Genre: Yaoi drama with comedic elements
Language: The series is currently only available in Japanese, but I’ve heard rumors that suggest an English version is planned for the not-so-distant future.
Junjou Romantica is the story of three couples with ties to a local university.
- Romantica: Misaki Takahashi and Akihiko “Usagi” Usami
- Egotist: Nowaki Kusama and Hiroki Kamijou
- Terrorist: You Miyagi and Shinobu Takatsuki
Romantica follows Misaki Takahashi and Akihiko “Usagi” Usami. Misaki is an 18 year-old student that begins to find his life turned upside down when he meets the best friend of his older brother. Akihiko “Usagi” Usami is a full-time author of popular hetero romance and erotic Yaoi. He’s also had a thing for Misaki’s brother for years. Of course, Takahiro is oblivious to Usagi’s affections, and is engaged to a woman that he has genuine feelings for. When Misaki notices the pain Usagi is going through, he feels compassion. Soon after, Takahiro announces that he will be moving to another city with his fiancee. Wanting to continue his studies at the university, Misaki is taken in as a boarder by the teddy bear obsessed Usagi. It doesn’t take long for their rather unconventional relationship to blossom.
Egotist follows the relationship of Nowaki Kusama and Hiroki Kamijou. Hiroki is the former friend of Usagi, a man that he was infatuated with. While he is moping around in the park one day, he meets the younger, taller student Nowaki. Nowaki is persistent and takes an immediate interest in the wounded soul. Unfortunately, Hiroki is a bit of an idiot, prone to over-dramatizing things to the point that he is oblivious. Nowaki leaves for a year, and Hiroki is wounded, not realizing that he’d given his younger boyfriend the go ahead to do study.
Terrorist follows You Miyagi and Shinobu Takatsuki. 35 year-old You Miyagi is a divorced professor working in the literary department with his assistant Hiroki, a man that he torments on an hourly basis. As the former son-in-law of college Dean, Miyagi is still on friendly terms with his father-in-law. His life is turned upside down when eighteen year-old Shinobu arrives after studying overseas. Shinobu is his former brother-in-law, a young man obsessed with him ever since You saved him from being beaten up by thugs just before the boy learned who he was. And now, the sixteen year-old has began a campaign to win You’s heart. The problem is, Miyagi is not looking to get involved with anyone so soon after the divorce. He’s never been involved with a guy before either, and this easy-going prankster has his own share of demons to combat.
Junjou Romantica is my first viewing of a Yaoi series, one that I found highly entertaining. It isn’t strictly Yaoi either, as many of the characters have been in loving relationships with women before. Though the series did have some serious elements in it, these were coupled by comedic elements that added to character development and storyline. The producers managed to deal with the physical aspects of the relationships in tasteful ways as well, making it accessible for those new to the genre. My only issue is with the diversity of character design, but the storyline more than makes up for this. In conclusion, Junjou Romantica is an addictive series that I highly recommend for anyone interested in giving a Yaoi drama a run.