Posted by psgels on 28 December 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


Junjo Romantica: it may have been a yaoi-series, but it was an actually good one, focusing more than simply hawt bishie-on-bishie action, it explored what it meant to be in a relationship with another person. I hoped that the second season would be much of the same, continuing where the first season left off, but unfortunately I was disappointed. Junjo Romantica 2 is definitely a step back from Junjo Romantica 1.

This mostly can be blamed to balance issues. For those who have yet to see the first season: the series focuses on three different stories about three different and unrelated couples: Romantica, Egoist and Terrorist. The latter two already were in a minority in the first season, but they become virtually non-existent in the second: Egoist only has two episodes, while Terrorist only has one single episode. That’s way too short to get some get some good development out of them.

What makes things even worse is that the creators lacked the inspiration to fill up the Romantica storyline. If the creators had a good storyline to fill up the nine remaining episodes, then okay, I could live with the extremely unbalanced episode count, but the story becomes downright dull and ridiculous. The creators introduce the most ludicrous love triangles you can imagine, that get absolutely nowhere. The creators would have done much better to use this time on the much more interesting Terrorist and Egoist storylines, which suffer from a lack of conclusion because of their staggeringly low episode count.

The only good part in terms of drama in the Romantica-storyline is that we do get to know the main characters better, and especially Usagi’s family problems become a bit clearer and fleshed out in the second season. If the creators simply focused on that, and removed all the love triangles, it would have made for a pretty interesting story.

My big problem with these Shounen Ai series is that nearly all of them play in a world where every single character is gay. It seems to be a taboo of including any straight romance in these sorts of series, and that’s really a wasted opportunity. I wished that Junjo Romantica would turn out more like Antique Bakery, which just has one gay guy and enough people who are simply straight. Junjo Romantica 2 has now turned simply into a series that you can laugh at: it’s consistently capable of raising chuckles and laughs, whether intended or not doesn’t matter. Unfortunately, the first season was more than just that, and that’s what I’m missing here.

Storytelling: 7/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 7/10
Setting: 8/10

One Response

  1. Avatar issa-sa says:

    Antique Bakery aside, I can’t think of any show that features predominantly straight couplings with a side of homo (Cardcaptor Sakura maybe???). I’d like to see a show trying that out instead of the end of the spectrum shounen ai or harem/dating sim conversions.

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