Misleading previews are very misleading. Really, the first episodes showed the big climaxes of their next episode, and so with the way the next-episode previews are so forcefully inserted after the end of the episode, it really makes you create expectations for that next episode. So, let me ask why the heck the previews for the past few episodes were so incredibly misleading. I was believing that this episode would turn into a date between Nicoletta and Claudio, only for the majority of this episode to focus on Luciano and the date turned out to be an incredibly small thing meant for building up.
So yeah, this was a really good episode about the birthday party for Luciano’s grandson. And really, you can’t get more slice-of-life than this, and it was such a great way to look into Luciano’s character. It’s SO devoid of any sort of clichés, and it really was such a charming episode, seeing everyone prepare and celebrate Francesco’s birthday.
At this point, you can really consider me a fan of Mitsuko Kase, the director. After this series, I’m convinced that she(he?) has her own style: she doesn’t care being mainstream, and what she excels in is subtly fleshing out her characters, with that kind of subtlety that’s really hard to put into words, and yet I’ve noticed the same with both Saikano, Crystal Blaze and Ristorante Paradiso. Her biggest fault is that she tends to be a bit too emo at times (for which Rispara is of course a great way to get rid of that nasty habit). I have really enjoyed the characterization of her works so far (yeah, I don’t care whether I’m the only one who believes so, but Crystal Blaze rocked).
With this, there are only four episodes left. Two will be spent on the remaining members of the cast (Teo and Furio), while the final two will probably wrap up the story between Claudio and Nicoletta, and I wonder what kind of path the creators will go into. This series has already shown that it isn’t of the type “and they killed the dragon and lived happily ever after”. In fact, it doesn’t seem to follow any formula at all, and I really wish that the creators can keep this up, while doing something with the romantic tension between Nicoletta and Claudio at the same time.
Rating: ** (Excellent)
A Luciano episode, still as calm and fresh as ever.