Takatsuki does her utmost to avoid him.  It's also Takatsuki who informs Chiba of Nitori's budding romance, and in contrast to her supposed love rival Chiba simply loses the will to do anything much, refusing to go to school and going as far as to tell her mother that she wants to quit.  Of course, this leaves Takatsuki feeling rather guilty about the whole thing, but is an uneasy truce-cum-friendship really going to build up between this pair of girls?

As per the rest of this series so far, Wandering Son's fourth episode is as beautiful to look at as ever, to the point where even Nitori's pimples are somehow aesthetically pleasing.  That aside, this instalment really shows the strength of this show beyond its gender issues, instead portraying some good old-fashioned teenage love drama which barely touched upon Nitori's proclivities at all - this could have been a story of love, friendship and jealousy from any bunch of individuals, and it works tremendously well at blending its very human realities with drama and humour almost effortlessly to make for a great slice of life outing.  In short, this was a pretty beautiful episode of Wandering Son both inside and out, and it seems to have found itself a story arc that proves that it has far more strings to its bow than cross-dressing alone.

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