Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Dazz's Yaoi Corner #1: Kirepapa, Koisuru Boukun, Seitokaichou ni Chuukoku, and Ikkoku Irokoi Romantan

Dazz's Yaoi Corner #1

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers of the OVAs I mentioned in the title. If you wish not to know some plot details, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in them, please exit the tab and join me once you've watched them. Or, you know, you can continue to read, since you don't care about spoilers.

Anyways, with that said, thank you, and onto the special review:

I've mentioned plenty of times in the past that yaoi has been a guilty pleasure of mine for quite some time. First hearing about the term from fanart when I was 12, then accidentally discovering that stuff out there exists for the genre in that same year, I didn't rapidly fall down a BL hole, but I still checked stuff out from time to time, and occasionally locked myself in the bathroom to watch either game footage or OVAs with no sound (I've obviously gotten behind that now, which I've also made references too).

For the past year, I've been thinking about one day being able to sit down and explore some of the OVAs that I stumbled upon on YouTube all those years ago and seeing exactly what things would be like with sound (so that some of the more recognizable seiyuus would finally be heard by mwah). So in July, I picked four OVAs that were all from the same production committee, tweeted about them as I watched all eight episodes that were at my fingertips, and formulated my own opinions about them.

Are we ready? Let's do this!

Let's start off with the first OVA that I ever looked at and that I watched from the bunch I selected:


Originally released in 2008 (with the first episode coming out in January and the second to follow in November), along with being based off a two manga volume series, Kirepapa follows a 35-year old man named Chisato (yes, I was shocked too by his age. Dude looks like he's 15), who's the father of Riju, a 15-year old boy. Chisato is overly protective of his son, thinking that any male who comes close to him is most likely after Riju's virginity, so when any of Riju's friends come over to his house, he likes to scare them off by putting various substances (such as laxatives) in the snacks he serves.

However, one classmate seems to be immune to these tricks. While Shunsuke (that's his name BTW) may look like the 35-year old here, he's actually still in high school (though I forget his exact age). He's also the author behind a series of novels that Chisato is obsessed with, though the latter doesn't know it yet (but he'll find out within the first OVA anyways). Pretty soon, romantic feelings will be fought and won over, Chisato will have to deal with both his father's acceptance of his newfound relationship and Riju's own love life. What's a pretty papa to do?

For some reason, I was actually pretty excited to see more of this OVA when I was still in junior high. True, the story sounded like garbage, but I was still curious to see exactly how this would turn out. And, for the most part, it wasn't too bad. 

Guaranteed, it could have been a lot worse (and I mean WAY worse), but it's not really that groundbreaking either. We pretty much have a smattering of cliches on the board here, pathetic insta-love, boring characters, and a love story that honestly made me roll my eyes more than gasp and swoon over it.

But hey, Chisato and Shunsuke still do have their moments where they work well as a couple outside of a shaky beginning (dub-con mainly, along with weird insta-love), but there was clearly development here that was just skipped over that I would have liked to see rather than fast forward oh I don't know how many months later, and they're all fine and dandy. That's not how couple build-up works for me, so my ship isn't going to sail.

But if we were going to talk about something positive outside of compatible couple moments, the animation is definitely one of them. Despite being obviously limited budget-wise, there's some pretty moments here and there that don't take this project into complete jank territory. It's far from the best, but it really isn't straight up awful. On the plus side, the yaoi scenes are actually kind of hot, and there's almost a shot of Chisato's butt (in the context of that scene, Shunsuke basically almost got to you know what territory in terms of butts).

I'm going to mention this now so I don't have to later, but all of these OVAs have animated male nipples, which is a plus for me. Anime nipple equality FTW!

The same goes for the score (which is pretty forgettable. Then again, all of them are) and the voice acting, with Takahiro Sakurai being my favorite even if he's basically using the same voice template that he does nowadays (just more sensual). Hikaru Midorikawa sounds almost exactly like Sora as Chisato, though I wouldn't say it's as grating as that character could get in Sukisho. The only real problem comes with Kouki Miyata as Riju, who immediately grated my ears upon his first line and continued to do so every single time he opened his mouth. Miyata has done these types of roles before, and from what I've heard, he doesn't really do them well. It just sounds more forced than anything, and it reminds me all too well of Nozomi Yamamoto in Sky Wizards Academy and Kanako Sakai in Hyperdimension Neptunia, though I don't know if this tops them or not.

Overall, it's a step above average with some of its strengths, but Kirepapa is nowhere excellent nor great. It's just decent, and I honestly would have wanted it to be stronger since I was looking forward to it a bit. But alas, I'm giving this a 6/10.

Highlights from my snarky tweets include:

MPGIS anyone?


Flowers seem to symbolize virginity in some things I've seen. This is one.

*sighs* Oy vey.

I would associate the phrase "apple of my eye" for a boyfriend/girlfriend, not someone's child.

*sighs again*

Moving on to the next OVA I saw:

Koisuru Boukun.

The latest OVA that I managed to watch in this batch (the two episodes being released in June and November 2010 respectively), the story is actually a continuation from a side story in the mangaka Hinako Takanaga's other work called Challengers, which focused on one of the main protagonists in this series, Souichi (the one with the long luscious blonde hair)'s younger brother.

Tetsuhiro Morinaga attends university where he occasionally works for his upperclassman (I'm going to assume four years older through research), Souichi Tatsumi. It's a little awkward between each other, as Moriaga has had a longtime crush for his senpai, and while they're good friends, Souichi express his views towards gay marriage incredibly often, being quite against it. This is made worse by the fact that his younger brother left Japan to be relocated for his new job in California, where gay marriage has recently been legalized. Despite that though, his friend's sexuality isn't that big of an issue.

One night, while lamenting to his friend Hiroto, Morinaga receives an aphrodisiac in order to make Souichi more compliant. Feeling embarrassed about it, Morinaga stores it in one of his cupboards, and it's brushed under the rug until he invites Souichi over to his dorm the following night, thinking that the senpai needs cooling down following a rant about going to California and trying to become the mayor to reverse the ban on gay marriage.

While there, Souichi manages to drink all of Morinaga's alcohol, and while the latter's out (because Souichi demand he get more), the blonde digs through his apartment to see if he has any secret stash of booze before finding the aphrodisiac and drinking that, mistaking it for more alcohol. Upon returning, Morinaga finds that Souichi has drunk the "secret bottle," and while it as first seems like there is no effect, it does occur later in the night, when Souichi finds himself aroused and unable to move, and due to that, he can't fall asleep. This leads to him trying to get out of Morinaga's bedroom to relive himself, which fails because his body is too weak, waking up the black-haired boy by falling on his bed.

Now seeing that Souichi is in fact under the effects of the aphrodisiac, Morinaga decides to jump off the plank since he feels like his longtime crush won't reciprocate his feelings even now. The scene that follows is pretty awkward/hot/OMG NONONONONONONONO WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME FEEL THIS WAY/well, that happened. Morinaga definitely went and f**ked up.

The morning after, both men are feeling quite the different emotions. Morinaga feels guilty for overstepping his boundaries, while Souichi is enraged that his trust was betrayed (not on purpose of course, but still, rape ain't okay). After the kohai is torn out of his own apartment for a bit, and a day passes while the two ponder their own thoughts, Morinaga calls Souichi to let him know about how sorry he is and that he won't appear in the latter's face if that pleases him. While Souichi at first thinks nothing of it, it becomes incredibly clear that Morinaga is serious, not contacting anyone, not showing up at his dorm, and signing a resignation notice. 

Since the signs are clear, Souichi is now incredibly worried about his lab partner/friend/potential lover, and is willing to forgive him for the incident that tore them apart. But how long will it be for the two to meet up so they can put aside their differences and quite possibly have a decent relationship (that Souichi stubbornly won't consider a relationship, because, again, he's homophobic, but maybe he'll let down his doors a little bit)?

Okay, despite the fact that a door for Morinaga and Souichi's relationship is opened because of rape (which I personally despise), Koisuru Boukun actually gets some bonus points from me for having the angst actually make me feel things (not the "I'm not crying, you're crying!" feels, but the "Awww, he cares about him. So sweet!" ones). When Souichi realizes that Morinaga's declaration was the honest truth, seeing him worry was a bit painful, and it was all worth it when they patched up the incident (it leads to sex again, but this time it wasn't forced. YUS).

Overall, this OVA was better than Kirepapa, since it actually had a story that made me feel things, and a main duo that had an interesting dynamic, going from friends to potential lovers (alas, one day). It was also kind of interesting seeing a character be openly homophobic, something that I wish to not see in my everyday life (though with our new presidential-elect, the appearances of that could increase). The animation was better then Kirapapa as well. Aside from the fact that this OVA came out two years later, everything looks more polished here and just better looking (the character designs for our two leads in general).

Hikaru Midorikawa returns as a main character and an uke, while Kosuke Toriumi is the other side of the duo, playing Morinaga (being the opposite of their pairing in Togainu no Chi, that being Akira and Shiki). Keeping that in mind (though I haven't really seen their relationship in that game, and the anime just mainly had Shiki trying to murder Akira in the half I watched), it was actually a little fun to see them communicate with each other as different characters, and Toriumi actually does a good job as Morinaga, not sounding like a typical seme would (which I guess is good), outside from being a tease at times of course, which I'm not sure I like in terms of the character, but don't mind in the voice department. My brain is confused.

Also, Kouki Miyata shows up again, but he isn't as annoying as he was in the previous one. That's good news.

So, to wrap this all up, I have to say that Koisuru Boukun is actually pretty good in terms of yaoi OVAs. I'd re-watch it as well as probably check out the manga if I can find that somewhere in the US that's legal. Not as much as the next OVA I'm going to talk about though, but still, I'm actually quite curious to see how Morinaga and Souichi's relationship develops. In the end, this is getting a 7.5/10.

Sassy tweet time!

*runs away after ruining innocence for several of you*

Moving on to the third OVA:

Seitokaichou ni Chuukoku.

First released in November 2009, and followed by the second episode in April 2010, this happened to be the most hyped out of the OVAs I wanted to watch this round and the one that I managed to like the most. So, in the end, that makes me happy! There isn't as much of a concrete story in this one, aside from cute boys being cute little dorks, and something that may play more of a role later on in the manga, but for what's it worth, there were still parts I really liked.

In this story, Yasuhiro Chiga, a first-year in high school and the student council vice president, is starting to get more and more drawn to the second-year president, Yuuzou Kokusai. Aside from working together in school, the two occasionally do judo together (at least I think) and have a good friendship. One Sunday afternoon, the warring affection between the two result in a kiss, where even Kokusai questions if his feelings for Chiga go beyond friendship. After arriving home to find no one there, Chiga falls asleep before someone breaks into his house and feels him up while he's out cold (I have my theories as to who this is, since I think it's obvious). He then has a dream about Chiga when he first met him at judo, and then it leads to a sexual dream where Chiga behaves rather unnaturally, touching Kokusai rather intimately and saying rather dirty things.

Eventually, Chiga wakes Kokusai up when he comes over to his house to find him in a state of dishevelment, wondering how/why someone would molest Kokusai up while he's asleep and unguarded (which is basically my question). To make sure he's safe (and after another one of Kokusai's friends, Akutsu, comes over to check for signs of any breaking in, which there isn't (obvious culprit)), Chiga stays in Kokusai's house for the majority of the afternoon, leading to more kissing experiences and other things (touchy-feely things), causing me to squeal internally.

After wiping away my imaginary nosebleed, Kokusai still is conflicted about his feelings towards Chiga, avoiding him at school and deciding to go into the student council room to masturbate once he gets an erection at school. After Chiga enters the student council room as well later on (as he has a back-up key), the two eventually come to sort of a understanding and also a potential new level of love. Possibly? Maybe? I feel like I need to find this manga legally to read more of this story to see what happens next.

And by what I want to see, I'm sure some of you know what I mean.


Continuing onward, the reason why I think is a better OVA is that there isn't a large cast of characters (there's really only four, and they're all male), but while Koisuru Boukun had a small amount of characters as well, I feel like the boys in the currently being discussed OVA have a little more involvement along with having the potential of getting some more focus later on. I do wish the molester storyline was solved though, because I don't like how easily it's forgotten and basically brushed under the rug.

Aside from that though, the story for this has less in it, which definitely can be a bad thing in some cases, but here it's not. Considering this OVA is two episodes, it made it easier to follow and a little more interesting to watch. I also liked how Koukusai and Chiga interacted, plus the scenes with them together when things got steamy were actually hot, so that's always a plus. The animation wasn't too bad also, probably being the best out of the OVAs in terms of style, plus the voice acting's pretty good (Tomokazu Sugita in particular).

But I think the best thing about this whole ordeal in general despite the loose plot thread and other things associated with the yaoi OVAs in general is that this makes me curious to go check out the manga wherever I can find it (also some drama CD stuff, because Chiga is sexy AF). Interlibrary loans, maybe? That is, if no one finds it awkward that a high school male is reading yaoi manga. Whatever.

This would be my prime (ha ha puns) OVA to re-watch in the future if I needed some sexiness, along with some great yaoi in general to just watch whenever I might get bored. I'm giving Seitokaichou ni Chuukoku an 8 out of 10.

Time to unleash the tweets!

All right, it's now time for the last OVA (and my least favorite):

Ikoku Irokoi Romantan.

Technically, this is the oldest OVA out of the ones I watched, since the first episode of it came out back in December 2007 (with the following not coming out until almost a year later in October 2008). The funny thing about this is that the first episode of this doesn't have a vomit title card for the episode title, but rather has it over a shot of the cruise ship that the first OVA takes place on (which is better than using flashy bright colors IMO). The second episode does have it over a black screen with falling cherry blossoms though. But we're not here to talk about episode titles, are we? 

This OVA focuses on Ranmaru Oumi, a future head of a Japanese yakuza group, who has just gotten married to Kaoru, a woman he knows from his childhood (I think she's from a yakuza family too) while abroad a cruise ship on the way to Italy (probably for their honeymoon. I can't bother to remember). Their marriage is only for appearances though, as the two can't stand each other and would rather be apart then together. It is on this cruise ship that Ranmaru comes across Albert Valentino, the ship's captain, and he and Ranmaru hang out for a bit, fight off some opposing yakuza members, drink, and do the sex thing. The two later meet again once the cruise ship arrives in Italy, face even more baddies (who think it's a good idea to use Ranmaru as a sex thing because why not), and fall more deeply in lurve.

My general consensus for this OVA can be summed up in a series of GIF's:

Really, there's nothing ground-breaking about Ikoku Irokoi Romantan for me to consider it good. In all honesty, I felt bored while watching these two episodes, and nothing really wowed or drew me in. The only thing that I mainly liked about this was the fact that Kentaro Ito and Junichi Suwabe played the leads, and they're Renji and Grimmjow from Bleach respectively (which is a fun bit of information). Junichi Suwabe as Albert easily gives this OVA more weight than it should, bringing sexiness to life with some of his Engrish speaking skills and just being naturally sexy. He could have brought a little more though, but his acting in general did push this OVA up a bit.

But in the end, I didn't really care for this that much. It's just generic yaoi that could be better, but just isn't. Aside from some scenes where this was just fine, this is getting by with a 5/10, and honestly no recommendation.

Here are the last batch of tweets!

All right, and that's going to wrap it up! Hopefully I can get the second round out quicker next time, since I plan to watch another set of OVAs during winter break. I hope you all enjoyed this special review. Here's hoping to find more hidden gems (if there is any)!