Hi Guys, I’m taking over hosting duties this week because Scott is having a very busy weekend. Hi Scott, I hope you still had a bit of time to unwind over the weekend. I know how exhausting it can get when you come off a long week just to have to work and do chores all weekend! 

At least Saski and Miyano is a pretty relaxing show!

Irina is the best for not taking this out on me. I keep thinking about my personal schedule and I don’t actually have weekends at the moment considering that I usually work for some amount of time on Saturdays for a bit more money. And then Sunday decided to have more things going on than usual with a meeting after church. Next weekend should be better

But yeah, this show was just so relaxing as always. I watched this latest episode after the more tension building Attack on Titan and Requiem of the Rose King. Was a very good decision.

One thing I really appreciated from episode 4, right off the bat, is that they established a timeline (which they mess with later on but we’ll get to that).

We are finally getting to see things much more from Miyano’s point of view, so as soon as the episode started, I’m thinking does Miyano know about the confession at this point… And the show kindly obliged by basically laying it all out in the first minute. Sasaki confessed when he thought Miyano was asleep. It’s a cliché for a reason. It’s adorable! Miyano knows about it but right after, they all went on break and the two haven’t seen each other in weeks.

It’s the classic cooling-off period, This show follows traditional romance novel structure to a T and I gotta say, I don’t hate it at all. Maybe I should give all those kissing books a try…

I don’t know about that, I thought you were the romantic kind of person already but what do I know. Regardless of that, yeah this does feel like the usual romance done pretty well. 

What is that old expression, distance makes the heart grow fonder? Yeah, that’s exactly what this episode is doing with Miyano even if he doesn’t want to admit that he likes Sasaki or even just boys…and yet. I feel like there is some strong denial there which Miyano doesn’t actually want to act on his feelings yet. One day….

So we are now following Miyano and it’s nice to see another perspective. Sasaki is fully aware of his feelings for Miyano. He is conflicted because he knows Miyano does not share that persuasion and he doesn’t want to make things difficult between them. So basically, Sasaki is wrestling with his feelings and trying to use them as a basis for friendship. That’s also a classic and it’s nice. It’s not working super well as our red-headed boy lacks a bit of discipline, but I appreciate the effort.

On the other hand, the same situation is completely different for Miyano. He doesn’t have any fear of being rejected or losing the friendship since he has a lot more information at his disposal. But he’s going through a more relatable journey of self-discovery and assessment. Miyano is both younger and more sensitive than Sasaki. He would be more likely to be bothered by the greater implications, unlike his senpai who’s just going along with it. 

You usually only get to see one side so I’m actually liking this more dual approach. It allows us to lightly examine different sides of the coin. 

I keep thinking about some of my favorite romance stories and not a lot of them have that double sided perspective. I could talk about the obvious kind of a joke love story like Nozaki where Sakura’s feelings are reciprocated to her crush or even His and Her Circumstances where we get Yukino’s point of view much more than Arima’s. It always feels like in classic romance stories, the power is obviously on one side and that is so not the case here and I like it.

The approach that Sasaki and Miyano has been using makes both of these big dorks feel so interesting. It is a bit slower of a story perhaps, but it feels much more equal and complex by giving each of the characters something to deal with on their own sides. Makes this show feel so much more believable in taht way too with Miyano’s self discovery and Sasaki’s own conflict of showing feelings without pushing them too far on Miyano.

This show is just so good and comfortable for doing both of these things.

They did mess with the timeline again. About halfway through the episode, we got a card telling us we were going back to before the break to show haw Sasaki was really starting to have trouble keeping his feelings in.

On a practical level, I love how they are using Hirano’s hair. I mean, the story found a completely logical reason for him to dye his hair black that works super well with everything else that’s happening. And now, we can just look at his hair colour to know if we are before the confession or after. 

They might have him switch his hair back to blond later though but for this week, it was a great visual marker. I like it when shows think of the practical aspects like that. 

I’m glad you caught this, because I’m honestly stunned by how well thought out this show is. Thank you Japanese school system for being so particular about how people should be? I do like how the show just makes fun of these delinquents’ hair colors because it is pretty hilarious how Ogasawara and Sasaki could get by during exams unlike Hirano who clearly is the most practical and thoughtful one of the group.

But you are right, that was a great marker for showing where the perspective switch between Miyano and Sasaki’s point of view came around. So cool and well thought out. This manga or just the director of this episode must have really thought about how to use hair color in this situation and it really worked. 

Sasaki and Miyano has always been a bit of a metacommentary on BL. The show discusses tropes and sometimes gently makes fun of them, just as it embraces them. There was a great scene when Miyano gets pushed from behind by accident as h’s talking to Sasaki. The classic trope would have him fall into the other’s arms and share an awkward but revelatory moment. 

They subverted that completely with Miyano simply steadying himself against the wall and then talking and acting as if nothing happened.

But then, they subverted the subversion with Sasaki being so worried Miyano may have hurt his wrist. It was funny. Sasaki walks away as if nothing happened only to find out later on that he actually went home after because he was overheated. These little sequences can be enjoyed on their own but they tend to reward those that are familiar with BL storylines. Or even just romances in general.

Oh, I thought that was supposed to be a Kabedon. Or the usual pose the flirter and more forward character does against their romantic love interests by pining them against the wall. That joke was set up so well that I just laughed even if I knew it was about to happen. I do like that Sasaki reversed it so easily with focusing on Miyano’s much smaller wrists. Such an interesting and equal exchange of power there in a way that was very well done.

I’m pretty sure that while Sasaki tried to play off that hilariously imposed Kabedon as nothing at first, it really did get to him in the way it usually does. Maybe he is much better at controlling his feelings then we would think. You are so right about its fun metacommentary. I think the fact that no one is an Uke or Seme makes it so much more realistic then making it obvious.

The real meta moment came with the whole discussion of uke vs seme characters. It actually comes up a few times in the episode. The most obvious though was Sasaki asking Miyano who the uke was in a specific story since there were no explicit scenes. And well, Sasaki and Miyano have no explicit scenes either. Sp you know, which one of them is the uke.

We have Miyano’s ongoing commentary, sure he has black hair and is smaller but there are plenty of small seme. Sometimes it’s the norm! Sasaki is a bit more aggressive and protective but he’s also more likely to fall apart and more clingy. 

I gotta say, I really don’t know! And that’s part of the fun. Although I’m happy to listen to everyone’s guesses!

I feel like the series is trying to tell us it doesn’t matter who is Seme or Uke in the relationship because they are just people. That could just be me though. Please, tell us who you think is which in this series because I don’t think there is a wrong answer. 

Definitely no wrong answers! All answers are fun.

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17 thoughts

  1. Now I know what a Kabedon is, tho I had to look it up.

    I know that “uke” and “seme” are nearly universal BL tropes. One of several BL trope I really dislike.

    I don’t see why a love story has to have either one. Relationships between equals are always much more interesting.

      1. Uke is the bottom partner and seme is top. But it generally goes beyond this to be stereotypes of weak, feminine and submissive v. strong an masculine. Also young and naive v. older and experienced They don’t typically take turns.

        1. I guess you’ve read more BL than I have. I mostly have seen them referenced as sexual preferences with nothing else.

  2. You know, the meta-bit is part of where the show’s losing me. It’s certainly one of my fave shows this season, as it’s really cute. I mean the scene where Miyano talked to the guy who was worried about his girlfriend was pretty cute, but even in there…

    See, it’s a little too focused on the romance part, for me, and getting them together over BL manga is… just too much. They could have done interesting stuff with it, but they decided to go with adorable. They’re doing it well, but I usually don’t watch romance anime for the romance, so… it’s ultimately a little thin for me.

    What this means in the end is that I can’t get into some character moments. For example: Miyano remembering his early girl crush. Is he bi? Was he going with the flow back then, mistaking feelings, because of a cutlurally sharp girl/boy divide? There’s a lot, characterisation-wise, the show could be doing with it, and normally I’d be curious, but the vibes I’m getting from the show is that it’s not going to matter much once it’s served its function as an obstacle. Maybe we’ll introduce the girl later, when we need a plot development, but it doesn’t feel like a character moment to me.

    Similarly, punctuating the scene I mentioned in the first paragraph with jealous Sasaki induced more of an eye-roll from me than anything else. I mean I like the characters, and wish them well together, and I don’t think anything I’m seeing is implausible, and I really do feel they’d be good for each other (if only for a while). But it’s just so focussed on the romance that there’s little else for me in here, and the cuteness only takes me so far. That said, the cuteness is top-notch to make up for it. I doubt they could do it much better; they’re both such adorable dorks. And I like all their friends, too.

    1. See, I didn’t even think about the Miyano liking a girl a few years back. A lot of my friends group is not really concerned with gender based sexuality so I didn’t register it as anything other than a normal exploration of attraction but I guess it would be.

      I have to say the story stays really cute and rather romantic. Although it goes more into the mundane aspects of it.

  3. It may be an Uke, but does the Uke come with a Lele? And can I tune him/her?

    …thats Hawaiian humor. Don’t worry. Most people think I’m naturally cringeworthy even without having typed anything.

    1. That’s a big question. What do you usually like in series or movies? Or is there something you were hoping to find?

        1. Ok well, Cowboy Bebop and Psycho Pass are often gateway anime. Both are high action. Bebop starts off comedic but goes into more sentimental plotlines. Psycho Pass is more of a thriller.
          I think that I would have enjoyed Black Butler a lot when I was a teenager.

            1. Oh then you might enjoy the Case Study of Vanitas. I’m certainly having a blast with it. And the art is so pretty

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