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Somber Reviews - Junjou Romantica Anime

Updated on April 28, 2014
Known as the "Romantica" couple of the series, Misaki and Akihiko are two of the main cast characters.
Known as the "Romantica" couple of the series, Misaki and Akihiko are two of the main cast characters.

Anime: Junjou Romantica

Written by Shungiku Nakamura, Junjo Romantica: Pure Romance began serialization back in 2002. However, we aren't here today to speak of the manga, although it is worth a gander, if you haven't given it a look. Trust me, it's good.

Today, I come to you with the review for the anime series. Directed by Chiaki Kon, Studio Dean produced an anime adaptation based around the manga series. It actually follows the events closely, and carries an accurate representation of the original manga.

Premiering in Japan on April 10, 2008, the first season ran for twelve episodes until its conclusion on June 26, 2008. A second season began to run on October 12, 2008, with another twelve episodes. An OVA has also been released.

It should be noted that on August 29, 2013, it was announced that more anime for the series is in production. However, at this time, I will only be speaking about season 1, and season 2, of the anime.

The Plot

Quite frankly, this is merely a boy's love work, and little more. There is romance, and plenty of it. All of the central plot, and subsequent problems come from the interrelationships, or sometimes the lack of them. Questions of sexuality sometimes run high, as characters struggle to find themselves as individuals, as well as their identity as a couple.


The plot focuses on three storylines. Each one intertwines only slightly, as these three pairs of lovers work out their feelings for each other. Due to the three very different relationships, each one has been given a special name, The main pairing is known as the "Romantica" pairing, but the "Egoist" and "Terrorist" pairings also gain quite a bit of popularity in the fan base.

Characters

The cast is small, but emotionally diverse. Chances are, that as a viewer you will find someone to connect with. This anime relies heavily on that, so, it's easy to assume that there's a character here for anyone willing to relate to one.

Honestly, none of them really fall flat as individuals, but, they shine in their respective relationships. That's the allure, the characters seem to need their pairings to help find themselves. Some characters are explosive, others are demure, and since this is a boy's love anime, most of the characters are men.

Still, the cast is strong, and a good fit for the series.

Hiroki and Nowaki are known as the "Egoist" pairing, and as such, they share some of the most explosive fights, and tender moments through the series.
Hiroki and Nowaki are known as the "Egoist" pairing, and as such, they share some of the most explosive fights, and tender moments through the series.

You may like this series if:

  • You enjoy boy's love anime.
  • You've read, and liked the manga.
  • You've watched the spin-off series Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi, and liked it.
  • You enjoy romance anime that follows several different characters.
  • You don't mind watching two males on screen kissing, hugging, and sometimes briefly referencing adult themes.
  • You enjoy Shungiku Nakamura's other works.

The final pairing of Junjou Romantica, known as the "Terrorist" pairing.
The final pairing of Junjou Romantica, known as the "Terrorist" pairing.

Somber Reviews:

I can sum this series up in one word. Amazing!

I wasn't always a fan of boy's love anime. In fact, I was often hesitant to get into those types of series. One day, with a lack of anything new to watch, I begrudgingly agreed to view the series with a friend of mine. After one episode, I was hooked. Honestly, I wasn't looking forward to the series, but one episode changed my perspective. It had me laughing, arching an eyebrow, and even thinking to myself "Wow, this has a lot of heart and soul", suffice to say, it didn't disappoint.

The series showcases three character pairings, and, I can say I instantly fell in love with all of them, although, some are more likeable than others. With an amazingly befitting soundtrack and a beautiful art style, the series is as much a joy to listen to as it is to watch. The voices match the characters wonderfully, and the series is realistic enough to be immersive when it counts.

With equal amounts of fluffy cuteness, and well rounded drama, this series finds a good balance between the two. There's a distinct warmth to the series, and because of that, there are moments that'll gently tug on the heartstrings. It's easy to let your guard down with this series, and that's a gift when watching an anime based on the characters, which is the anime's true strength.

Now, onto a few caveats.

It is a boy's love series, so there are several questionable fan-service scenes shared between adult males, although it isn't too graphic. Junjou Romantica also isn't without occasionally foul language. Another thing to keep in mind, is that because the series in is Japanese, English speakers will have to settle for subtitled work, and that may not be their cup of tea.

There is also one particular detail about the art style, and that is that many characters share a very similar look about them. That isn't inherently good or bad, and I was able to look beyond that little flub. However, I can see how it might aggravate some viewers.

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Final Verdict

I thoroughly enjoyed Junjou Romantica. It was addictive, and yet, short and sweet. At 24 episodes, plus an OVA, it isn't too much of a time sink, and yet, the over all flow of the story was just right for me. I highly recommend it, and encourage any fan of boy's love, to give it a good long watch.

As with all of my reviews, based on a score of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest possible score, and ten being the highest, I will give this series a solid 8. Worth the watch if you haven't seen it already. If you enjoy boy's love works, you won't be disappointed.

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