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Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi Episode #09 Review

4 min read

Kisa’s struggles with his feelings and understanding about Yukina continues to torment him while Yukina waits for the right time to make it all very clear.

What They Say:
Kisa can’t concentrate on his work due to not being able to keep Yukina out of his mind. He tries to convince himself that he’s only visiting the store to check out the comic display that Yukina made for him; however, the fact that Yukina isn’t acting any different confuses him.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The shift in story to Kisa as the lead character for a bit wasn’t a surprise after we saw how the structure of the series was going to be like, but whereas the middle couple that we were introduced to frustrated the hell out of me, Kisa’s story with Yukina is a lot more interesting and fun to watch. A lot of this is due to the fact that Kisa doesn’t exactly come across as a far too young, whiny and self involved type. He’s got shades of this, but they’re small aspects of it rather than the dominating factor that makes you want to strangle him since he’s not really questioning his interest in Yukina. He’s questioning whether there could be anything there. There’s more fun to a show when dealing with this side of it rather than the whole “I’m not sure I really swing that way” mentality. Straightforward, honest relationships and romances between guys is more interesting when it’s done that way.

Kisa’s problem does have some familiar echoes when it comes to dealing with Yukina since he’s in a not sure about the whole thing, but it plays out partially about how Yukina runs his part of the store with the promotions. The uncertainty of whether it’s just business or something more at least gives it a ring of truth and reality to it, especially with the way that Yukina plays everything so coolly when it comes to the in person interactions with Kisa. Yukina does have some really interesting moments though, such as the staff recommendations thing he creates which is girly and female-appealing that it has to be seen to be believed. It may strike even Kisa as being too much, but there’s no denying that Yukina really has what it takes to make the right choices when it comes to marketing the books that Kisa works on.

Because of what happened to them in the previous episode, there’s a lot of tension there, especially since Yukina is not saying all that much about it while going through the course of business. But it is there and still open to a lot of interpretation on Kisa’s part which really makes his uncertain feelings all the more problematic. Watching how he works through this, while having others pushing him in unwelcome ways, gives us a good clue as to how Kisa handles pressure and stress. Work related pressure and stress is one thing, but relationship stresses are a whole different thing, especially when a third party is trying to make it even more complicated than it already is. But these events are useful as Yukina actively gets involved and it allows for a softening of the tension between the two and we learn a lot about Yukina. The more you see of him in his “safe” setting at home, the more you like him and see how he’s the right person for Kisa. Seeing whether they can actually get there though, therein lies the fun of this series as it unfolds.

In Summary:
The draw of boys-love shows continue to be that they take a more blunt and active approach to the will they or won’t they angle. While a normal hetero series will spend much of it being coy and playful, this series has given us three couples and pushed them together to see what will happen. It is a will they/won’t they piece in its own way, but it’s one that has them make choices relatively early on and in a small amount of space overall. They spend time actually talking about their feelings, desires and act on them to varying degrees as well. Takano and Rin’s story is still my favorite, but Kisa and Yukina’s comes a very close second place here. This relationship does skirt the edges of things I don’t like about boys-love romances, but it doesn’t cross the line. A big part of the why is that the characters are enjoyable and not falling into the truly whiny arena. This storyline has been a lot of fun and is one I’d certainly want to see more of easily to see how it grows and changes, to see if there’s something really there for the long term.

Grade: B+

Simulcast By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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