Franconator's avatar


  • Your mom's giant robot
  • Joined Jul 28, 2018
  • 31 / M


Dec 24, 2019

Watching Loveless makes me feel a little vintage, makes me feel a lot like I’m back in the early 2000’s and learning about anime all over again. It’s in the opening song, maybe, sounding exactly like all those old-time anime bops I used to jam out to a lot when I was still in school. Maybe it’s in the old school art style, which actually isn’t so bad to look at and fits the mood of the show. And fine, okay, maybe it’s also got something to do with the main character’s voice actor here, who also voiced Ryoma Echizen back when Prince of Tennis was still a major cultural thing.

Which is why watching this show is also a lot problematic, especially if you’re still a complete anime n00b who’s just discovering the medium for the very first time. It’s a boy’s love series that doesn’t apologize for being one, but it’s this kind of brazenness for this type of story that makes the whole thing so problematic.

The main couple is, for starters, one that’s made up of a depressed grade schooler still reeling from the sudden death of his older brother, and a college student who takes advantage of the kid’s vulnerability every chance he gets. The older student, Soubi, claims to be a close friend of the kid’s – that’s Ritsuka – dead older brother, and so, thinks this is an excuse for him to flirt with the kid every chance he gets. Soubi stalks Ritsuka, makes all sorts of dangerous propositions to Ritsuka, fights for Ritsuka, gets his ears pierced by Ritsuka, manipulates Ritsuka to start having feelings for him, and yeah, he most definitely kisses Ritsuka. That’s not even getting into the whole Master and Servant power play they have going on here – which makes sense, if you understand that, when I said Soubi was Dead Onii-chan’s close friend, what I really meant was, Soubi and Dead Onii-chan were former fuck buddies. Anyway, the point is, if you’re not squirming at all the implications of this terrible, terrible relationship, then I don’t know what else this show can do to convince you of its complete senselessness.

There are magical fights here, a cultural obsession with ears, and the standard school drama ranging from neglected homemade jam to petty classroom bullies. There’s a mystery this show expects you to solve along with it, but it becomes obvious this was just added depth to pad the story and make this BL show stand out from everything else like it. The show also makes some attempts at depth by discussing heady topics like depression, loving someone, and learning to live again. It tries its best, but it gets so unnecessarily dramatic and perverse, that these thoughts get all jumbled up and ultimately fall short of any actual meaning.

I guess there was some merit to all this – a lot of BL fangirls got their start here after all – but there are just some shows that only look good at a certain age. And even then, this isn’t a very good look for a show like Loveless to begin with, even if you could use the excuse that it aired at an early age, when the genre still didn’t know any better.

[This review was made for the Anime-Planet Secret Santa 2019 event. The series also stars an annoying girl classmate, who I suspect was made annoying on purpose, so you’d have no choice but to ship the kid with his university student stalker. She’s just one of several annoying women on this show, which says a lot about its personality as a BL story, but at least we’ll still always have that side yuri pairing.]

3/10 story
6/10 animation
5/10 sound
3/10 characters
4/10 overall

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