Sunday, 14 April 2013

Junjou Romantica ‘Pure Love’ (2008) – ★★★★½

Director: Chiaki Kon   |   Writers: Shungiku Nakamura
Voice Actors: Itou Kentaru, Nobutoshi Canna, Kazuhiko Inoue, Takahiro Sakurai

At first glance, Junjou Romantica seemed like a regular animated manga series. The further I delved into the stories, they grew much more beautiful with deep and powerful dialogue. It’s a pretty funny show, with unique characters and standard romance. Five episodes into this series, I knew I had found something special.

The story focus’ on three main couples. They are: a successful novelist and a student, a professor and a student, and another professor with a student. It sounds silly at first, but the characters really bring the stories alive.

The romance between Usama-Sagi and Misaki is the standout of the series because of the fun and interesting situations they keep getting themselves into. Nowaki and and Kamijo are also fantastic as two characters that care for each other deeply. I couldn’t help smiling every time they were on screen. For a long while, these stories enthralled me.

I did get frustrated with a few things in the show. Number one being Misaki’s mind-boggling refusal to accept the fact that he and Usagi-San are in a relationship. The second problem I had was that Nowaki and Kamijo hurt each other time and time again yet never take simple steps to prevent history from repeating itself. The third and most annoying aspect of the show was the character Shinobu. He’s an 18 year old brat that acts like he’s 12. All of these things prevented the show from being 100% enjoyable. I like drama, but not idiotic drama.

While Junjou Romantica has excellent animation, what it lacks most is powerful music. For animated movies and TV series, it’s the music that makes it special. Unfortunately, there is only one background track in the show that really elevated the romance and power of the scenes. If there was more beautiful music for the show, then it would have been magical.

Despite the nit-picking annoyances, I truly adored Junjou Romantica. It gave me butterflies, kept me in suspense, and made me super excited to see it, all day every day. There were some great lessons and morals to be learned. My favorite is: No matter how strongly you feel in your heart, if you don’t convey it to the other person, it’s meaningless. Overall, I loved watching the show. Maybe not as much as Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, but it had some amazing moments. Anyone who loves romance and anime should love this show.

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