What Could Go Wrong When The Two Sexiest Guys Get Together?
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. MAL lists this one as a shounen-ai but honestly this one pushes it a bit further than that. While it doesn’t go as far as the source material for this one went and avoids the actual rape in the first episode, there’s still some problematic aspects to how these two guys end up together and Takato gets nearly sexually assaulted by more than one character. If that doesn’t sound like your kind of anime then I’ll thank you for clicking on my post and recommend you check out one of my other series reviews.
For those still with me, I really had a lot of fun with Dakaichi. Another rare case where for whatever reason I actually read the source material of this one a while back (though it turns out my memory of it is a bit hazy). I was very curious as to how this would work as an anime and even more curious as to how it was airing on Crunchyroll given it seemed a little more racy than their usual fare (then again with the Goblin Slayer explosion this one just flew straight under the community radar – or the people who chose to watch it just knew what they were getting into and weren’t all that worried about it).
I reviewed this one at four week intervals with Arthifis and I will admit those conversations greatly added to the fun of viewing what might have otherwise been a reasonably mediocre anime. As much as there are aspects of this I loved, I can’t deny that from an execution point of view there are a number of miss-steps and parts that are just plain average. But, it is one of those titles that is better to watch with someone. Being able to discuss your favourite scene or moment, or ask what someone else’s take on a particular moment was, is one of those really fun aspects that you lose when you watch anime alone. There were also a few others on Twitter that were following this one and I will admit there were more than a few fun screen caps and fan arts floating around. Throw in Cactus Matt and Irina’s collaboration posts week to week and this was a really fun seasonal viewing experience.
Right, so I just admitted it isn’t that great an anime but the social aspect of watching this one was fun. Which makes me wonder what this will be like to people picking it up after the season is done and binge watching it.
And realistically this one comes down to whether or not you like BL. If you are into Boys Love, this one is actually a pretty good title for the genre. Then again, given the limited number of actual Boys Love titles that don’t just tip-toe around the are they/aren’t they aspects being good for the genre isn’t exactly a glowing recommendation.
But there are some fairly strong points for this in terms of being a decent BL title.
Firstly Takato as the protagonist is an absolutely fantastic character. Sure, every single guy he meets (almost) tries to eat him for some reason, but he’s not a push over (for anyone outside of Junta). He’s also really great to watch in his daily life. Honestly, I’d happily watch this show devoid of the relationship aspect and just watching Takato rise up as an actor and hold his own on the set. Seeing him on stage, filming, at photo shoots, and just seeing how he dealt with relationships and roles in different studios was fantastic. This really helps elevate the show when the main character doesn’t just exist to be in a relationship but has an actual life that the relationship has to fit into.
When you pair Takato with Junta, outside of Junta being creepily pushy early on and practically a stalker (standard BL tropes that are definitely being employed), the two actually work really well together. By the time we get an episode from Junta’s perspective showing how he viewed the start of their relationship, his character had kind of grown on me and I actually ended up liking him.
Of course that made me wonder why I found Junta kind of charming compared to Usagi from Junjou Romantica and partially the answer is found in the comparative positions of the two characters. Junjou Romantica has Usagi taking advantage of the student he is supposed to be tutoring and then more or less being the one taking care of Misaki once his brother leaves and it creates a fairly dodgy power imbalance which means that the relationship always sits awkwardly. While Junta starts off as creepy as Usagi, both Takato and Junta are adults who are more than capable of being independent and Takato is actually the older and more successful of the two so isn’t dependent on Junta in the slightest. It is just enough of a difference to help take some of the creepiness out of the whole situation, though this is still not a great model of how to build a happy relationship (so you know, don’t pay a guy 1000 yen while he’s drunk in order to call him by his name and film it because, creepy).
But wait, I was on positives. So let’s discuss the music. I love the OP to this one. It doesn’t really work for everyone but I absolutely loved listening to it. The visuals are kind of meh but just close your eyes and listen and that’s kind of awesome. The ED is great fun and I love watching Takato and Junta dance around the studio. It’s a great way to end each week. The rest of the soundtrack is kind of forgettable but at least it isn’t bad.
The conflict they bring into the relationship is mostly decent. Okay, there’s a lot of drama for the sake of it, as there is in any romance anime, and of course a lot of the issues could be cleared up by the two characters actually having a conversation, but again that’s kind of ordinary. I did like the final real conflict of the story where the two get caught by a photographer and while the resolution to this is way too neat it really just made me want to get behind the characters and their relationship.
Basically, if you can overlook some of the less savoury aspects of how the relationship starts, there’s a lot to enjoy.
Still, even ignoring the sexual assault aspects, there’s a few other issues this anime faces. Visually it isn’t that impressive. Sure there are plenty of screen cap worthy moments of the two main guys (and why wouldn’t there be given they are both apparently sexy actors), but backgrounds, support characters and action are all kind of dull. Not to mention the neck beards (as Arthifis put it). Okay, they are hideous and totally unnecessary.
We also have the ‘filler’ episode at episode 8. Sending the characters to Hawaii could have been fun and given the nature of the show it could have been the opportunity to push the envelope. Instead we got very little in the way of fan-service and the plot and actual execution of this episode was all manner of dodgy. Mostly it was just a terrible episode.
Throw in the fact that the series climax really occurs at episode 12, and while episode 13 is better than episode 8, it also watches like filler, and you have to wonder why they didn’t just make this an 11 episode series.
And actually, that raises an interesting question about the sex in this. Given the characters are adults and they do in fact engage in sex, this anime kind of keeps it relatively off screen but doesn’t leave a huge amount to the imagination. But the problem with this is that people who don’t like sex and fan-service won’t like it, and people who want sex and fan-service won’t feel it goes far enough. It isn’t catering to either audience and while it hit my comfort zone perfectly without going too far for me, I know there are a lot of people disappointed with how tame it ended up and other viewers who were creeped out by how far it went. Well, I guess you can’t please everyone.
Still, this show features cute, adult aged, anime guys falling in love and to be honest, I enjoyed it. This was one I had a lot of fun with during the Autumn season and while I get it won’t be for everyone I certainly think there will be plenty of people who will have fun with this one.
And I just wrote more about this anime than Bunny Girl Senpai so I’m pretty sure I’m done.
Images from: Dakaichi – I’m being harassed by the sexiest man of the year. Dir. N Tatsuwa. Clover Works. 2018
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