Tasked with writing a take Romeo & Juliet, it's easy to imagine what angle Shuichi will go with.a
What They Say:
Episode 3 - Romeo and Juliet
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
School life continues on and the latest event to hit the kids is that they're going to be putting on a play and it's going to be Romeo and Juliet. The girls are excited by it as there will be gender swapping going on and they're talking about binding themselves down well so they can play the role of boys really well. This comes amid the usual problems of growing up as one of the girls gets told by the coach to start wearing a bra to gym class, something that Takatsuki really doesn't want to do since she's far more comfortable being a boy. The reactions of those that know her well are priceless, and accurate, as there's a mixture of concern from some, nonchalance from others and outright laughter from one particular corner.
Shuichi's life takes an amusing turn as he gets told that, when he's dressed up as a girl, he should really consider doing some modeling as he has a lot of talent for it and comes across as quite adorable. It's a confusing and conflicting thing to be told as he's still not keen on letting all of this out there, but it gives him hope for some level of acceptance but also that there may be a place for him in the world. His feelings are swirling about in so many directions that dealing with something like this is just that little extra thing to push him over the edge. With the genderbending play at hand as well, there's a lot going on in his life in regards to how he feels about who he is.
There's an amusing scene where Shuichi is at home with a friend with both dressed up and talking about the fact that they need to things like recording their voices before they change. It's a great moment where Shuichi does it and pretends to be his sister just as she walks in. It's about to go very badly when someone arrives at the door and it turns out to be one of their classmates. Seeing both of the guys dressed up is too much for him, especially as Maho is trying to undress Shuichi. They at least have some sort of reason for playing it up, but they don't really try to explain. There's a tension about everything as these events unfold, comical as they may be at times, and seeing the way Shuichi grapples with it in his head is almost heartbreaking. Seeing it run parallel to Takatsuki's storyline only adds to it
Having the kids write up their take on Romeo & Juliet to see which one would work better as a play is certainly a cute idea, though it's hard to believe that a class would have even one person willing to do so in general. The mild competition here is good and I really enjoyed the challenge of seeing Shuichi trying to come up with a genderbending version of it and seeing that quite a few of the girls are completely behind the idea. Both his story and Takatsuki's have some very wonderful moments alongside some just right comedic notes, but what draws you in the most is the mixture of the style of the show and the way it's bringing you fully into their lives. You don't see them being ashamed per se, but they're not wanting to expose themselves to people about this all that much, though situations arise naturally and are dealt with in similar fashion. Wandering Son has a whole lot to offer in these first three episodes and it continues to draw me in very easily.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.