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REVIEW: Yes, No, or Maybe Movie




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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 538
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:30 pm Reply with quote
You had me at "Atsushi Abe as a screaming chibi," and then I stopped cold at the non-con. Why does it always have to be non-con? Consent is sexy, dammit.

Unfortunately, it's seems like that's one of the last of the really problematic genre conventions that really needs to go but is taking its sweet time out the door. There's a lot of mental gymnastics involved, but I (choose to) think a lot of BL authors are just really bad at depicting consent, rather than necessarily being rape fetishists. (Ah, yes, indeed, this was described in the review of the novel.)

Sounds like everything else is properly good, though, so this is probably going on the list anyway.
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Princess_Irene
ANN Reviewer


Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 2114
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 4:17 pm Reply with quote
There's a good discussion of rape as a romance convention (that needs to die) in the book Beyond Heaving Bosoms by Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan. The whole book is good as a lighter, but still truthful, examination of the romance genre, and even though it doesn't discuss BL (it just focuses on the American romance market) it still feels relevant to it as a subgenre of romance. Plus the chapter on cover art trends is hysterical.

As far as the film goes, you really can just stop before the sex scene - it's very obvious where it is and the happy ending is established before hand. Even as a person who likes to finish what she's started, I would've felt satisfied with the story just ending the movie five minutes early.
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MagicPolly



Joined: 26 Nov 2020
Posts: 67
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:09 pm Reply with quote
I happen to own the novel and while I haven't read it fully, I flipped through and compared the sex scenes. I feel like while the novel is more dubious consent, the movie (lacking narration and most of the scene) makes it explicitly non con which really sucks. The fact that they adapted it this way really spoils the entire movie.
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Jefcat



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
Posts: 42
Location: Rancho Mirage
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:16 pm Reply with quote
Really a pity about that ending. Up until that point, this was a cute rom-com and Kei was a genuinely funny, snarky brat. The sex scene didn’t ruin everything, but it wasn’t particularly sexy and it was definitely a letdown. Just a few changes to eliminate the non consensual element could’ve made this funny, sexy and a real winner.
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xxmsxx



Joined: 06 Sep 2017
Posts: 117
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:58 am Reply with quote
wolf10 wrote:
but I (choose to) think a lot of BL authors are just really bad at depicting consent, rather than necessarily being rape fetishists.


My thoughts exactly. Potentially due to blurry understanding of consent in general, not specific to an individual.
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 538
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:20 am Reply with quote
Having now seen it, eh. It's certainly not the worst I've experienced. Not suitable as anyone's gateway BL, but not unbearable for anyone trained to compartmentalize problematic crap in media they otherwise enjoy.

Kind of a shame, though, because Tsuzuki is established pretty early as the excitable type (not an aggressive asshole) which can actually lead to really cute sex in the hands of a writer or director who actually, y'know, care at all.

Princess_Irene wrote:
There's a good discussion of rape as a romance convention (that needs to die) in the book Beyond Heaving Bosoms by Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan.
I meant to reply to this earlier but it got lost in the flow. This definitely sounds like something for my growing collection of books I leave out in the open to get funny looks from people.
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Ashen Phoenix



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 2710
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 9:32 am Reply with quote
wolf10 wrote:
Kind of a shame, though, because Tsuzuki is established pretty early as the excitable type (not an aggressive asshole) which can actually lead to really cute sex in the hands of a writer or director who actually, y'know, care at all.


Dang it. Having seen it, I now wish even more we could've seen your version which sounds utterly charming and actually fun. God forbid the finale to an emotionally-poignant film actually be enjoyable by both parties, instead of one blatantly and repeatedly ignoring the objections of the other. Even viewed through the lens of "It's-fine-they're-in-love" BL BS I've grown so inundated to, the victim Kunieda said no multiple times, said it hurt, and outright shed tears during the act itself. All the lovingly animated hand-holding on Earth can't erase that foul taste from my proverbial mouth.

Incidentally, wolf10, do you have any recs for a story that does utilize the cute, excitable sex scene? I'm yearning for a palate-cleanser.
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 538
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 1:20 pm Reply with quote
Off the top of my head, Umibe no Etranger, which got a (gorgeous) movie last year, is kind of the gold standard, and does work as a gateway BL (though it's maybe closer to a yuri romance between two guys). Mio's kinda pushy, but in a way Shun finds endearing, not upsetting. The movie, unfortunately, cuts the one scene where that particular dynamic between them is most prominently depicted, but does still properly show ways a tsundere can give consent. I'd say the worst crime it commits is relying on the "only gay for you" trope, though that topic is revisited more critically in the sequel manga. (spoiler[Mio's pan/demisexual, though not officially labelled as such, and his stated prior experience with women was... exaggerated, to say the least.])

I was about to lament the eternal lack of a license, but the manga was finally picked up by Seven Seas under the title "Seaside Stranger," for release this coming July.

(Apologies to the mods if this counts as off-topic, but I think it's a valid contrast to the primary work being discussed.)
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