Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|I Shall Never Return|
Genres: Drama, Anime & Manga, Animation
Ken Amafuji has lived a dark life. He's had to fend for himself as long as he can remember, selling himself to strange men just to pay the rent. The one ray of light in his life has always been his childhood friend, Ritsu... more »
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Good potential, no follow-through.
T. LaPonte | Connecticut | 04/28/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I liked the storyline of this anime. It is your typical two male best friends secretly in love with one another coming to terms with that relationship as they interact with mainstream life, but it does a good job of presenting that very complicated relationship while not being terribly cliche. Unfortunately, the story is just an OVA for a longer manga series (which was recently licensed for an English release, but who knows when it'll come out), so it sort of rushes through the core plotline and then dead ends. An English audience is therefore left completely out in the cold as to where the story might have gone from there.
My primary problem with this disc is that for $18 (I actually paid $15 at Best Buy) you get 30 minutes and little fan service. There are a couple of kisses, but that's it. As an Animeworks title it isn't dubbed either, which raises the question of why they are charging so much for it. At least with their other titles like Sukisho and Loveless we got 13 episode series that were reasonably priced.
The music and animation quality are a bit dated (mid-'90s) and the club scenes are almost laughable, but the character designs are attractive enough. There is no particularly fey character (thank god) and if one were to guess which guy ended up as uke (since they don't actually show anything), I'd have to go with the one you might think would be seme, Ken, who for all intents was the one "pursuing" the relationship and far more "experienced," (humorously enough by sleeping with all his friends girlfriends) based on the fact that Ritsuro was the one who ended up confronting his feelings and his best friend at the emotional climax (and the fact that he's the one wearing pants the next morning; fangirls know what I mean).
I do have to give the character of Moeko credit, though. Most women in yaoi titles, particularly those who stand between the main male couple, end up being villainized, but I never hated her and I commend the creator for it. She is a strong-willed figure who is in love with Ritsuro, though is frustrated by his lack of advances and allows herself to be seduced by Ken. She struggles with her guilt, but instead of falling down crying at the end (when the men choose each other over her) she stands tall and independent. If we had gotten to see any further into the storyline, we may have gotten a more complete picture of her, though.
The disc is in Japanese with English subtitles (large font, which was nice), rated 16 and older, is 30 minutes in length and contains not particularly interesting special feature interviews with the Japanese voice actors. I don't really recommend paying money to own this disc, but if you have the chance to see it for free or rent it, I do recommend at least seeing it once."
I Shall Never Return
Kenta N. | Seattle | 04/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this not really knowing anything about it, simply because there isn't a whole lot of boy's love anime out there, so I thought I would give it a try. It's about a high school love triangle involving two guys and a girl. As it is a boy's love story, I'm sure you can guess who will end up being the odd one out. I enjoyed it just fine, but it seems that this was an OVA/pilot for a potential series that never materialized, and therefore it just sort of dead-ends. 18 bucks is a pretty steep price for a 30 minute DVD, but the guys are sweet and cute together, so if you have some money burning a hole in your pocket, you might want to check this out for some "live"-action guy/guy making-out to supplement your yaoi/BL manga habit."
Boy Love cute
Rayven | Ohio USA | 01/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not really what I was expecting when I ordered. No english audio, but it does have subtitles. It's more Shonen-ai than yaoi. I can't complain much seeing as how it was made back in 1996. It's still great though."