Sasaki and Miyano (Review)

Title: Sasaki and Miyano – Official Trailer

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4qEqlth_ZA&ab_channel=Animelat

By: Beata Garrett  | @zhongxia246

Sasaki and Miyano is a cute and relaxing romcom that follows the journey of two boys as they develop feelings for one another. Miyano, a fan of Boys’ Love manga, has recently become friends with Sasaki, and they spend their days bonding over BL and grow closer. It’s clear that Sasaki has a crush on Miyano, but Miyano hasn’t caught on yet.

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Source: Episode 1, Sasaki and Miyano

One of the stand-out characteristics of the show is how Sasaki and Miyano talk about BL and bond over it. It’s a genre that most people don’t talk about openly so Miyano’s really happy to have a friend, especially another guy, talk to him about it. There are pleasant moments that destigmatize the genre as Miyano is more nervous about his interest in it while Sasaki doesn’t share the same embarrassment, stating “It’s just manga, right?” (Episode 2, Sasaki and Miyano). 

The show does acknowledge the more stereotypical elements of the genre like terms such as “uke” and “slash art” (Episode 1, Sasaki and MIiyano), but the boys’ conversations about their picks are like any other conversation readers would have about other manga. Seeing a regular conversation on screen does so much to normalize BL rather than, for example, making it the hobby of the “weird” girl you’re supposed to laugh at like in Barakamon

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Source: Episode 1, Sasaki and Miyano

In this way, Sasaki and Miyano reminds me of My Dress-Up Darling as they both feature a couple that bonds over shared hobbies that they can’t talk about with others. 

It also makes for moments of ironic humor as Miyano is still unaware of Sasaki’s feelings for him but all the markings of a classical romcom are there. Miyano originally sees Sasaki’s flirting as him jokingly imitating the stuff that they read in BL, but the show stops playing it for laughs by Episode 3 so it doesn’t overstay its welcome.

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Source: Episode 2, Sasaki and Miyano

The pace the show is currently holding at is pretty good too, with Miyano clearly developing some sort of feeling for Sasaki as the boys grow closer. Initially, he just thinks Sasaki is cool but then starts treating Sasaki differently from his other friends, which they point out.

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Source: Episode 2, Sasaki and Miyano

Sasaki and Miyano is a perfect example of the benefits of media normalizing gay relationships through well-portrayed characters and positive support networks.

The show may also be refreshing to viewers because it’s a romcom with little homophobia. In Episode 1, Sasaki is confused at his feelings for Miyano and constantly thinks “But he’s a guy…” but fully admits his crush by the end and is happy to have figured it out. In Episode 2, one of Miyano’s friends asks Miyano whether he’s going out with Sasaki and just wants to make sure Sasaki’s treating him right—he doesn’t joke about their relationship or think it’s weird but wants to make sure Sasaki isn’t bullying him into anything. 

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Source: Episode 2, Sasaki and Miyano

It’s hard to say more about Sasaki and Miyano besides it being wholesome and cute. None of the characters are especially engaging and I actually don’t think it’s a show I’ll continue watching, but I do want to recommend it to anyone that wants to relax and watch an anime that’s colorful with a central gay romance. 

Definitely check out Sasaki and Miyano this season.

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Source: Episode 4, Sasaki and Miyano

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