[Minor spoilers ahoy, but we all know generally how this show has to end, right? I mean, it’s a romantic, feel-good slice-of-life.]
Okay, let’s be real; we love cute things, right? I mean, even if cute things are not your normal fare personally, we as a society are A++ about them, and you can’t tell me that the occasional cute thing doesn’t make you wanna verbally keysmash (or, as I often do, sound vaguely like an angry duck). Such denial simply isn’t done. In any case, the romantic slice-of-life anime Sasaki and Miyano was one such cute thing, and even though you probably know it–because I am, once again, late to the review party–I’m still going to tell you about it. You’ll all just have to indulge me.
Sasaki and Miyano is a BL title about two high school boys who fall for each other. One of them, Sasaki, figures out rather quickly that—even though he’s never been into guys before—he knows how to ID his feelings for his kohai, and surprise-surprise, they’re very much romantic. He’s super okay with that. The other guy, Miyano, doesn’t realize he’s falling until Sasaki’s fateful confession, and from that moment takes a good long look at his own heart to determine if his feelings for his senpai can be chalked up to admiration or if it’s something more. This will-they-won’t-they (and we all know they totally will) lasts for almost an entire school year!
Miyano struggles with his sexuality not because he isn’t okay with same-sex relationships, but rather because he can’t figure out what his feelings mean. He had a crush on a girl when he was in middle school, but it didn’t go anywhere (as crushes often don’t). He feels like that singular crush means that he MUST be straight. I mean… sexuality can be confusing, ya know? Anyway, bless him, he doesn’t want to get Sasaki’s hopes up and hurt him if it turns out that Miyano’s actually straight. It’s actually super endearing how absolutely positive he feels he needs to be before he goes out on that relationship limb. He values Miyano too much to hurt him or risk the friendship they have.
The show goes out of its way to keep its main couple’s relationship from becoming a BL parody. The two end up bonding over the BL genre of media (I know, right?), and they discuss topes often, but the show makes very clear that Sasaki and Miyano know that THEY are not a trope–they’re real people with a real, potential relationship. The side relationship between Sasaki’s classmate, Jiro, who struggles with the fact that his girlfriend likes BL delinquents so much (“Is that the only reason she likes me!?”) and said girlfriend, a raging fujoshi, proved absolutely hilarious. Further, I adore how the president of the disciplinary committee, Masato, watches the relationship between Miyano and Sasaki bloom in a way that reassures him about potential relationships his own openly gay siblings may have in the future. The show doesn’t forget to mention that same-sex relationships are often stigmatized, but it doesn’t fixate on it, either. All in all, it felt like a realistic portrayal of two modern-day young people figuring themselves out with the support of a reassuring friend group!
The show’s admitted melodrama (“Oh, no! Did he misunderstand my glance!?”) is part and parcel for a romantic, earnest, pre-relationship slice-of-life title like this, and you need to know that going in, but I really enjoyed everything from its laughs to its reflections.
This was a show I watched in chunks rather than weekly. I needed the backlog so I didn’t get put off by the slow pacing or by being left without resolution. Being able to marathon it now that it’s fully released will, I think, be and experiential boon to people who only start watching it now. In case you couldn’t tell, I recommend it. The art is lovely and pretty darn faithful to the anime’s manga source; along that vein, the literal shojo-esque sprinkles that decorate the pastel landscape are *chef’s kiss* and reminiscent of romantic manga overlays. (I’m almost positive that was intentional.) Studio Deen, you’ve done it again. Bravo. 100%. Claps for you all around!
You can watch Sasaki and Miyano on Funimation, and it’s my understanding that a season 2 has been greenlit. I don’t know if the show will have migrated over to Crunchyroll by then, but in any case, it’s almost sure to stream in an accessible place. A sub and a dub are available, and though I love a good dub, I preferred the sub this time. ❤
If you’ve seen it, what do you think? If you haven’t, you totally should!
Until next time, please stay safe and well!
Is the photo below my new PC desktop background? Why yes, yes it is.