20 November 2013

Movie Review: Junjou (Pure Heart) 純情

What exactly did I get myself into? I am quite familiar (in an abstract and theoretical way) with the wildly popular female anime called yaoi which is a female-oriented homoerotic cartoons. And while I have reviewed a movie or two here (like Schoolboy Crush) where the film has been seemingly categorized as yaoi, this is the first yaoi movie that I can say, definitely, is yaoi as to a gay themed movie. This would have been a great movie to watch as a teenager -- oh well. But as an adult, there was something a little too adolescent for me. I have always enjoyed stories about unrequited love, fate, etc.,. But this movie was like walking into the head of a female Japanese high school student where she plays the role of a fem bottom gay in her made up gay world.

The soundtrack was good and the actors did an excellent job. Rakuto Tochihara was convincingly an age-inappropriate naive fem bottom. While the character is supposed to be in his twenties in this movie, you keep forgetting that because he performs so well as a 13 year old with the puppy-dog eyes. Actually Yuta Takahashi also did quite well also. When I think of socially awkward, geeky Japanese boys who are highly conflicted about sexual feelings that they and their society cannot accept, I think of someone that Takahashi acted. Takahashi internally performed the homophobia that was otherwise absent from the film but is wholly pervasive in Japanese culture.

I am also shocked that the underlying complex of themes that make up this narrative is a more adolescent drama version of the happy short story I wrote for the Emo Blogger's Happy Blogging Challenge, entitled Anonymity, almost two years ago.

I will give some major thought to whether I will watch more yaoi movies. Any suggestions are welcome.

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