As soon as I finished the first season, I clicked the link for the second season. Although I don't really give a damn about the other couples, Misaki and Usagi continue to draw me in. When Misaki finally admitted to Usagi that he loved him I was so happy and relieved, mostly because I had been screaming at him to do it since they met. The sex was censored just enough, so you think you see what you know is there. Although I didn't like the opening song for this one as much as Kimi=Hana (the opening song for JR1), it was still pretty good.
I'd recommend it to you if you like shounen-ai or yaoi, and I'd say it's a definite if you're a newcomer to the genre.
Fangirl-like talk ahead, please skip it if you must. It will be written in all capital letters.
OMG WHAT HAPPENED TO ME!!! I'VE BEEN UTTERLY CORRUPTED AND MY MIND'S BEEN CORRUPTED! CURSE YOU JUNJOU ROMANTICA, JUNJOU EGOIST AND JUNJOU TERRORIST, AND CURSE YOU, WAGA IMOUTO!!!!! I WILL NEVER EVER FORGIVE YOU FOR LETTING A SHOUJO ANIME FREAK LIKE ME FALL IN LOVE WITH SHOUNEN-AI ANIME!!! NEVER EVER EVER EVER!!!
Now lets go back to the review.
I am not a fan of shounen-ai (boy's love) anime (you must've figured that out if you read the all capital letters part of the text), but I must confess that I've seen Junjou Romantica both seasons in only two days and I've quite enjoyed it, actually. I think it is a perfect anime for a non-shounen-ai fan such as myself to start up in this genre (if you really wish to, if not, you better don't watch it 'couse you'll get hooked). Anyway, let me, the non-shounen-ai-loving person, share some basic thoughts with you.
Story: There are three pairings that the story is circling about and it changes its centre so that every one of them gets just about enough spotlight. In adition, almost all characters know each other and have either made contact, heard of each other, or are randomly appearing in the back of the screen when they're not in the spotlight. So, the stories collide, but they do not cross paths and there was never a love triangle between three main characters (although in one case 1st person gets jelous of 2nd person because the 3rd person was his childhood friend and was in love with him before he met the 1st person, but you barely notice it!). The whole thing is made like a soap opera, with fathers, brothers, cousins, friends and other relatives and known persons of the sort interfiereing, which is why it's good, actually. If you wanna make a soap opera, make it about boys falling in love with boys, not Juan loving his boss's daughter who is to get married to Alejandro or whatever. Boys make a good story, BOYS. (OMG, I sould like a hard-core shounen-ai fan!!) Anyway, the story gets a steady 9 from me, because I like seeing different perspectives collide, but not interfiere with each other. Marvelously thought up.
Animation: Nah, how should I put it... It's average. Average in the way that the makers try desperately to save money by letting characters' mouth move when they're talking, but not allowing them to even blink (barely) while talking. "Stand there, be a statue and say your lines", basically. The chibis do more physical work and are drawn kinda wierd, which personally left a positive effect on me, and a little more work is put into animating dramatic facial expresions (as I said, average; don't they always put more work into that?). The more "erotic" scenes are not worked on especially, either. All in all, not that I disliked everything. The colours are pastel. rosy and gentle, the mood is always well expresed by the camera angle, day/night atmosphere, shadows (that cover up some parts of screen that are inapropriate at times) and zoom-ins and zoom-outs. Also, the 2nd season so happens to be slightly better animated than the 1st (again: average). Alltogether, the lowest score on the scale, but not horrible or even bad.
Sound: Of course it would be great. As far as I know, the seiyuu (voice actors) do their best in comedy, ecchi and shounen-ai anime. I have no remark as of the characters' voices, they really suit them and the actors have done a grat job. The background music has kept up to expectations and has fit the mood perfectly and the OP and ED themes are very catchy, rhythmical and mollifying. In other words, great job everybody!
Characters: To put it simply, a big rainbow of characters has swept me away during the watch. You have to constantly keep your focus on everybody because minor characters become more important as the series keep going, and at the same time, the mains don't loose their position. There are A LOT of characters and A LOT of bonds between them. Everybody knows everybody and nobody knows anybody. As I said before, the characters constantly collide, they are there, always, debuting or not, you always have them on your mind because they're easily remembered (because of their little awkward whims everybody has) and they're always haunting you from the sides of your mind, making you think "What would this guy say if he saw this?" or "How would this guy react if he suddenly found himself here?" or "What if he actually heard that?" or "Be careful! That guy's still here (somewhere)!" or "Hey! Where did that guy suddenly dissapear to?" *That guy suddenly appears* "He's here! He scared me!", or something like that. (or maybe I'm just exaggerating...) Other than that, the main characters are all terribly different and, the best thing is, hilarious when they're together.
Overall: A nice starter-up shounen-ai anime for begginers in this field (I sould like a medical practise tutor or something). I personally think it's one of the better, no, best shounen-ai anime out there, and would surely reccomend it to anyone if they think they're ready for it. There is no nude and no overly exaggerated erotic scenes, so that whould only be a slight problem (if you're bothered by it, of course). Other than that, an anime that can live up to its title: "Pure-Hearted Romance".
P.S.: Why have I made a review for the 2nd season but not the 1st? Because there was more room here, so there ya have it.
NO SPOILER - This second season was really much better than the first. What I missed in the first, I found in the second. It's still not my favorite anime, but I definitely had a better impression of this season than the previous one. It's probably worth watching.
If you haven't already read my review for this anime, read it under the firs season of Junjou Romantica. I jsut wanted to say that if you watched the first season and are starting or already finished the second season, was I not correct in how wonderful of an anime this is? I want there to be a third season, but I highly doubt there will be....SAD!!! T_T
But, this still was a good closing to a GREAT anime. Although, the one thing that bothered is me is the fact that they didn't let the audience member see all of the couples in the last episode. I think they should have made one more or done something so that people could reminisce with their beloved characters. But, other than that, it was pretty freaking AWESOME!!!
continuation just as good