Anime: Junjou Romantica Season 2 (Blu Ray)
Released By: Nozomi Entertainment / Right Stuf
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Retail Price: $54.99
The anime series Junjou Romantica is one of the biggest yaoi series in anime and manga, being the first to have at least three seasons - now it’s hit the Blu Ray milestone for anime, reminding viewers that it still has its popularity. In the first season of the series, it gave us a chance to meet three different couples that were each labeled very differently and now the second season takes the next step in solidifying the relationships or potentially witnessing their downfall, but either way there must be the opportunity for progression or regression - so which is it for the relationships? Let’s dive into the second season of Junjou Romantica!
To give you a little bit of a refresher - Junjou Romantica is centered on the three pairs known as Romantica, Egoist and lastly, Terrorist. The primary relationship is between college student Misaki and his older boyfriend and popular novelist Usami. Originally, Usami was best friends with Misaki’s older brother and developed a crush - but when he met Misaki during season one, the two formed a connection conversely different from his relationship with Misaki’s brother and it became a romance (Romantica.) during the course of season two, we now have moved past that initial awkward phase that new couples experience and deal with a few other struggles that test the relationship.
Part of what makes season two a smart take on the series is the vast change of pace between Misaki and Usami. Where Misaki’s brother played a major part of conflict (unknowingly) in the past, Usami’s brother is present for season two and hopes to steal the attention and adoration of Misaki for himself. Season one meant that Misaki was the traditional uke role in a yaoi but this turn of events makes Usami have to prove himself as more than someone who appears to be in a power position. Giving Usami a chance to experience a fraction of what he had felt in the early phase of the pairing is a good way to strengthen them or end up tearing them apart, but without giving too much away I can confirm that there is plenty of gas in the Romantica pairing to get them through problematic people/scenarios. My primary complaint about this direction is simply that the close ties to family and relationships feels a little on the ‘ick’ side, but because of the newfound issues, the series does make it interesting to say the least.
When we last saw Nowaki and Hiroki, Hiroki was feeling their relationship was near crumbling because of outside influences, but it turned out that despite all of the miscommunication Nowaki still very much loved Hiroki and wanted to be with him. Now, Nowaki (being the youngest of the Egoist pairing) still has residual feelings of insecurity in their romance and it does tend to lean towards potential conflict this season. One thing that I do enjoy about their conflicts over the others is that both seem to feel so strongly about each other that the fear of either losing one another is the biggest thing to set them off and make them question the other’s happiness. It kicks off from a nickname in season two (something simple) but to Nowaki it is his concerns with their connection - but one thing is certain, I still find myself truly rooting for the pair to see love conquer.
The remaining pairing that followed over into the second season (terrorist) consists of Shinobu and Miyagi. Miyagi is in his 30’s and has loved and lost - whereas Shinobu was a young adult at the time they met and has much less life experience, but it didn’t stop Shinobu from feeling certain of the love for his ex brother in law. The two were one of the strangest pairings to me, but play opposite roles to the main relationship of the series (Romantica.) The death of Miyagi’s former love has played a crucial aspect of his personality which comes into the spotlight for their second season storyline. One moment in particular puts things to the test for both when Miyagi addresses his deceased love and what it means for the couple - a emotionally charged scene that gave the two more depth for the second season.
The production company behind Junjou Romantica plays up the serenity and nature elements of the series to create a romantic (and contained) atmosphere. The voice actors each fill their roles as well as they did the first time, having greater challenges to accomplish in this second season. With the Nozomi Entertainment Blu Ray upgrade, the series is better than ever for original fans and a great way to enjoy for new ones as well.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Aedan’s Final Thoughts:
- I was surprised at how emotional it got between Miyagi and Shinobu
- I still find myself rooting for Hiroki and Nowaki!
- I am excited for season three and hope that there is another installment of Junjou and Sekaii (since it has enough source material now.)