Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi Eps05-06

Time for more of the BL Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi~ I was pretty excited to blog about this batch, due to my inner fangirl being extremely satisfied. (With all my attempts to kill her, why won't she just die?)

Secondary couple, Tori and Yoshino.

In classic Nakamura-sensei style, this pair of episodes was dedicated to Pairing #2, Hatori Yoshiyuki (one of the editors in the department) and Yoshino Chiaki (his childhood friend and a mangaka of the publishing house). The arc left us with a couple...and a third wheel (it was seen from a mile away). We don't know where the third wheel belongs, since it hasn't been confirmed which one in the couple he likes (if either), but at least we were left with feel-good mush before heading back to the still-torrential main couple.

Tertiary couple, most likely Kisa Shota and an as-of-yet unknown man.

Just like with Junjou Romantica, this series has more than one pairing. It seems typical of this author; Junjou Romantica also had three pairings. Based on experience, the secondary pairing will get more attention than the tertiary pairing, although both far less screen time than the primary pairing. One of my greatest gripes with Junjou Romantica was that the tertiary pairing got extremely little screentime; I hope that won't be the case here, because I really do want to see what's going on with the two up there.

Only food in shounen-ai and shoujo sparkle. I need me some of that.

I won't lie; for the first little bit, I had no idea that Ritsu of the primary pairing and Yoshino were different people. Everyone looks so similar in these types of anime~ Regardless, we found out quite a lot about Tori in the first episode of the two; being in love with his uke for 28 years (which, by the way, is his entire life), he's even chosen his career path (editor) in order to be of help (Yoshino being a mangaka). Despite being a seme, it's always endearing to see one wrapped around the uke's finger.

Where does he possibly live to have such a big apartment? Dammit. I'm jealous.

There isn't a very distinct feel of originality to this pairing - however, at the same time, I can't particularly compare it to anything else, including the pairings from Junjou Romantic. Compared to the secondary pairing from that anime, this is entirely different (for one thing, that one featured the entirely original seme-seme coupling). I must say that I really like this about Nakamura-sensei; it's not like anything mold-breaking is being presented, but it still feels fresh and addictive.

Tori semes around Yanase...who may be either seme or uke; it's undecided.

Ep05 introduced the concept of love to Yoshino, when he thought that Tori (his seme) was in love with one Yanase Yuu, a mutual friend. Despite Yoshino and Tori getting together by the end of ep05, it wasn't resolved what exactly was going on between Tori and Yanase, including the supposed alley kiss. That's a very typical BL tactic and, by the end of the episode, I genuinely had no idea what it was (although, being a seasoned veteran, I had quite a few theories).

In another world, this would be an indirect love confession.

Quick note: Tori and Yanase's relationship, as of ep05, could have easily played out as a love story as well. I mean, there was lots of sideways glances and snide comments, kisses in the raining alley, and then anger-filled denials of feelings. Moreover, like a bi, Yanase seems like he can take either a seme or an uke role. If I wasn't so impressionable, I'd drop Yoshino and begin shipping these other two.

BL always enforces the rules of momentum. Spin, spin, spin~

Ep06 focused on the aftermath of the coupling that happened at the of ep05 - or, rather, the calmness after and before the storm (okay, fine, that's the eye of the storm; whatever). I'd been hoping to get some closure on Yanase's character - that is, who does he like? why did he and Tori kiss? what is his role in this coupling? and so on - but it didn't really happen. I guess that's a big enough story to occur in the next arc, which will not be ep07 (we return to the primary pairing).

Direct fighting is rarely a trait of shoujo.

The behaviour of the pair in this episode was really fun to watch; I like people that can be together without letting everyone know at first glance that they're together. It feels more intimate that way, which is always something that I prefer to watch. The fact that they had a fight at the end of the episode, making up promptly instead of one of them heading off to emo, was also very, very interesting. I can't remember a "stable" coupling in Junjou Romantic, although perhaps Usami and Misaki would come close (though that was based on Usami's desire to not let go since Misaki still had run-away tendencies). The way that these two argued and brought their insecurities to the light, talking it through, made it feel really stable. I can't always stand pairings that seem like they could break up at any moment...

In this parallel world, the indirect confession is returned in kind.

Due to the relative stability of Tori and Yoshino, I don't find myself hating Yanase due to his capacity to get in the way. If anything, he's extremely constructive to their relationship; while Yoshino's jealousy came from Tori having women draped all over him, Tori's long-lasting love was only threatened by consistent closeness to Yanase. I liked how Yoshino didn't immediately jump to the conclusion that he should break up with Tori because he was stealing Yanase's man; he was attempting to figure out how to deal with his selfishness in wanting to continue being Yanase's friend despite the "betrayal". Such lack of emo endears me to him as an uke.

Scenes like this are usually made by an uke to their seme, not a random other boy.

In the end, this entire arc properly cemented the secondary couple but left the story open with a burning question: who is it that Yanase likes? Obviously, my first guess was Yoshino; after all, it's usually the uke that has someone after them (if it were the seme, he would turn the third party down instantly, typically). I thought that there was potential that Yanase liked Tori, since Yoshino's constant pointing out of the signs made me confused (I was willing to overlook the overlap that occurred since the primary pairing's third-party is after the seme). However, by the end of the arc, it was still confusing. There's still a very good chance that Yanase likes Yoshino, a minute chance that he likes Tori, and a pretty good chance that he likes someone unrelated (as I would prefer, honestly). I really want to know...!

Idiotic subs piss me off.

As a side and final note: I'm dropping HorribleSubs for this anime as soon as possible. I can't stand localized translations that do stupid things like turning "-chan" into "-poo". It's not the same thing; don't even try. At certain other points, too, I felt like Crunchyroll didn't try hard enough to keep the original meaning; they changed the entire sentence like they wanted to. (This isn't the first time it's happened, but it bothered me a lot this episode.) I'll check out the other groups subbing this show; it's too bad aarinfantasy isn't doing it. I'm most interested in Sekai, since they use the same styling that aarinfantasy did and even came about as a group because aarinfantasy wasn't doing this show. That's promising~