Road Rash Reviews

Junjo Romantica Season 1 Review**---

Cert 15 | 300 mins | 2018

2 stars of boy-love fantasy anime.

Junjo Romantica is based on the ongoing yaoi manga series of the same name by Shungiku Nakamura (Mangetsu Monogatari) and adapted to anime by studio Deen (Bakumatsu, First Love Monster). It was originally released in 2011 and is directed by Chiaki Kon (Golden Time, Back Street Girls). This release is the complete first season and features episodes 1-11. It is presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

“This is no place for a commoner like me to turn up with pork miso soup…”

Junjo Romantica tells us the story of three separate but interlinked couples. The main focus is Misaki Takahashi (Takahiro SakuraiAjin: Demi-human), an eighteen year old who is studying for his college entrance exams. He is  determined to attend Mitsuhashi University, as his brother gave up his place there to look after him following the death of their parents. He is struggling with his work and appoints a tutor, well known author Akihiko Usami (Hikaru Hanada – Strawberry Eggs). To his horror, Usami seems to be romantically involved with his older brother Takahiro (Kishō TaniyamaNo-Rin).

Although this turns out not to be the case, he himself begins to develop feelings for him as their relationship evolves and he moves into his house.

Junjo Egoist: The second couple are Hiroki Kamiju (Kentarō ItōBleach) an associate professor at Mitsuhashi University and unrequited lover of Usami, and Nowaki Kusama (Nobutoshi CannaFate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks), an orphan who he meets in the park.

Junjo Terrorist: The third couple are You Miyagi (Kazuhiko Inoue – Parasyte), a 35 year old literature professor at Mitsuhashi who shares an office with Hiroki and Shinobu Takatsuki (Daisuke Kishio – Blood Lad) his 18 year old student who believes that it is fate that they should be together.

Junjo Romantica is at its best extremely cringe worthy to watch. I’m sure that fans of yaoi would appreciate it far more than I did, but even then there are plenty of issues with it.

It strikes me as very strange that there are so many gay men in such close proximity who are all completely oblivious to each other and I simply cannot get on board with something which seeks to promote rape and sexual harassment as the norm.

A very odd, slightly disturbing series and one which should be approached with caution.

“Feeling his teardrops on my shoulder, I was filled with so many shapeless emotions. If only I could be with him always…”

Junjo Romantica is available to buy now on Standard Blu-ray.

DirectorChiaki Kon
AuthorShungiku Nakamura
GenreYaoi, romance
StarringTakahiro Sakurai, Hikaru Hanada, Kentarō Itō, Nobutoshi Canna
Available to buy on : Own Junjo Romantica Season 1 on Blu-Ray
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Category: Anime, Blu-ray, Review