Pride Month is all of June, and what better way to celebrate being queer than to watch the latest Boys Love anime, Sasaki and Miyano, which shows the queer experience from a new and interesting angle? By following the exploits of high school seniors Sasaki (Yusuke Shirai) and Miyano (Soma Saito) and their pals, the anime sheds light on the perilous journey that adolescents take in the search for their own unique emotional identity.
The series may center on the budding romance between Sasaki and Miyano, but it also stresses the value of coming into one’s own identity at the pace you choose. Sasaki and Miyano’s relationship is one of those slow-burning ones so typical of Boys’ Love stories, and they both fit the standard Shojo characteristics of one being more outgoing and confident than the other. This show is different because it emphasizes the value of trust and friendship in addition to sexual awakening.
Interestingly, we learn early on in the series that Miyano hasn’t given much attention to his sexuality, but that he identifies as a fudanshi (a fan of Boys Love manga and anime). Miyano enjoys these Boys’ Love stories for their character development and growth rather than for the sexual content they sometimes contain. His development in this area parallels his own throughout the show.
As Miyano develops feelings for Sasaki, he questions his sexuality. He has trouble putting his feelings into words but eventually recognizes that he is attracted to Sasaki rather than the male sex. Having feelings of attraction and love for a specific individual rather than a specific gender is a common theme in many queer narratives, not only queer anime. And it captures the essence of Pride Month, which celebrates the mutability of labels, identities, emotions, and love.
“Sasaki and Miyano” Breaks Stereotypes Regarding Men
The characters in Sasaki and Miyano go to an all-boys school, but what this series does well is break down the masculine images that are often created in an all-male education system. Placed in place of judgment and disinterest are understanding, kindness, and acceptance. Sasaki is the older, more confident half of the main couple. He is also a bit of a delinquent, but he doesn’t judge Miyano for being a fudanshi.
Instead, he takes him for who he is and admits that he likes Miyano’s passionate “fanboy” side. Sasaki didn’t know much about his sexuality either, but he is also pulled to Miyano. He is the first to say how he feels, but what fans love most about this series is how Sasaki treats Miyano with patience, understanding, and kindness. Sasaki doesn’t mind giving Miyano as much time as he needs to figure out how he feels. They are not in a hurry to get together.
Also, the slow-building tension between Sasaki and Miyano is matched by the side stories about their friends’ relationships. Each of their partners has their own problems and quirks that they have to deal with.
This makes the series better because, even though Sasaki and Miyano is a Boys Love anime, it is also a Slice of Life anime that talks about how complicated friendships can be and how important it is to take the time to understand and connect with others. So, Sasaki and Miyano is the perfect cartoon for Pride Month, which celebrates the limitless nature of love and the complexity of the queer experience.
Source: Season Release