The third pairing is pretty well nonchalant and not so, well, immersing as the other two (frankly, it is outright superficial which I respect as it doesn’t pretend to be a deep relationship or rather it has a rather deep concept not delved into like). The black haired guy who works with Ritsu, Shouta Kisa, is the young man here in love with a guy in a manga store, who is said to be like a shoujo manga prince (well, the inspiration comes from somewhere 😉 ), Kou Yukina. Despite what Kisa looks like, a teen guy, he is actually 30 years old and despite what he looks like, a man nearing 30, Yukina is 21 — the reverse is interesting :smirk:
Actually, the best part of this coupling was that unlike Ritsu or Chiaki, Shouta (which may be a pun of the Shouta-complex the male equivalent of Lolita-complex) is actually not a cherub but is a promiscuous little prick who goes on romping real good looking guys. Kisa, of all the guys, is confirmed gay. Shouta is actually quite aggressively sexual and a bit mischievous but also distant and apathetic when coming to interactions especially sexual interactions with people. For some reason he doesn’t believe in love and is severely reluctant to fall in love.
However, he is smitten, arduously, by a sales guy in a shop which sells a lot of things for Marukawa publishing. There is an aura about him that he is smitten with but unlike his usual aficionados as in sexual encounters with random good looking guys he has a soft spot for Yukina resulting in him blushing and avoiding him like crazy and just going to the shop to sigh from afar.
This tactic, however, is not at all fruitful because apparently Yukina has observed that he is observed by a teenage looking guy. After a comic meeting they both go to a cafe where they get to know a bit about each other (Yukina has a heart attack knowing about Kisa’a age). Then, with Kisa sadly debilitating his life and how Kou Yukina is out of his reach, Yukina does one of the most romantic kisses in the entire series:
After that there are butterflies in Kisa but he is unsure about everything. The guy has sworn off love as in he doesn’t believe it exist and yaddy yaddy yah but he feels very strongly about Yukina and now Yukina has kissed him and he does not know why that kiss happened and what it means. Yeah, that;s all well and good though ummm why does Kisa hate love so much that’s not really explained or did I miss it? I mean, he is to love as boogeyman is to kids so what the fuck happened? This is never really elaborately explained except the repetition by Shouta that love is an illusion.
Ok, I am not saying there has to be a particular site of beginning in this I am just saying it could be a slew of experiences and observations that made him come to this (that was not a pun but sounds like it, no? 😛 XD). The resolve he has on this is pretty severe thus even after that fevered kiss he consigns into being pretty, almost platonic and somewhat ignorant, of what happened thinking of it as a tease or rather an impulse.
At this time an ex-one night stand begrudgingly accosts Kisa in the street telling him that they should matter. Shouta acted like a total asshole going on about how it was just a booty call and that guy should just take a hike. Of course, the guy started blackmailing him on how he notices his interest in a straight dude like the store guy and will definitely reveal this. Kisa gets really scared and tries to stop him with the guy menacingly devious about how they should stay together only to have Yukina beat and scare the crap out of him to retreat.
I don’t know is Kou was paying attention but Shouta was being a total jerk to the other guy; I mean he is not an innocent so I wish he would say something on it. Yeah it may have been just a sexual string of stuff but that guy obviously was liking Kisa so I wanted Kisa to be a bit more polite than be some wanna be casanova jerk. And after observing all of this, claiming also to that ex that they are together, Yukina kisses Shouta in one of their apartments and professes love.
Kou states that he noticed that Shouta worked on all the volumes of shoujo manga he liked (he reads them and likes sparkles) and a growing love for him started because of that. To be honest, I don’t know if that really happens and because of Shouta’s mentality I mean if you seen the movie As Good As it Gets starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt you can get a slice of this type of relationship if not an identical sample. Shouta is pretty infatuated with Kou because of his looks which is understandable (I, personally, love Ritsu better) but can a love happen? Shouta is pretty desensitised and disengaged from these kinds of romance and love. To suddenly get with Yukina, who is obviously more interactive and intuned with empathy, is tricky.
Frankly, this relationship a lot of exposition because of such opposite lines of thinking yet this one was the most flimsy one that was catered. There isn’t much to go on expect to see a beauty and the beast diorama on. Yet it can be very well have been something more naked and vulnerable then to adamantium but I think the mangaka was least interested or instructed to play sets of three fluff so she had to pen this. The premise is very interesting — a promiscuous gay man who meets a straight man who doesn’t mind having a gay love and willingly decides to have a romance with him yet the promiscuous man is quite apathetic to love only to feel very swooned by this bisexual-like or bi-curious man. Not to mention that many characteristics are evened out — Shouta Kisa is like chibi but at the same time he is more reckless and aggressive which usually prescribes to the mainstream masculine yet Kou Yukina a more taller, muscular man is rational, quiet, a bit demure and more balance a rather mainstream femininity in work. However, Kou is still seme and Shouta uke which is pretty refreshing. Though I guess I only thought along these lines…
A question bringing up is “as we are both guys” question. Some sexual encounters are motioned with that concept which I find really stupid. Just because they are two men don’t mean they will easily fuck. Every man, regardless of what they say, have their own sexual preferences and related quirks with that. It is pretty pathetic to think only gay men will without a doubt fuck like hares and well because they don’t. There may some gay men who do fuck without a care so I think they are different people.
To tie that with Yukina and Shouta is pretty stupid. There are many reasons this is illogical a) Kou is more or less a straight guy so having sex with a man may feel different for him b) Shouta, regardless of his promiscuous history, is genuinely shy and reserved around Kou because he wants integrity and not only fucking and finally c) Both Chiaki Yoshino and Ritsu Onodera in the same fucking series has made that argument fallacious they are reticent to skip to dessert sex and actually want sex to be whole main course not some coarse fumbling so what the fuck really directors? Don’t make such stereotypes about men.
I know guys are pressurized to act sexually and girls reversely to act all coy and shit (double standard shit both ways) I think that this was more of a female fantasy. A gay man on Youtube, Davey Wavey, actually talked about this and I agree. Men, despite their sexual orientation or experimentation or preferences in long run/short run, can easily and openly engage in sexuality which is not so simple for women of even a heterosexual or heteronormative orientation. She is slut shamed even when she sleeps with 2 men for love and a guy can go around protruding his dick 24/7th and consider it well pretty much business as usual. This application as double standard leaves many women dissatisfied and this dissatisfaction goes on to the yaoi/bara/shounen-ai genre where “sexual liberation” starts meaning only two guys who can intimately like sex for sex itself is not taboo.
Trust me babes sex for sex itself is nice but obviously feelings make it better isn’t that what SHouta is also looking for? Any general or feminist reading will tell you that female liberation in this will mostly be attained by acknowledging the physical, mortal, hormonal, substantial, erotic, strong, sturdy and dynamic female body. Annexing your desires on a male body will only permit that — a desire that is conjugated in a mode or space of just fantastical desire or voyeuristic desire it is not something you can purely subsume. Thus saying “we are both men so…” alienates a queer-heterosexual or queer-homosexual female sex and just makes you go back to a heteronormative space.
By the way there is the director of Marukawa publishing, Ryuichiro Isaka, and his aide, Kaoru Asahina who get to be in love and that is one episode flat. Isaka’s father helped Asahina’s father when he went bankrupt (he was trying to kill himself and his family in a car crash and failed). Asahina became a playmate for Isaka and Isaka knew that it was more imposed but fell in love anyway. Wanted to be a writer but then decides to take over the business. At one point he thinks Asahina is in love with his dad and tells him to stop being his aide and be his dad’s assistant. Then Asahina says he will leave the company apparently he loves Isaka and doesn’t want to burden him with this confession well no burdens — they kiss and that’s that.
Alright, I got into theory and practices of culture and that minor arc. Sorry, if that got really boring. If you want to know anything subsidiary you can ask me. I noticed this also in non-ecchi just plain shoujo-ai as well. The sexual tension between two females are subtle even if the anime is labelled as a shoujo-ai. In even tame shounen-ais like Togainu no Chi (which I do understand focused primarily on shounen plot elements) you can feel the sexuality exuded by Keisuke for Akira and more flamboyant sexuality of the prepubescent looking Rin (though he is an adolescent). Comparatively, that is heteronormative: different things making contrasts for men and women.
Ok onwards with Shouta and Kou. Shouta still is unsure about the relationship not to mention he gets upset seeing he had to blow off Kou for work because it is really pressurizing and is surprised that Kou doesn’t get mad and is rather too understanding. At one point, Shouta decides that he will go and wait for Kou after work (night shift) and they can do something else as he is genuinely upset that he is not giving Kou enough attention. Only to see Kou come out with a gorgeous woman and head towards the district they were supposed to be watching a movie together. Needless to say that Kisa is devastated.
Going back on his slump Kisa now avoids Yukina’s text messages and calls thinking that this is the way to go. However, he does take one perfunctory call and sounding annoyed tells him that it’s all over and that he should take a hike. Though, he is doubtful about this a bit, saddened by it but his ego is too stupefied in place to actually go confront Kou about his night’s wanderings. Soon, he gets propositioned on phone by a guy who he met in a club who remembers Shouta from a club in Shibuya and wants to meet up. When Kisa asks why he casually tells that he desires sex. Kisa accepts the proposition thinking that is his usual way of life anyway.
When the attractive guy comes over his house he wants to straight get into business: tries to mouth him into a kiss. Kisa, not habituated anymore to this fast paced chemical ejaculating of sexual tension, rejects him at first. It seems Shouta does like the slow, sensual rhythm that is harnessed into a “crescendo” (that word from Pynchon XD) which he was going with Kou with. The attractive guy says he doesn’t remember Shouta as the shy type and decidedly tells him, not roughly, but like a schmuck, to get his shit together. Kisa realizes yeah he is like this so he nears for the kiss — only to have Yukina storm up to him and slap him after calling out his name making the other dude think wow what the fuck is happening.
Despite protests from that dude Shouta is dragged inside his apartment by Kou. Soon after the banging on the door dies down (we hear the dude leave saying “you bastard”) Kou and Shouta have a time. Shouta accuses Kou of being with the chick only to say that he was learning cooking from her new recipes as Shouta said he liked his cooking recipes which he actually learned from the same girl in the first place. Then Shouta urges that Kou so easily accepts their cancellations of dates ansd things as though he is indifferent to him. Kou explains that whenever he meets Shouta he is so exhausted that he feels extremely bad and that because of their age gap and responsibility gap he thinks he should be understanding. Adding that he doesn’t have a full time job like Shouta and is still a student so he can only imagine the stress thus he doesn’t want to coerce Shouta into anything he doesn’t have the mood or strength to carry out.
In all honesty, that was one of the most empathetic and intrinsic parts of the entire show, the other one being how Masamune tells Ritsu that just being well connected means only a leg up the ladder not really climbing it because you still need to work for that, and Kou Yukina the most under-displayed character in the series is the one who does the action. Well, Shouta thinks that they still should break up saying that he is quite superficial and that Kou is beautiful and can get anyone else (this abandonment is what he fears the most). I was wondering if this abandonment is all he fears about and that’s why he does not love? Still, I think it deserves a bit more exposition with those interior monologues.
By this time Yukina gets enraged telling him to put a sock in it because like a frustrated Chiaki Yoshino he doesn’t like thoughts and words being put into his mouth which he is not obviously thinking about. Then Yukina tells that Shouta should trust them and their love and that he needs to trust himself to do this. Then he goes on telling the A to Z information about himself to Kisa — how old he is, height, weight (too think buddy XD), what he likes eating, what he likes doing, etcetera. After all this he tells Shouta to be with him and Shouta tearfully reconciles with his love Yukina.
That is it. Basically, it is a the same trick.
The entire series is founded on the trifecta route: love, misunderstanding that breaks love and then reconciliation.
The mangaka made “miscommunication/misunderstanding” her prime concept. Does she handle it well? Not completely. It is too elastic a fluff to be believable and too many stuff going on that can act as major barriers.
The series till now has two TV series, some Valentine short OVAs and some small OVAs and one animated movie an hour so long. That is pretty enjoyable than the rest and is connected more to Junjou Romantica — It is Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi: The Case of Takafumi Yokozawa. So, lets just clip at that a bit 🙂