Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi OVA: A Test of Manliness
There are two ways I could go about this. The first entails an objective examination of plot, art direction, and character development, set against the prevailing social attitudes and stereotypes of present day society.
The second involves screaming like a little girl the instant the video is played, exactly like a certain other writer on this blog.
Oh sure, most self proclaimed tough guys can sit through Saw, or Ju-On, but 10 seconds of a guy-on-guy kissing scene?
Because there’s nothing more amusing than watching grown men quivering in fear at the sight of two males engaged in intimate acts.
Anyway, on with the review.
The Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi OVA serves as the flashback/prologue to the main series. For the uninformed, this means we get to see how our protagonist Onodera Ritsu got his heart broken by his senpai Saga Masamune.
Their chance encounter is stupidly lucky. Ritsu happens to want a book on the top shelf, happens to trip (wtf?) while trying to retrieve it, and Masamune happens to be there for Ritsu to bump into.
That’s like betting on snake eyes when the dealer’s toss is thrown off by the hot blonde in the little black dress, the table’s being bumped by the drunk has-been professional wrestler, in the midst of an earthquake, and winning.
So I have a poor grasp of probability and statistics. I could gripe about this, but all anime stories begin with the most improbable of circumstances, so this isn’t actually much of an issue.
In true stalker fashion, rather than try to get Masamune’s name from him directly, Ritsu watches his senpai through the bookshelves, and when he returns his books, our brave protagonist nips over to the library cart to peek at the library cards within.
Who the heck still uses library cards? Cancel that, why aren’t we still using library cards? Stalking cute, quiet, bookworm girls would have been so much easier. The woes of modern technology.
Anyway, Ritsu borrows the same book in an attempt to “get closer to his senpai” and angsts over Masamune for the next 3 years.
3 years later…
Ritsu happens to meet Masamune in the library again and gives a short mental monologue on how his one-sided love swelled such that his metaphorical container overfloweth, before confessing.
I suppose it’s sweet, waiting for your beloved for 3 years, but I have the feeling Ritsu’s been camping out at the library for every school day of those three years and if it weren’t for plot (in)convenience, they’d have met the very next day.
Thank goodness for ‘one-sided love’ liquid. I really needed a physical depiction of a clumsy analogy to take my mind off the plot improbabilities.
Like any good
sexual predator, Masamune knows better than to turn away willing prey when he finds them. So he invites Ritsu home.
Predictably, Ritsu is terrified/intoxicated by the thought of going to his senpai’s house. And when Masamune leaves him alone in the bedroom to go get refreshments…
Ritsu dives onto the bed and practically inhales the pillow.
Oddly enough, I can empathize with him. A few years back, at a stayover with a friend, his hot older sister lent me her pillow to sleep with. I was hugging that pillow way past the following afternoon.
Of course, in hindsight, I realize now that that was some creepy, perverted, and depraved behaviour. But still. Ritsu’s reaction isn’t necessarily exaggerated. Just desperate.
Then Masamune returns and they talk for a bit. Being the Uke, Ritsu is obliged to put up a token resistance after being confronted by his pillow-sniffing, before giving in entirely.
I’ll just put down some choice quotes here, courtesy of Masamune.
“Don’t press your lips shut so tightly.”
“Look, you should touch me too.”
“I want to hold you.”
Actually, those are the only things he says in that make out session, but still. I’ll spare you another screencap of naked sweaty yaoi action. And the subsequent make out scene in the library the next day.
Fast forward a few more years…
Ritsu is now working at a publishing house, in the shoujo manga division.
Unbeknowest to him, his editor-in-chief, who seems to like playing childish pranks on him, is actually Masamune. Who has changed his surname and started wearing glasses.
Ritsu just happens to be dense and/or emotionally damaged enough to not notice that his boss is his ex-lover.
Surprise surprise, the OVA doesn’t actually cover how they broke up. I’m assuming that this is so the series won’t be a full-on yaoi courtship fest but a full-on yaoi courtship fest with bonus flashback-enhanced angst.
Right. I had to watch this in 5 minute segments because the homosexuality was really too much too handle. It’s probably only because they’re guys though. After all, Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke Wo has homosexual girls and I don’t have any problems with it.
Honestly though, I can sort of enjoy this. Because if Ritsu was a girl, this would be the exact kind of comedy-drama-romance balance that I like. It’s alot like Bokura Ga Ita, but with Yano being less of an insecure, unfaithful asshole.
To summarize – If you’re a straight guy, and are capable of suppressing your heterosexual-tendencies, and enjoy romantic drama/comedy, you could give Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi a shot.
If you’re a gay guy, or a girl, there should be no doubt: watch this.
As a reward for sticking with me through this post, here’s that screencap of glorious naked sweaty yaoi action I skipped earlier: