Nitori's life continues to face a number of challenges but at least he has friends to help him out.
What They Say:
Summer vacation has begun. Shuichi and the others meet up at Saori's house to work on the script for the genderbent play. That's when Fumiya happens to drop by Saori's home and say something which results in Chizuru and Momo finding about Shuichi's cross-dressing habit. A very interested Chizuru presses Chizuru, which leads Yoshino to snap and leave. Shuichi is glad that Yoshino was angry on his behalf, and he has a feeling that he will finally be able to set aside his feelings for Yoshino...
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While the kids are on summer vacation break, it's not all fun and games for them. With the play still very much a focus for them for when they return, the script writing is paramount at this point and a lot of classmates agreed to help as we saw in the previous episode. Nitori was set to do it alone but you could easily see how surprised he was to have so many people offer to help. It's actually a nice event when they all get together at Saori's place as it has that kind of laid back feeling to it where they have cake, talk, laugh and kick around ideas. It feels even more nostalgic in a way because of the art style used here that gives it a light and airy feeling.
Unfortunately, things go kind of wrong when it comes out that Nitori cross-dresses and you can see the panic in his face and the kind of surprise and curiosity in everyone else's. Takatsuki gets really protective of him here but there feels like there's something else there as well since it's the loss of a secret the two share as she storms off. It's interesting to see this revelation come out at this point in the series and to see how everyone reacts to it. That's one of the more telling things about a person, especially since most people would just move on and not really give it a second thought, but there are always those that will take it further in unwelcome ways. These kids come across very well here with what happens and the way it unfolds.
The return to school life doesn't offer up too many changes overall, though there is a curious change with Anna that Nitori takes notice of and is rather fascinated by. The play itself does take some focus here as they realize that they've essentially just changed the sexes of the two leads and not much else beyond that, so there wasn't any sort of statement made by the play. The story itself becomes less important as the focus shifts more to the culture festival itself and all that comes with it, from organizing the actors, making posters and generally just getting excited about it. All of it has that same kind of wispy feel to it that feels right as we see the first rounds of practice occur and discover there's some real potential talent in there. And it all plays out in front of various relationships that could blossom if given the chance, which makes it all the more bittersweet to watch.
Wandering Son continues to have a whole lot of atmosphere that helps to make the show really engaging all on its own. The characters themselves are ones that still generally take a bit of time to warm up to, especially since there are a fare number of them and they float in and out of each others days and events rather easily. Focusing on the core two with Nitori and Takatsuki helps a lot though and you can't but help to be drawn to Nitori as he goes through these confusing days. Whether being mistaken for a girl or having his secret blurted out for all to see, he's got a lot of things thrown at him and he's never quite sure how to react and ends up just pulling it all inside him. You keep wanting to root for him to find his place in life and be happy which makes watching these experiences all the more bittersweet. Very good stuff, even if it is challenging in its own way.
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.