Junjou Romantica is one of my all-time favorite BL/yaoi manga and anime. I was overjoyed when Tokyopop/BLU translated the manga into English back in 2006 and was even more excited when an anime adaptation was announced.
Plot: The Junjou Romantica series actually encompasses three series of stories, Junjou Romantica, Junjou Egoist and Junjou Terrorist.
Misaki Takahashi was raised by his older brother Takahiro after their parents died. Through his older brother he meets Akahiko Usami, a well-known author and his brother’s best friend. It isn’t until Misaki is preparing for college exams and being tutored by Usami that he realizes his Usami is in love with his older brother, a love that is unrequited. As time goes by, Misaki becomes more and more involved with Usami, and the first season documents the start of their story.
Hiroki Kamijo, a literature scholar, grew up with Usami as neighbors and had his own unrequited love for the other man. Just as he’s realizing that his love will never be returned, Nowaki Kusama blows into his life, turning everything upside down. When he disappears suddenly for six years, it almost seems as if what they’ve built will fall apart completely. But Nowaki is stubborn and determined.
Yo Miyagi, a professor at the college Hiroki teaches at, is a divorced thirty-something man and shameless flirt when it comes to Hiroki. All of a sudden, his ex-wife’s younger brother, Shinobu Takatsuki, a high school student, blows back into his life and eventually his heart. But Miyagi is resistant to the idea of a same-sex relationship, especially with his ex-wife’s younger brother. Shinobu has a long road ahead of him to convince Miyagi to take a chance on him.
Because I love this series so much, my commentary is a bit excessive and is broken down by episode:
- Your brother’s about to be raped, Misaki! Don’t just freeze! How does ‘he’s a school friend’ defuse the whole ‘my brother was pinned against the wall squirming’ situation?
- That apartment is bigger than my house. Now I want a loft.
- Uh oh, Mizaki found the yaoi! The yaoi about his brother…
- Misaki in wonderland. Usami-wonderland.
- There’s a train track around the bed!
- Usami rose from the dead!
- I think Misaki has a brother complex.
- Uh oh! Run away Misaki! Don’t just lay there on the bed!
- HANDS! BAD HANDS!
- It is not okay to jerk a guy off and then say ‘that was fast’. DUDE. Not okay.
- Molested by a man with a giant teddy bear.
- Detente for Takahiro’s sake.
- Okay, both Mizuki and Usami have a brother complex for Takahiro.
- DUDE! Have we all just forgotten this guy molested you with a handjob Mizuki? BECAUSE I HAVEN’T!
- You’re not sure you should trust a guy who did THAT to you, but you will, to get into the right school?
- OMG hairpins and barettes! CUUUUTE!
- WHY ARE YOU CALLING HIM BUNNY-SAN?
- Ooooh… a one-sided love story… so sad…
- Takahiro has a girlfriend… Poor Bunny-san. He lovesTakahiro.
- OMG Misaki is giving Usami love advice on how to get all up on his brother.
- THIS IS THE GUY WHO’S HAND WAS ON YOUR MAN BITS, Misaki.
- Now there are two teddy bears on the couch. With matching ribbons!
- Misaki I think we all know you’re not a genius. I love your coat tho’.
- OMG PANDA TRAFFIC SAFETY SIGN
- Existential crisis all over the panda about why he wants the guy who hand-raped him to praise him.
- Screaming “I don’t like men!” in the middle of the road kind of makes it obvious you just might.
- How could you forget your brother’s birthday?
- Holy shit! There’s a girl in the house!
- Takahiro dropped the getting married bomb on the guys! The shocked looks!
- Misaki is crying over Usami’s pain!! Now I’m crying…
- Uh oh, Usami has wedged himself between Misaki and Takahiro.
- Now that’s better! Nothing like a surprise street-side kiss. Look at him blush!
- Usami wants to be held!!! Do it, Misaki.. give him some comfort.
- Yay for college acceptance!
- HANDS! HAAAANDS!
- There’s a fucking TEDDY BEAR ARMY.
- Usami looks like he’s been ridden hard and put away wet… and he’s carrying a teddy bear…
- Why does the teddy bear get its own seat at the table?
- Sneak attack hug from behind!
- “I’m out of Misaki.” AHAHAHAHAHA
- Is it really polite to ask someone if they wanked off while you were working?
- Nothing like realizing that the author who’s molesting you is also writing porn about you…
- “It practically wrote itself.”
- Poor Misaki… no school friends…
- Is that jealousy over Usami I see there, Misaki? Don’t take it out on the veggies. Respect the VEGGIES!
- Do I detect jealousy, Misaki? There’s enough Usami for both brothers!
- Unilateral jealousy! WOOT! Nothing like miscommunication to make a relationship exciting!
- OMG Misaki crying is the most ridiculously fucking adorable thing ever. NOW I’M CRYING!
- Seduced into losing what’s left of your virginity by a heartbeat… awwww…
- OMG it’s an omelette mountain…
- Oh Hiroki… you’re so… uptight.
- DUDE. NEVER FUCK YOUR FRIENDS.
- What’s not to love about a boy who shoots off … rockets…?
- I’d let anyone who made me a breakfast like that stay a while… yum-O!
- There’s a lot of book abuse in this anime.
- “It’s your kindness that tears me apart.”
- “Sorry, but I’ll be taking Hiro-san…” ROFL!
- He doesn’t matter at all but you’re stalking him like a crazy psycho.
- Oh jealousy….
- His book is upside down!
- Mysterious vanishing!!! Oh noes!
- “My current occupation is a leech.”
- Death glare from the bed. Don’t wake the crazy author!
- HANDS! HANDS! BAD HANDS!
- Saved by the editor!
- Misaki is like a puppy when offered food. All bright eyes and innocence.
- Fucking teddy bear sitting on the couch next to him. Next thing you know, it’ll have it’s own tea cup. Love the bow tho’.
- Yes, Misaki, having sex with someone might mean you like them. Even if it’s another guy.
- Oh yes, Usami’s getting it on with the lady editor…suuuuuureeeee…
- I think Misaki puts out ‘men, please hit on me’ pheromones.
- Here. Snuggle your man-sized teddy bear.
- Awww! He’s shaking.
- “Forget about her! She’s a demon with a woman’s face!”
- My heart was breaking with you, Misaki!
- THANK YOU for figuring out all this emo shit makes you sound lame. If you love him, you love him.
- Oh Misaki, eating your stress out NEVER ends well. Ask any woman.
- Yeah that’s it, blame the liquor filled chocolates…
- “I’m turning into a giant asshole because of you, you bastard!”
- That’s it Usami, wash Misaki like a good pet owner and towel him dry.
- “Hurry up and give me that manuscript you fucking piece of shit!” Now that’s what I call a good editor.
- Return from overseas to an asswhupping… wooo….
- Hiro-san doesn’t take being abandoned well.
- Dude, vanish for a year and then cage crash space from the guy you vanished on? That’s some balls right there.
- Not even a letter while gone? Really, Nowaki? SHAME.
- Oh Hiro… you didn’t move while he was gone because you hoped he’d appear again…
- Dude, these two are seriously fucked up at communicating with each other.
- Miyagi, you dirty pervert.
- So, so much angst!
- Dumping someone while you’re racing down a hallway makes everyone looks stupid.
- omg who dumped ramen on the teddy bear?
- “I do this to the teddy bear too…” AHAHAHAHAH!
- Nowaki looks so sad!
- Miyagi, how could you not pass on the message?!
- THIS LOVE MUST BE SAVED!
- Oh no, Nowaki! Don’t be so late…
- Brow wrinkles!
- The rain, it reflects my sadness at Hiro’s pain!!
- STRAAAANGERS PAASSSSSIINNNG IN THE NIIIIGHHHTTT
- No Hiro, don’t cry! Go find him and make him your bitch!
- OMG Miyagi is going to rape Hiro!!! O.O Hands off!
- Nowaki to the rescue!
- Aaannnddd… we’re running again…
- More book abuse!
- That’s it boys. Get it all out.
- Which results in more book abuse and “Quit fucking with me!”
- AAWWW! Love letters! You gotta put out for love letters!
- AHAHAH! It was all your fault all along, Hiro.