The anime adaptation of Shō Harusono’s “Sasaki and Miyano” manga is set to be released on Netflix in India on September 1. The anime originally premiered on Tokyo MX, KBS Kyoto, and Sun TV in January 2022. It was also streamed in India by Ani-One Asia as it aired in Japan.
Additionally, a new anime film titled “Sasaki to Miyano: Sotsugyo-hen” (Graduation Chapter), based on the manga, premiered in Japan on February 17. The film was screened alongside an anime short adaptation of Harusono’s spinoff manga “Hirano and Kagiura.”
At its core, the anime follows the lives of two seemingly opposite individuals: Sasaki, an introverted and reserved boy with a love for manga and a penchant for daydreaming, and Miyano, a cheerful and outgoing boy who is popular and well-liked by his peers.
The plot takes an interesting turn when Sasaki discovers Miyano’s fascination with boys’ love (BL) manga, a genre that explores romantic relationships between male characters. As the two bond over their common interest, their friendship deepens, and the anime with themes of comedy, romance, and coming-of-age moments, gives us a cute and wholesome watch.
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All About Sasaki and Miyano
The anime adaptation of Sasaki and Miyano is directed by Shinji Ishihira and produced by Studio DEEN. Yoshiko Nakamura writes the series scripts, Maki Fujii handled character designs and Kana Shibue composed the music for the anime.
The opening theme song, Mabataki (Blink), was performed by Miracle Chimpanzee, and the ending theme song, Ichigo Sunset (Strawberry Sunset), was performed by Yusuke Shirai and Soma Saito.
Sasaki and Miyano originated as a manga series created by Shō Harusono, and it first appeared as a serialized work on the Pixiv Comic website in 2016. The series has collected nine manga volumes by Media Factory. The story was also adapted into a two-volume novel by Kotoko Hachijō, published by Media Factory in 2020.
A spin-off manga titled “Hirano and Kagiura,” also by Harusono, has been serialized in the shōjo manga magazine Monthly Comic Gene, starting in 2019. This spin-off has been collected into two volumes.
Yoshikazu Miyano’s ordinary life takes an unexpected and maybe exciting turn one scorching summer day with the arrival of Shuumei Sasaki. Sasaki becomes Miyano’s unasked hero by rescuing a classmate from bullies. The initial admiration for Sasaki evolves into exasperation as the persistent upperclassman continuously invades his personal space with endearing nicknames and unrelenting attention.
Burdened by his secret as a “fudanshi,” someone who enjoys boys’ love (BL) manga, Miyano does not want anyone to know about this. However, an accidental confession to Sasaki leads to Sasaki’s request for BL manga, and this initiates an unlikely friendship, turning their story into an unexpected high school romance.
Sasaki and Miyano is a mixed bag of storytelling that leads to a somewhat lackluster viewing experience. The initial episodes follow a classic BL setup, establishing the main characters and their budding relationship. However, the anime’s 12-episode run feels thin as the story remains plain throughout.
The protagonist, Miyano, as a fudanshi who enjoys BL content, seems oddly slow in recognizing his feelings for Sasaki, which comes across as unrealistic for someone with his interests. This drawn-out internal struggle, spanning almost the entire series, feels forced and ultimately affects character believability.
The show’s strength lies in its self-awareness, using Miyano’s fudanshi identity to playfully mock common BL tropes. The anime doesn’t take itself too seriously and sticks to its genre, which is both its standout quality and limitation. It has potential, but Sasaki to Miyano falls short due to its slow pacing.
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