Series: Junjou Romantica
Premise: Junjou Romantica is broken up into three storylines: Romantica, Egoist and Terrorist. Romantica is the story of main couple Misaki Takahashi and Akihiko Usami, who are brought together by Misaki’s older brother, Takahiro, so that Akihiko can tutor Misaki for college entrance exams. It happens that Takahiro announces at the meeting that he is getting married. Akihiko and Misaki are upset for different reasons: Misaki, because it means he is losing his brother somewhat after the death of his parents; Akihiko, because he is in love with Takahiro. Romance commences, with a reluctant Misaki along for the ride. Egoist focuses on Nowaki Kusama and Hiroki Kamijou’s developing relationship. Nowaki is considerably younger than Hiroki, who is a classic Japanese literature professor. Thus, their relationship centers on their everyday struggle to be a couple on equal footing. In Terrorist, Yo Miyagi and Shinobu Takatsuki become reacquainted after the end of Yo’s marriage to Shinobu’s sister. Shinobu is in love with Yo, but Yo doesn’t take him seriously. The resulting relationship between the two is interesting and deals with their pasts as brothers-in-law and their age difference. One protagonist in each couple knows of another in another couple. For example, Akihiko was in a relationship with Hiroki and Hiroki works with Yo.
Is it worth watching?: Yes. If you love romantic stories, this is probably for you. A word of caution, though: If you do not like yaoi, do not watch because the series’ relationships are all between men. If you can get past that, you’ll come to love the characters and their relationship struggles.
Breakout character: Akihiko Usami. I love how the character moves from strange to endearing as he struggles to get Misaki to realize that he loves him and that their relationship is destined to be. He’s funny yet smart, and he’s equal parts strange with an obsession with bears in general.
Funniest episode: Episode 4 — “Fear is often greater than the danger itself” — Misaki gets drunk off chocolates and falls asleep cuddling Akihiko’s shirt. This shows Akihiko that Misaki loves him but isn’t ready to admit to it.
Where it’s going: The second series focuses on the trials and tribulations of the three couples and introduces other characters that will become the focus of spinoff series.