Anime, Shows

Sasaki and Miyano: A Cute New BL Anime

Anime Review:

Sasaki and Miyano Season 1

Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Overview

Pros

  • Positive LGBTQ+ representation
  • Beautiful art style
  • Great animation
  • Cute romance

Cons

  • Somewhat repetitive
  • Clich├ęs–the typical anime umbrella scene, for example
  • The shapes that floated around randomly were overused

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Review and Reflection

Before Yuri on Ice, I had never watched a single BL anime. What is BL anime? BL anime stands for Boy’s Love, an anime genre that depicts homosexual relationships between men. I enjoyed Yuri on Ice so much that I decided to try another BL, Sasaki and Miyano. Coming from a sheltered, conservative Christian background that I only abandoned last year, I was exposed to this category of anime in the past few months.

Yeah, I’m a newb to BL, and pretty much anything gay. But I still have something to say.

While Sasaki and Miyano is not as cute as Yuri on Ice, I still really enjoyed this romance. Miyano meets Sasaki when Sasaki defends another student from some bullies. They slowly get to know each other better, and Miyano begins to lend Sasaki BL manga. Sasaki loves it and asks for more.

Miyano is a fudanshi, which is a word meaning a fan of BL manga. He does not recognize that he is into guys, however, because the only crush he has had in the past was to a girl. He seems to be unfamiliar with the term bisexual. When Sasaki confesses his love to Miyano, Miyano asks for time to figure his own feelings out.

Miyano had thought Sasaki was just joking about liking him and teasing at first, until the serious confession. Sasaki had asked if Miyano had wanted to go out and bought him chocolates, but Miyano hadn’t realized the depth of his feelings until the confession.

Seeing Miyano struggle to understand himself is painful at times, but seems realistic.

When Miyano asks what Sasaki likes about him, Sasaki gets nervous and says he likes Miyano’s face. Wrong move, Sasaki. Miyano is extremely self-conscious about his face because he believes he looks feminine. On one hand, I couldn’t believe Sasaki could screw up that bad. On the other hand, that is totally the kind of awkward thing I would say. I’ve never been the most articulate while speaking. The written word is my friend, but sadly, the spoken word is not.

Another note: I learned a bunch of random words from this such as fudanshi and what it means that someone is cat-tongued. Apparently cat-tongued means when a person can’t drink or eat foods that are hot, or at least really don’t like to. I’m the opposite–I can barely stand drinking or eating cold things. What does that make me?

Two more things.

First, I watched this halfway dubbed, and then watched the second half subbed. I know, I’m a monster. No doubt I have grievously offended both sides of the subs vs. dubs debate as well as the anime gods.

Honestly, I prefer dubs because it is easier to take notes when my eyes don’t have to be glued to the TV screen. Reading subtitles means I can’t look down for even half a second most of the time without missing a piece of dialogue. I try to get around that by using my laptop and taking notes right beside the show. That’s how I am watching the subbed Squid Girl. But that’s kind of annoying so I still prefer dubs.

So why did I finish the season off subbed? Well, I was impatient. With one dubbed episode of Sasaki and Miyano coming out every week, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I had to see the rest, even if it was subbed. If this one ended anything like Adachi and Shimamura, I would have probably screamed into a pillow in frustration.

But no, it was finally a LGBTQ+ romance anime with heart and a conclusive ending that wasn’t a half-assed attempt at good representation.

Anyway, back to the subbed and dubbed discussion. Because I watched both, I got to hear all of the voice actors. The voice actor for Sasaki in the dubbed version was the greatest thing I have ever heard. He had the most distinctive voice and it was kind of hilarious. It cracked and wavered unsteadily between high and low pitches. But the subbed version of Sasaki was easier to take seriously. So honestly, I liked both, but it was way more fun to mimic the English Sasaki. Perhaps a little mean, but it was done out of good humor and a love of his voice.

Second, the random pastel shapes that floated around half the time got kind of annoying. I get it, they have mushy-gushy feelings for each other. I could figure that out without the love kaleidoscope. So while the art style and animation were impressive, the details kind of ruined the moment sometimes for me.

That being said, I would wholeheartedly recommend this anime. Sure, it’s a 7 out of 10 due to its clear flaws, but it was entertaining and wholesome, so give it a try! I would recommend it for people who would enjoy an anime with a large helping of romance and a sprinkle of humor.

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