With the play done and over with, where will Shu go now?
What They Say:
Episode 7 - Rosy Cheeks
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Wandering Son was a little surprising in that they moved past the play as quickly as they did as it seemed like something that would be a subplot for a good part of the series, if not the whole thing. Moving it out of the way at the halfway mark isn't bad though as it allows the show to explore some other areas, such as the way life at this age is simply difficult on so many levels. The burgeoning emotions, the influences of others and general social pressures in addition to the body still growing, which causes a lot of stresses, minor pains and a whole lot of necessary sleep at a time when getting such things is even more difficult than usual. For Shu, he's also got the added stress of what he likes to wear and the way he feels out of place with a lot of things because of it.
The episode largely deals with small interpersonal affairs that can seem bigger to others, such as when Maho gets indignant about having to help serve some drinks when she thinks Anna should do it since she's dating Shu according to her. It's all small sniping in a certain way but making such things like that more out in the open puts Shu in an awkward spot since he didn't exactly want to draw attention to it. Others are generally happy for him and Anna, but since it's not something they put out there much, they tend to shy away from anything being said about it than anything else. It's a little endearing, but it's also a little sad since you want to let these kids really just enjoy each other in simple ways without having to feel like they're under pressure. The brief flashback showing Shu asking out Anna was very cute however.
His asking out Anna and doing things with her, such as going to the zoo and the like, leads to some other issues as well. While Shu now has to contend with Anna's weirdness, when he reveals that he's dating her to Takatsuki, she decides that it's best that the two of them don't hang out like they have been when they change their dress styles. Takatsuki doesn't want to upset Anna over it since it could certainly be taken the wrong way, especially after Shu's parents comment on how cute of a couple the two of them make together. Takatsuki's denials are cute since she's sort of fishing for some hope that there may be something, but she's easily crushed when Shu panics and says he's already seeing someone.
Wandering Son continues to have a relaxing and engaging story that draws you in slowly at different places in order to disarm you before making you realize how connected you are. The kids are going through one of the most difficult times in most peoples lives because of all the things that are raging inside of them that they're not aware of as well as all the external influences and pressures. It's all very restrained here in a proper Japanese way, but there are some key moments that really stand out to show how they're coping with it. There's even a wonderful scene between Takatsuki and Anna that works very well as they're still at an age where such reconciliations are still possible. There's a lot to like with this episode as we move past the play and see what else is in store for these kids.
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.