Note: I don’t have pics from movie sorry so I post some filles 😛
The movie is enjoyable as an experience. It neatly tucks up the loose end or rather the most wronged character Yokozawa. After the rejection Takafumi is genuinely heartbroken because Masamune cockily tells him to take a hike (AN: Fuck you Masamune you sad piece of fuck :/). Yokozawa rightfully thinks that he has been with Masamune all this time hoping for his love and hoping to make him realize that he loves him. He had also accepted that Takano wanted their brief fling to end just so he can support him as friend but obviously he thinks he deserves Masamune and it is natural for him to feel that. Takafumi is not a stalker nor an abusive partner he is generally a sweet person who Masamune counted on his darkest trials in university and also had sex with.
Yokozawa is still living in that moment. Masamune moved on. Without telling him more firmly that he can’t look at Yokozawa that way (I think to some extent he likes that Ritsu doesn’t let him walk over him as much as Yokozawa does which is the most plus point about Masamune). However, he should have been kinder to Takafumi because this guy has supported him all the way fuck he even fucking took care of your cat. Just tell him that he is an invaluable friend: Love needs support but also a concatenation of minds and hearts’ deeper understandings which I will admit that Yokozawa does not have with Masamune. Though I do not see Ritsu having much of it either to be frank. Ritsu doesn’t do much for Masamune nor does Masamune does much for Ritsu. This also doesn’t encapsulate spheres of domesticity and domestic partnership as in financial help, legal help or basic needs help. I just feel that relationship is nowhere.
The person Yokozawa ends up with is Zen Kirishima, single father, great editor of Japon magazine (this magazine may be fictional) and at the same time conscientious and mischievous person. It could be because he is older but Zen had a very well-placed exterior personality. He is mischievous but kind but in a way that doesn’t knee-jerk you as in with Yuu Yanase. This contrast is a very good character building I mean it is very nicely detailed. With Yuu you get that he is suspect of hiding things and a bit well cavalier mentality (needs to change that if he wants Chiaki) with Zen there is no bad vibes of “antagonistic” personality. Anyways, Zen kind of blackmails Yokozawa to go around dinner dates with him: I find that a bit implausible because the way Takafumi is he probably report this shit to the police not to mention just trap Kirishima. I know that Japan is a more scrutinizing and personal society but harassment of a man of his position is not taken lightly anywhere. It is that he gets drunk after Takano refuses him and Kirishima takes him to a hotel and says he gots incriminating photos against him.
They go on dinner dates and well they get a bit personal when Kirishima takes him to his apartment to meet his daughter. The daughter takes to him very happily thinking that Takafumi is a new Oni-chan and pal for her dad. Of course, there are not focusing on telling kids on a same-sex relationship let alone a romance. Any romance of a parent is hard to understand. Especially, if the kid’s mom apparently died. Yet, Yokozawa does not like this proximity. I mean I can’t blame him. Zen is kind of blackmailing him which he also really doesn’t have to do (why be a creep if your intentions are saintly or some shit) and to be frank he just got blown off by a guy he has loved for a couple of years. Yeah, it was unrequited by the feelings were genuine so I do feel bad for Yokozawa. If he doesn’t want to be with anyone right now I completely understand. I think viewers and fans would too.
So, Yokozawa is a bit reticent to admit an attraction to Zen. Not to mention Zen being cocky at first and saying he likes pulling arrogant guys like him down a peg (which made me kinda happy because he was being an arrogant ass for two seasons) resulting in Takafumi trying to grab Kirishima and getting himself into a chicken lock by the other dude. However, Zen warms very easily to Takafumi so much so that, that attitude becomes non-existent aside at times when Yokozawa gets reluctant to go on dates with him; which is funny because Zen pays and does nothing abusive. So, yeah, Zen just don’t act like a jerk be sweet from the outset. I mean if you are so clever you can get other ways to get this dude to like you.
There is an episode in the office that Yokozawa fucks up. He sends auxiliary press material to a small snippet to the stores of a manga turning anime and that causes a big publicity riot. Zen decidedly “scolds” him and then says no they are gonna fake that it was all planned and work it out. Saying this with a smile. Yokozawa remembers this was the day Masamune had told him to take a hike and he got drunk. He is genuinely glad that Zen helps him but Kirishima’s mischievous nature makes him look annoyed at it all though he is grateful that someone has stuck up for him.
The gentleness and attention that Zen gives Takafumi relaxes him and makes him happy. Henmi, his assistant notices this, and says that hanging out with Zen is doing him good by not making his eyebrows look at war with each other. Yokozawa gets mad and shouts but then apologises and tries to overlook it. He is still sad at what happened. And he doesn’t want to get together with anyone even as friends. He just wants to stay alone thus rejects offers from Zen by phone and tries to ignore him at all costs. Only his cat Sorata gets sick. Yokozawa grows up here. Instead of calling Masamune he decides to call Zen and his daughter who immediately come to him. The vet says that Sorata is an old cat (around 10 years as Masamune got him at highschool and well Ritsu remembers seeing him in kitten stage) and may need a bit of monitoring so Hiyori, Zen’s daughter, says she can watch him. This leads to Zen saying that Takafumi can stay a few days at their house as well; which he immediately declines but Zen talks about photos which makes him say “yes”.
There is nothing sexual about this at all. No kisses. In fact I was very happy that Zen was not being an extortionist. They had no sexual or flirty scenes as long as they were living together and I was really happy. The writers and producers had more sense: I mean it would be totally sexual harassment/molestation if that happened. However, Zen shows his really considerate and loving side by noticing details about Takafumi like how he likes milk with his morning coffee. And teasing him as the “mama” of the house as he showed his paternal side of tying Hiyori’s hair. In all honesty, I do not care how uke Yokozawa is but calling him a “mama” is a bit offensive. I mean seriously Zen you do almost the same things. Don’t put him in an effeminate spectrum.
There is a funny moment of another picture that gets circulated by Zen of Takafumi wearing a frilly red and yellow polka dotted apron which he was doing to help Hiyori cook dinner (unbeknownst to him Hiyori snapped a photo, yup his daughter alright, and sent it to dad). Of course Zen is pretty happy that Takafumi rushed home seeing that a young girl was home alone as Zen was gonna be late. These details were beautiful I mean they are at times cornerstones to a relationship.
Well, then in the smoking room Masamune and Takafumi run into each other. Masamune quietly but not so nicely as I had hope, apologizes for his codependent nature towards Takafumi and says that he is always a valuable friend. Takafumi realises that he is happy that Masamuni gave him a more decent closure to this chapter. Saying for the first time to say “hi” to Onodera (full acknowledgment of Ritsu nicely done) and leaves the room.
While smoking at the fire escape he meets Zen who gives him the talk. Saying that while he was drunk he did mention Takano breaking his heart. He also explains that maybe Yokozawa was never truly in love with Masamune but being as codependent as him. That love should be acknowledged and appropriated also be complemented and understood: is the throne of empathy and intersects of hearts. Of course, Takafumi knows this but he is distraught having been told this and shouts at Zen he doesn’t care what the guy thinks or says and that just leave him alone. Zen, though sad and solemn, agrees.
Well by some days Takafumi misses Zen goes over with desserts (a part of eating dinner with the Kirishima family is that he brought desserts especially for Hiyori). Hiyori takes the dessert and goes out to spend a night at her pal’s. Zen is in the verandah saying how come he is here. Takafumi confesses and says that he is on his mind. Zen is happy and says he respects his love for Masamune. One of the concepts of this movie was that first loves are not meant to last as thought morosely by Takafumi. So, Zen respects it as the past but he says that new first loves can happen with others and so not get disheartened. Takafumi mentions he has petty jealousies but Zen says he likes that. They kiss. It is part pecking and part deep and they are now a couple.
Then they show the incriminating photo: it is only Takafumi Yokozawa partly shirtless and sleeping fully covered by a quilt 😄
Well, that pretty much ends the series.
Was it enjoyable? Well, at times, yes.
Did I care as much as I should?
Nope. Not really.
Should there be a 3rd TV series/season?
I guess but not really that much. Free! can use one as I like to see how Haruka and Rin are doing as professional swimmers but this anime not so much.
Aside the animated film the execution was sub-par. I mean it’s relatively okay. I got more interested on the nondescript Henmi, who is a typical black-haired brown-eyed man who can be Ritsu’s cousin. I mean working with Yokozawa and not getting frustrated is quite a talent.
Who is my favourite couple? I think Takafumi Yokozawa x Zen Kirishima. They make more sense and were best detailed. Yeah, it’s badly flawed in early presentation with blackmail and all that. Yet in the end the presentation is nice enough and not a scramble-fuck like all the others. Though I would have written it differently if it were up to me.
Frankly, if Yuu grows a bit more he is a better guy for Chiaki Yoshino.
Also, in AO3 they do pair up Shouta Kisa with Ritsu Onodera. That relationship also looks more pithy and substantial than the main couple of Masamune Takano and Ritsu Onodera.
I found the pairings pretty much “meh”
Well, not a bad series just not good enough but had more potential.
AN: Lontg time to write this review <becomes ghost> 😄