Junjou Romantica

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VivisQueen's avatar By on Sep 13, 2008

Story

The mind boggles - by all accounts and purposes, Junjou Romantica looks and smells like one of the worst anime ever. It's clogged with clichés and nothing really happens except for three random couples falling in love, confusing each other about how they feel, and then having off-camera sex to make up for it. Heck, other than to fill more episodes, I can't even see the point of presenting three couples in stead of just one since every story runs along the same formulaic lines. In the end, having nothing fresh to provide, Junjou Romantica boils down to being mediocre at best...

... and yet, at the same time, it's embarrassingly entertaining. Every scene may be as predictable as instant gravy, but a certain self-effacing quality to the comedy means the entire product comes across far more endearing than it deserves to be. At its best, the story will follow Misaki's comical dilemma as he alternates from loved-up moping to exploding with spastic facial expressions. Besides that, the conflicts and misunderstandings (as corny as they are) still manage to tug at the heartstrings on occasion. In particular, Miyagi's characterisation during the concluding arc goes a long way to give Junjou Romantica an emotionally satisfying finale.

I guess some anime are just made to confuse the critical mind; while Junjou Romantica may be far from substantial, it has still done its job of leaving me with a smile on my face.


Animation

Overall, the animation looks pretty, with the backgrounds utilising appealing pastel colours and lots of soft focus to give that dreamy romantic feeling. The disappointment lies in the boring and sometimes ugly bishounen designs, and the static movements. However, to be fair to Junjou Romantica, its visuals are as good or as bad as that of the vast majority of romantic comedies of the same era.


Sound

While not necessarily impressive, the opening and closing themes are satisfyingly catchy. Alas, the rest of the score is a lot like background traffic - you probably wouldn't notice it even if it was gone.

Where the voice actors are concerned, everyone appears competent enough to make something believable out of the hackneyed script; however, the best vocal performance easily belongs to Misaki, who brings some fantastic comedic moments to the table.


Characters

I must say that these characters are growers; although I wasn't impressed by them at the beginning, I now remember them with fondness. Whilst stoic in the extreme, Usami deserves some basic respect because of his genuine affection for Misaki, and Misaki himself turns out to be more endearing than annoying. That said, the overall shallowness of the cast means they will only be remembered for as long as it takes the next romantic comedy to come and sweep me off my feet. I say this with good reason:

Most of the protagonists lack the common sense that they were born with. Seven episodes in, after lots of hand jobs and heavy breathing, they will still utter mindboggling denials like ‘It's weird for a guy to be with another guy!' Not to mention that the lovers almost never approach their relationships maturely; in stead of talking things through, they communicate by cutting across each other's sentences, making long, languid glances down the soft focus lens, and, when all else fails, resorting to sexual assault.

For those hoping to satisfy their cravings for bishies, Junjou Romantica only brings disappointment. None of them have anything fresh to add to the already stagnant bishounen gene pool - each couple is comprised of a petite, doe-eyed virgin and an obscenely tall masculine aggressor. Again, the Miyagi-Shinobu pairing at the end is probably as good as it gets; not only is their romance believably tense, but Miyagi's ironic sense of humour and tragic background strikes a decent balance of pathos and wit.


Overall

This is definitely a case of the sum being greater than its parts. Whilst technically flawed with clichés, I find that the effects of these flaws are neutralised by the strong comedic flavour. In fact, the comedy is so well accomplished, that it positively gives Junjou Romantica a weird kind of charm. I think almost anyone not put off by gay romance will enjoy Junjou Romantica; not to mention that it would make a great introductory title for anyone wanting to get into shounen-ai.

6/10 story
6.5/10 animation
7/10 sound
5.5/10 characters
6.5/10 overall
Larkawolfgirl's avatar By on Jan 31, 2010

This show is totally the best Shouen-ai show. It has great characters that you have to love. You really want them to be happy and the world just keeps getting in their way. Even if you don't like boy-on-boy if you give this a chance you end up changing your mind because this shows pulls at your heart and will make you believe in love and destiny. It shows you that even if you loss someone you loved there is always someone else who may come alone who you can find happiness with. It also shows that even if things seem to fall apart or have no structure everything does come into place and happen for a reason. This show is very addicting and you will be caring about the characters constantly. Each character is totally unique to the others on the show but they all have a tie into each other showing that what you do can effect others. Anyway I think this show was amazing and is really worth the watch! 

10/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
ffbfran's avatar By on May 28, 2016

Three couples, three stories. interlocking relationships and friendships. people changing and growing, learning and working towards their goals. it is not as visual as the manga but it doesnt hide the sex either.

10/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall
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KawaiiItaly's avatar By on Apr 7, 2016

As many others I am a yaoi fangirl. I watched but some of my friends told me to stay away from that anime because of erotic moments. But as free I m I watched it anyway.  It can of a little odd because it goes to fast. That can leave people to drop it because they think it is a show where they just put romance in just for well.....reasons. But as soon as you get more into the anime it begins to take colour. You really get to see how beautiful love is if you look away from the erotic scenes. You feel like screaming into the screen that they should be together.

For people that don't now if they should see: If you REALLY can't handle the erotic scenes I think you should just let that one slide of your list. For people that can handle that I would recommend this!

A little tip: Don't jugde the anime after only 3 episodes. You will understand everything if you watch it to the end.

9/10 story
10/10 animation
7/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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AnimeFinder166's avatar By on Dec 12, 2015

This is the Shounen-ai anime that made me be able to read/watch yaoi/shounen-ai mangas/animes without being grossed out (yes, I was a horrible person at that time)

I only watched it 'cause I read the summary at one of my friend's anime magazines and it looked interesting so I gave it a try and ended up liking it!

10/10 story
8/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
9/10 overall
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