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Junjo Romantica


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I've been avoiding this series for quite sometime and I blame it on the whole popularity thing. I suppose I still try to act cool by not watching it or I am just afraid of how the fanbase reacts to the series. Either way, I manned up and decided to buy volume 1 of the manga. Apparently the series is about an 18 year old teenager named Misaki Takahashi and novelist and all around genius, Akihiko "Usagi" Usami.

Manga starts off with Misaki dreading over his transcript for possible colleges and the only way to get his grades a lot better is to get a tutor. Here comes 28 year old Akihiko. Misaki accidentally stumbles upon the man fondling around with Misakis older brother, Takahiro, just as he arrives to the apartment... flat... whatever the locals call their living areas that are boxed up together in a building or unit. Of course, nothing crossed Misakis mind and the following day had the troubled teen at the doorsteps of the famed novelist and all around genius. There was another book on the coffee table next to the said book. It looked suspicious enough and there was a different pen name attached to the cover. Misaki picked the book up and read one of the passage, discovering that it was about Akihikos desire of having Takahiro as his lover. Mate. Whatever. I refuse to use the whole gender neutral term of partner. With the realisation of Akihikos sexual preference, he decides to confront the novelist, despite the request not to wake him up earlier in the scene. With his bedroom adorned with childrens toys and plushes, Akihiko decides to punish Misaki through a lethal form of... well, a handjob. Now, I know love doesn't work this way... one man gives another man a handjob and they fall in love, no... it doesn't work like that and that's not what happened.

It is revealed later on that Takahiro is in love with a woman and already proposed to her. Misaki sees this as some sort of harsh treatment to Akihiko and goes out into the streets crying, dragging along Akihiko with him in the process. The novelist sees how much Misaki cares for his feelings and a special bond was created. No, not making this up.

I must say though, the art itself isn't bad at all and it wasn't an eyesore like some other yaoi series that rhymes with BAKE. Well, as far as English pronunciation is concerned. The sexual scenes suffer from the invisible penis thing, but I forgive them for the fact the author uses the word man-rod at least once through the volume. Where else would you find such colourful terms?

You know what? I might go ahead and purchase the second volume. As for the anime itself? It's in the "Watch The First Three Episodes" before making any thoughts about it. Though, I can say one thing about it: Akihikos chin looks like it can kill someone!

And... so, it seems the first three episodes of Junjo Romantica is basically the first volume of the manga. There were a few things left out, but not every anime follows the manga line per line. The sex scenes were handled well considering this is pretty much mainstream for Japan. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to know when they are doing something or not.

First episode covers Misakis first meeting with Usagi all the way till Misaki is accepted into the Mitsuhashi University. Why MU? Well, it seems that it's the college Takahiro was going to attend to until the tragic deaths of their parents. The manga starts off where Misaki is at the steps of Usagis apartment/mansion. Other than a few edits here and there, that's all the difference.

Second episode takes place one month later and Misaki is already off the waitlist. First few days weren't so great and students began to avoid Misaki for some reason. A student by the name of Sumi Keiichi helps Misaki out and came to the conclusion of why students were avoiding him. After all, having one of the top novelist drive you to school in a flashy red sports car would make anyone nervous... right? Usagi is revealed to be jealous and then fucks Misaki, which ends episode two.

Third episode goes back a few years it seems. Before Usagi ever met Misaki, there was Hiroki Kamijou. But, it was a relationship that was destined to fail. While Hiroki was in love with Usagi, Usagi was just using him in the form of sex, imagining Takahiro in Hirokis place during the act. While Hiroki was reminiscing in the park, he was snapped back into reality as a water powered rocket landed in front of him, startling him. Nowaki Kusama is the owner of the said rocket and decided to literally drag him over to the rocket meet with others. It is revealed that Nowaki is a orphan and went into the business world right after secondary school. And with all the money he is making, he still takes time out to donate money to an orphanage. Later that afternoon, Nowaki ask Hiroki if he could tutor him to finish his education. Hiroki reluctantly agrees and later on Nowaki reveals that he's in love with Hiroki. Guess who shows up later on? Usagi shows up and tries to make amends and despite of all that's happened, they are basically friends. Nowaki was sent from Hirokis apartment so he can be alone, basically not wanting a relationship at the moment. Hiroki spies on Nowaki across the flower store that he worked at and Nowaki notices him through the cafe windows. The two meet up and admit their love to one another... except that Nowaki disappears for six years and comes back... some travel to New York. Oh and Nowaki manages to jack Hirokis key and make him breakfast the next morning somewhere in the episode.

Overall, I give this series five rubber ducks out of a possible five rubber ducks.

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