*The following article contains spoilers.*
Original Run: July 08, 2017 – September 23, 2017
Number of Episodes: 12
Manga: February 2012 – On-going
Genre: Romance, Yaoi, Slice of Life
Synopsis This story follows two different love stories, focusing on the main relationship between Masahiro Setagawa and Kousuke (Kou) Ooshiba. When you first meet Masahiro, he mentions that he no longer believes in heroes due to his life situations. He had joined a gang and becomes an errand boy for them. One night, they are called out due to a siting of the infamous ‘Bear Killer.’ When they arrive on the scene, the Bear Killer had already attacked, and Masahiro ends up heading home. That is when he meets Kensuke (Ken) Ooshiba who becomes one of his best friends. He ends up going to Ken’s house and learns that the Bear Killer is actually Ken’s older brother Kou. From their, Kou, Ken, and their mother become Masahiro’s family.
The time skips ahead to when Masahiro is seventeen and in high school. Kou had gone off to work as a teacher, but ends up being brought to substitute teach at Ken and Masahiro’s school, and this is when Kou and Masahiro’s relationship is finally sparked. Meanwhile, Ken’s love life also gets a kick-start. His friend from primary school, Asaya Hasekura, transfers to their high-school. As grade-schoolers, they had a falling out and Asaya had to go to a different middle school, and Ken did not like the idea, and they hadn’t talked since. After some dip, dives, and ducks, Asaya finally gets Ken’s full attention, and they begin to date.
Soon after Kou comes back, and Asaya begins perusing Ken, Masahiro is forcefully made to express his feelings to Kou in which he immediately turns him down. From then on, we see a rollercoaster of emotions between Masahiro and Kou. When they finally begin to date, it gets better for a while for the two of them, until they break up. Masahiro ends up breaking it off with Kou, no matter how happy he was because of the risk Kou faced in their teacher:student relationship. Kou would argue countless times saying he didn’t care, but Masahiro would mention that he didn’t want the worse to happen to Kou because of him.
Meanwhile, while this is all going on, you get to meet Ken and Masahiro’s friends. They have a group that tend to hang out at Ken’s house. Masahiro is a great cook, due to the fact he grew up taking care of himself and tends to cook dinner for the lot of them almost every night. The friends are all very supportive of the relationships after finding out about it by word-of-mouth, except one of them, that creates a small road bump. That also causes character development for the two of them.
Overall Feelings This is one of my favorite yaoi stories, alongside Given. I don’t think many romances touch on the hardships of loving in high school. A theme you see often in yaoi stories is an age-gap in the lovers. In this case, the age gap was about eleven years, and the two of them understood that. It also battled the idea of a teacher; student relationship, even though it blossomed outside of the school. At the end of season one, they talk about how Kousuke was going to die sooner than Masahiro, and then they add-on that Kousuke’s smoking habit was going to speed that up. I don’t think many stories talk about the age gap in the sense that they realize one will die sooner than the other, and it made it feel like a real story.
I felt for Masahiro the entire time. I rooted for him, I wanted to yell at him through the screen, but most of all, I wanted to be this kids friend. He makes you feel what he’s feeling: happiness, anger, and sadness, you really get a well-rounded story encasing many emotions.
I would highly recommend this anime to anyone who enjoys yaoi/boys love stories or anyone who is looking for one to start with. It is a very cute romance, with the true issues that arrive from being a high schooler. I am going to be starting the manga, and will be reviewing that as well, so stay tuned! I can address how close the anime follows the manga.
“No matter how much trouble you’re in, there’s never gonna be a hero to show up to your rescue. I believed that.” -Setagawa Masahiro (Hitorijime My Hero)