Thursday, 10 March 2011

Wandering Son - Episode 8

Time sure does fly within Wandering Son's world, as this eighth episode takes us to the beginning of a new school year for our medley of characters - just in time for Chiba's return to school after her Nitori-induced absence, incidentally.

Unfortunately, this new year also sees most of our characters separated into different classes, with Nitori perhaps given the toughest assignment as he finds himself sharing a class with Doi, a boy who used to tease him back in the day as well as his sister's boyfriend of sorts.

Speaking of relationships, Nitori and Anna are still hanging out together ("going out" seems like too strong a term for it), although a comment from Anna to his sister Maho querying his cross-dressing habits (which of course is passed down from sister to brother in rather blunt terms) leaves Nitori worrying that it will leave her disgusted by him.  However, he still plucks up the courage to ask her about it, and it appears that she doesn't mind at all, although it does also throw up a question as to the exact nature of their relationship as Anna not only treats Nitori as a kind of little sister, but also refers to him directly as being like one too.

Meanwhile, Chiba and Takatsuki have become surprisingly close despite their former love rivalry, to the extent of going on shopping trips and hanging out together themselves.  It's just such a day out which leads Chiba and Takatsuki (dressed as a boy) bumping into Anna and Nitori (dressed as a girl) - a chance meeting which turns into possibly the most awkward karaoke session in the world, complete with Chiba demanding that Anna order her a beer and all kinds of blurted revelations that, somehow, ends up with everyone friends and swapping mobile numbers.... an occurrence which brings us back to Doi, and his request to become friends with Nitori - exactly what does he want?

At the moment it just seems like Wandering Son is getting better by the episode - if the early instalments threatened to concern themselves too much with the whole cross-dressing angle, we're now at a point where this is very much secondary (yet still somehow hugely important) to proceedings.  This really allows the shows characters and their changing relationships to shine - witness the Nitori/Anna and Chiba/Takatsuki relationships here, both of which are utterly fascinating yet somehow believable even when the four of them come together and things threaten to get messy.  Gorgeous visuals aside, there's something beautifully fun and care-free about watching all these kids bounce off one another, and for all the arguments of the show being unrealistic the core nature of their relationships reminds me somewhat of my own childhood - arguments about seemingly important things that would be forgotten two minutes later, your biggest enemy and bully ending up as your friend, and those awkward "girlfriend but not quite" relationships.

Anyway, regardless of all that I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying this show - it both fascinates me and makes me laugh on a regular basis, which is a pretty potent combinations of assets in my book.

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