Junjou Romantica 3×9 Review: A Battle of Irreconcilable Enemies
The Junjou Romantica tango rages on. This week we got to see Ijuuin-Sensei and Usagi’s dinner date, which I must confess I am less than enthused about. And, once again, we get a small five second snippet of Kirishima, reminding me that, yet again, there are other parts of this universe much more worthy of exploration than further anime adaptions of Junjou Romantica. The one thing that I found fascinating about the episode was that Misaki was forced to confront his own feelings about being in a relationship with a man, which, for the ever emotionally constipated Misaki, took some guts. He still couldn’t tell Usagi that he loved him, though, so it wasn’t really that much of a victory overall.
I know my constant negative reviews of the show are getting to some people. I’ve received comments stating that if I’d ‘read the manga’ I’d know about the plot and wouldn’t be upset, but I disagree completely. I read the manga, but I’ve also read the extended universe material including the manga for Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi and the Yokozawa Takafumi no Bai light novels, and I’m still not satisfied with this. Yes, remembering all the finer details of the manga might have tipped me off about where the plot with Ijuuin-sensei was going, but it doesn’t stop Usagi from being over the top possessive, recklessly jealous, and completely apathetic towards Misaki’s protests against his advances. Yes, Misaki is emotionally constipated, but that doesn’t mean you can just keep going when he says “no” and “stop.” Knowing that Ijuuin loves Misaki changes none of the reasons why I’m upset.
The one thing that was different this week that was worth noting was how Misaki reacted to someone knowing about him and Usagi being together. Misaki was forced to confront the fact that he’s in a relationship with a man. From my understanding (and please, readers, do correct me if my assumption is wrong), Japan is a bit more quiet about sexuality than we are here in the United States. Not just homosexuality, but any sort of public displays of affection, just don’t seem as common. But of all the places in Japan for Misaki to have his relationship revealed, Murakawa Publishing is safest place to do so. Everyone at that publishing house seems gay or bisexual. But of course, with the lack of PDA and the more reserved attitude towards sexuality, it’s not like Misaki knows that.
We’re almost to the end of this season of Junjou Romantica, and my thoughts haven’t really changed much from the beginning of the season. I pray that this opens doors from more SekaKoi or Yokozawa. I pray to the God’s of yaoi that this is the case.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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