At some point over the weekend I fell down the YouTube rabbit hole and found myself watching gay Japanese dramas. NOT PORN. God. Actual dramatic films with two male leads who fancy each other and often can’t get their shit together. A lot of it is based on anime. And stars the prettiest men you will ever see.
The music is cheesy; the acting… isn’t the best (but the actors give it their all-I think); and the story lines read like fan fiction. My best friend Kelly is into JRock and manga and anime, so I was texting her while watching these movies. She says that’s the way they write their soaps there.
Kelly: I’d be hard pressed to find one that wasn’t like a fanfic or at least close to it.
There isn’t really any sex. Maybe kisses and caresses. If that at all. Like those t.a.t.u. girls. And no real sex. (at least from what I’ve seen so far) Mere hints really. Hands gripping sheets, or other hands. Lots of tickle fights. It’s kind of juvenile. Probably why it’s called boy love. There’s some nudity, but no frontal. Ass only. (There may be, but not in what I’ve seen so far. If you see more, not my fault. I haven’t seen them all yet)
The stories can be really ridiculous at times. Russian dolls; a ring for someone you haven’t confessed your feelings to; everyone has heart disease; 12 year olds having the hots for their older stepbrother.
Kelly: Yeah, there is a surprisingly large number of anime with that. It seem the weirder taboo is loved in Japan. Tentacle rape, incest, twincest, etc. I saw one once where this boy was sent to an island to meet his 12 sisters and they were all under the age of 15 and wanted their bro. Totally terrifying. One of my fave animes has twincest between two twin bros. It’s really really weird and the only bad thing about the anime. See, it’s a host club so I think they do it for the girls… But very weird Japan! Very weird!
So… keep doing you, Japan?
The first movie I watched was Boys Love.
It’s about a student model and a journalist. There were some poignant moments that I was texting to Kelly, who just responded inappropriately. Which just made everything funny.
Next came Jyunjyou- Pure Heart.
The nerdy boy in school was in love with the track boy. They bumped into each other as adults. They became friends with benefits, but track boy kept getting jealous, and ya’ll, I am yelling at my laptop, “You’ve already told him you’re only using him for his body! You can’t get jealous now!”
But my favorite has to be Ai No Kotodama- Words of Devotion.
Ootani and Tachibana became a couple after high school. Two years later, they bump into Yuki, who dated Tachibana in high school. Jealousy ensues, which I think we can all identify with. (And if you try saying otherwise, we’ll all know you’re lying) Do you know how many times I yelled “Meddling bitch!” at Yuki? Me neither, because I LOST COUNT.
The last movie I’m going to tell you about (and I could go on FOREVER) comes to us from Taiwan- Formula 17.
It concerns a sweet virgin and a playboy (of course). Cliches everywhere you go. There was even a trio of stereotypical gay friends that could have been the love children of Jack McFarland and Emmett Honeycutt. All the feels, you guys.
Some of these are sexy times, others are about the progression of a relationship- which is why Formula 17 is banned in Singapore. I’d call these movies my guilty pleasures, but I never let my pleasures be guilty.