Junjou Romantica 3: Episode 01

All Good Things Must Come to an End – 花に風

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After a long wait, Junjou Romantica is finally back! If you’ve been missing your dosage of romance drama guaranteed from Nakamura-sensei, this season looks extremely promising right from episode one.

It wasn’t very surprising that we started with the Usagi-Misaki pair, since they’re the main couple anyways. Just to let you know, I’m not a fan of this pairing. That aside, some time has passed and Misaki has successfully entered his final year at university. At every stage of life, there will be changes and with those changes, come new challenges. I know we’re only at the start of season three, but the obstacles for this season seem a little too tough for this couple(?) to face and overcome. As Misaki’s graduation nears, he would be turning into a fully fledged adult who can no longer free-load at Usagi’s place. He’ll be faced with the choice of moving out, or telling his brother the truth in order to continuing staying with Usagi. Telling Takahiro the truth might just be the main challenge of this season for this couple; with just the first episode, it’s becoming clear that it’s one of those “coming of age” portion of the story where Misaki transits from being a student to being a proper member of society. It’s definitely not going to be an easy season for him, as he’s going to have to juggle many life-changing decisions at a go.

However, that’s not all – on top of the existing issues the couple faces, we have the entry of a love rival. Mizuki, Usagi’s cousin aka Misaki’s love rival (these names sure get confusing sometimes) returns from the US to stay with the couple. As usual, we have a love rival who’s obviously superior to Misaki in all ways. Can Usagi and Misaki survive this love trial? Come on, I’m sure they will but the fun is in seeing how they go about doing it!

I’m sure it’s pretty obvious but I took a short hiatus from anime, BLCDs and most things Japanese so hearing all them seiyuus’ voices was quite a treat. Although I’m generally a Sakurai fan, I’m feeling rather ambivalent about him in Junjou just because he’s playing the whiny tsun uke role. By the way, Misaki is every bit the tsun I remember him to be and I hope he starts to get more honest about his feelings, for Usagi’s sake. It was also a pleasant surprise to hear Shimono Hiro as Mizuki, and I thought he sounded exactly like how he should as a shrewd love rival who won’t give up any chances to take a shot at clueless Misaki. And have I mentioned that I’ve become quite a Hatano Wataru fan since covering so many BLCDs of his? I’ve already become biased towards his character, and formed a very detailed impression of that guy just because he’s voiced by Hatano. Hatano always seems to play the “gentle giant” roles and I’m expecting just that from him in Junjou 3.

In general, Junjou 3 looks rather promising already (ignoring the occasionally disproportionate artwork) and I feel that we’re in for a good emotional roller-coaster with lots of doki moments and fangirling opportunities.

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