Before I begin, I wanted to state that I really liked Junjou Romantica – by the same mangaka, and I liked the beginnings of Sekakoi for similar reasons. The artwork was sweet, the fluffiness adorable. The characters were cute and angsty enough to keep me interested because, lets face it, I like cute and angsty.
But perhaps it was Junjou that ruined my capacity for the problems of Sekakoi. So, there are a few points I want to address regarding this anime. These points were inspired by the following links (thanks Precious for showing them to me).
Both of these posts address the incidence of rape=love in yaoi, and I have to agree that in some cases, yaoi is feeding our rape culture but that’s not the reason I’m writing this ‘review’. The two rather good blogs linked do that well enough already, and I recommend the read.
Rather, I wanted to address the point that made me stop watching Sekaikoi for now (I think I got most of the way through the first season before it got too much – perhaps one of you guys can tell me if it gets better). That point is this:
I really really really wanted the two main characters to just get over themselves already.
The main premise of the story is that the two main guys met and fell in love in high school and dated for a while. Due to a misunderstanding, they split up and never saw each other for years. Much later, they meet again. Much angst ensues (we like angst). The problem is that even after it comes to light why each of the characters is upset with the other, neither of them makes any kind of move to reconcile, apologise or even try to understand. (We like angst to eventually be resolved, comprendez?)
It’s like they’re still teenagers – too stubborn to get over themselves, too set in being ‘right’ and in being the one who was most wronged, as if this was some kind of game. And the winner would get what? Black eye-liner and a lip ring to prove what emos they are?
I mean, I fancied myself in love in high school, but if I saw that person now in the street I probably wouldn’t fall to pieces over it. I certainly wouldn’t a) avoid him at all costs or b) try to rape him. Instead, like the grown up person I am (who no longer thinks like the teenager I used to be) I would walk over and say hello. We would talk, catch up, make small talk for a few minutes, get a bit nostalgic and then probably part ways amicably, like mature adults.
Why? Because in the X years since we have left high school, we have learned that grown-ups don’t cling to perceived insults. In fact, we would make an effort to understand the other person’s point of view. Discuss things, get it all out in the open, and hopefully merely agree to disagree and put the past behind us. Possibly start over, or if not, get on with life no worse for the wear having not ‘won’ our argument.
The adults in Sekakoi could not get over their perceived insults. Instead, one tries to avoid the the other to the point of madness. The other becomes creepy, raping, stalker. Even after the reasons they were hurt come to light, neither tries to discuss it with the other, they merely continue their path, clinging to their self-righteous, misguided stupidity, in a bid to win the Emo Of The Year Award.
So instead of getting over it, they fester and rot, like two kiddies throwing a tantrum.
And yes, the incidence of rape=love in yaoi is rediculous, as those two blogs detail. I dislike it, and I think the yaoi fangirl’s propensity to forgive it is rediculous. But I think the yaoi fangirl’s propensity to overlook idiocy in main characters is the root of all these evils.
As a yaoi fangirl, I am probably also guilty of this sin. No, I don’t watch yaoi for realism, I watch it for escapism. However, even I can only suspend my disbelief so far before getting annoyed at the flimsy plot that just never gets resolved.
Or possibly, I’m just impatient for resolution of angst.
The other couples in Sekaikoi are much easier to understand and enjoy. For them, I recommend this anime, but be prepared to tolerate stupidity by the main two.