- Titles: Is It Yes, No, or Somewhere in Between?, Yes ka No ka Hanbun ka
- Genre: Romance, comedy, bl
- Length: 53 mins
- Studio: Lesprit
Having a job in the limelight has its ups and downs. One of the big bummers is that you become your own product. So if the “you” you’re supposed to be is gentle, understanding and patient, you can never just lose your calm and blow off some steam. at least not in public where people can recognize you. But what if you met someone while you were in disguise. Someone who only knows the other version of you. Then you could just relax and be yourself around that one person. That would be great, wouldn’t it? Even if they happen to be infuriating and way too aloof about everything, it’s nice to have someone you don,t have to pretend with. You know? So nice in fact that it’s difficult to ever let them go!
BL is a bit of a double-edged sword for me. In principle, I like it but there are several popular tropes used in the genre that I am not a fan of. And I also find that it’s difficult to adapt into anime for some reason. There have been a few very notable exceptions!
Yes, No or Maybe isn’t an impressive piece of animation. To be fair, it’s not like there is a lot of action or anything. I did think the movements during the more romantic moments looked off. Like making dolls come together rather than actual people. I’m actually going to come back to this in the story section because it has more of an impact there.
For the most part though, Yes, No or Maybe is a fairly calm movie and the fact that there are no sweeping action scenes or daredevil camera work, doesn’t take anything away from it. The art is quite pretty and consistent which is really what you want. There are only a few backgrounds but all of them are decent. I found that the studio, workroom and apartment all looked like real places where people actually existed.
Moreover, the colours are really great. They have a very soft pastel look and I loved the overall effect that they gave. The voice actors were quite good as well. There is a plot point about Kei’s voice and the way he talks, and you can really hear it in the actor’s performance.
One thing I personally liked less was the score. At times it made me think it was a YouTube video. It sounded like the music was chosen from one of those royalty-free lists and without too much thought to it. It didn’t ruin the experience but it certainly didn’t add to it either.
Story & Characters
The basic premise is pretty adorable. Kei is a news anchor that is known for being princely and kind. he is very aware of his image and works hard to maintain it at all times. as a result, he’s pushed down and less charming impulses for so long that he is now constantly fighting with his inner nature and urge to just let it all out and lash out at everybody. He meets Tsuzuki, who seems like a relaxed artist but is a bit rude when he interviews him for a story. Then they meet again when Kei is out buying dinner in disguise and through a typical romance movie contrivance, the two end up working together. But Kei remains as his alter ego Owari.
Yada yada, they get to know each other, yada yada, fall in love, big declaration at the end. They live happily ever after. Then in the closing tag, they introduce a new sports newscaster who is about to interview the star player and I’m pretty sure that was setting up a sequel that never happened. But if it ever does, I will watch it.
Coming in at just under an hour, there’s not a ton of time to establish a big cast or go through detailed development. The movie really just focuses on Kei and Tsuzuki and their growing relationship over a few weeks. It’s pretty much like your average bl doujin. And it has a lot of flaws.
Personally, I found that the romantic aspect of their relationship was rushed. They were starting to develop a bond and then all of a sudden, it’s love. You can’t really feel it happening. To be fair, it’s in the last third of the movie so they were running out of time. Also, the actual love scene is so incredibly awkward. Or at least it was to me.
Now that I think of it, in my limited experience with sexy scenes in anime, I find them almost universally awkward so maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m making things weird for the characters…
Anyways, I found the sexy scene more funny than titillating and there were some elements of that scene I simply didn’t like. Going into those tropes I tend to dislike. In my opinion, it was maybe the least romantic moment in the entire movie.
But it was also just a few minutes in the end. I did enjoy everything leading up to it.
And this is where we get to my actual experience with Yes, No or Maybe. I could see the limits of the production. I could see the places where the narrative was rushed or the character development felt shallow. But I had fun with it. It was a light, easy watch with a silly optimistic ending that just made me happy. It’s exactly the sort of thing I want to see when I had a draining day and I don,t want to invest too much in my entertainment.
Yes, No or Maybe is just that. A mostly cute little movie with a lot of flaws that doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. If you enjoy BL, I would recommend it.
You might like this anime if:
You like BL doujin
My favourite character:
This isn’t fair because there’s really only one for all intents and purposes. It’s that one, it’s Kei
a Sea of Confusion (great name!)
- Every time we see Kei’s jerky inner chibi – take a sip
- Every time we are shown the stop motion figures – cool
- Every time Tsuzuki laughs – take a sip
- Every time Kei is in professional mode – take a sip
- Every time the two leads share a meal – get some snacks
- Every time anyone’s drinking – join them
- Every time Kei gets mad – take a sip
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.