Life continues to wander by as Masanosuke is still recuperating, gazing with his wide eyes at those that do come to visit him.
What They Say
Masanosuke's still healing at the Elder's house, and while Umezo occasionally visits to check up on him, Yaichi remains reluctant to make an appearance. Meanwhile, Denshichi investigates the source of Senkichi's funds.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As the show moves into its sixth episode, marking the halfway point of things, House of Five Leaves has definitely established itself and the kind of style and atmosphere it wants to give off. While the laid back nature can be frustrating at times, there is definitely a lot of appeal in a show that savors the small things in life and allows them to slowly wash over you. Masanosuke is a master of savoring them, though he often has an almost panicked look on his face as something bad may happen, but the down time he's getting after his incident is probably pretty welcome to him since it means no serious trouble will happen for a little bit.
Relationships, family and what people mean to each other is a good part of the focus here as we see Umezo feeling bad about what he does and not wanting his daughter to know. But you have them doing what needs to be done in order to survive as well. The first half of the episode deals in this kind of laid back exploration of what must be done, over casual drinking or talking over a game. Through all of it, as people come to do business and check in on Masanosuke, the only one who hasn't seen him yet is Yaichi, though the reason isn't clear on that. It's hard to tell if Masanosuke has any feelings about this, other than his usual hangdog look, and whether Yaichi has any particular feelings on it himself since he's so laid back yet guarded.
There's a bit of tension in this episode though as Denshichi learns where Senkichi gets his money and Umezo is shocked to find out that it got out there, leading him to rush over there to help. Masanosuke finds himself caught up in all of it now though, having been watched over by the elder for awhile now, and has a rare moment of dignity as he does his best to defend him. With the series featuring so little action, even the slightest hint of it really is a striking moment. Even more so for Masanosuke who has been so quiet and almost timid throughout it, to have him stand up plainly and without any thought is really fascinating to watch. Like any real situation, it's over quickly and with a fair bit of intensity rather than an overly long sequence. It's a moment that changes things a bit though and that alone makes it a standout moment.
The more I watch this show, the more I'm convinced that the overall flow of it will be much better represented when watched in a full season form rather than weekly. This is the kind of show that you can allow yourself to get wrapped up in late at night for a few hours in the dark, seeing the various threads of it tie together better. The bit of tension we get this time around is definitely good and Masanosuke makes out well by it as it's something he really needed after the last two episodes that he's spent recuperating. I'm still hard pressed to put my finger on this series, but I continue to like it overall while being frustrated by parts of it. At the halfway mark, I think we really start to see Masanosuke bonding with the group and starting to understand what it means to be a part of it, though I'm not sure he really wants to be a part of it just yet or understands just how much is involved.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.