Sasaki to Miyano – 04

「限界。」 (Genkai.)
“Limit”

Someone needs to slap reality into Miyano asap!

Get ready for your weekly dose of cuteness overload – this time without any of the sass. Things seem to be moving slowly for these two. Sasaki is pretty convinced he likes Miyano and is willing to take his sweet time making sure Miyano is also comfortable and of course like’s him back, but as the title of the episode suggests, Sasaki is at his limit and must do something about it.

In this episode, it manifests itself as protecting Miyano from an unknown groper. But worry not it was just Jirou as Miyano caught him talking to his ‘girlfriend’. Don’t worry Jirou is actually straight and not a fudanshi at all, however his root problem with BL seems to be caused by his overly excited fujoshi girlfriend. That constantly throws fetish out the window and would even want to see her boyfriend in BL situations (It’s the impression I get). That’s why Jirou has such an overtly exaggerated reaction to Sasaki reading BL, because he himself is cautious not to fall into such affinities.

There really is a very big line between two guys being friends and two guys falling into a relationship. Jirou is super cool about it though saying it’s rather non of his business what Miyano and Sasaki do in the cover of night. Even though he was really opposed to the idea of BL and even went as far as to diss it with a rather stern tone of voice – that I thought came from a place of disgust, my mind has been changed about him now that he showed a few true colors.

Hirano is with someone named Kagiura Akira the boy on the basketball team, but I had confused him with Jirou, however, that is not the case and Jirou is good friends with Hirano.

Some time has passed in between that silent confession and the present day, Sasaki hasn’t had time to meet up with Miyano, and Miyano himself hasn’t done much to seek him out either. But I feel Miyano is not exactly sure if he wanted to seek out Sasaki. Miyano has this idea that if he liked a girl then he has to be straight, but you can be bisexual there’s nothing wrong with that. But he’s adamant that he liked a girl in middle school so there’s no way he can be into boys. But I mean at this point you’re just lying to yourself, but I feel that’s the hardest part of coming out, learning to un-lie to yourself, then coming to terms with your bisexuality or full straight gayness.

It causes unwanted stress that a lot of people don’t want to deal with, so they just lie to themselves for an unknown period of time, it can even be months or years even a lifetime. Societal pressures can cause queer folk to adopt a normative lifestyle because the people around them and their support system just don’t accept them or the relationship they come into.

A couple of weeks someone pointed out that maybe to Japanese viewers it’s not exactly romantic when someone has the ability or opportunity to fall in love with both genders. And that made me think a lot really. Is it more romantic to watch someone deny their hetero-feelings and give in to a same-gender relationship as a taboo?

If that’s the case, then it’s not about normalizing, but rather about fantasying and giving in; scratching at that fixation. After all, yaoi is largely meant for women as its root’s come from Shōjo. Meanwhile, bara holds its roots proudly as being made by gay men for gay men. Yet bara still holds a certain fantasy quality to it.

We saw it clearly in this episode, the Shōjo romance is taking hold and will slowly consume both Sasaki and Miyano. A slow deep-rooted romance that takes flame as both accept their feelings for each other, is at the center of courtship manga aimed at teenage girls. I’m not saying it’s bad or anything, in fact, I’m quite enjoying it. I’m simply stating the front stories like this have to put up for themselves so that its target demographic even looks at it. I just wish it would do more to normalize what is otherwise portrayed as a compulsion on both sides. For those looking to see themselves represented in a narrative and for those seeking to look at a Shōjo romance between two men.

Unfortunately, yaoi has made it almost cliche at this point that romance between two men has to have features about it that appeal to the female audience. As long as yaoi is written by straight women or straight men for that matter, it will never be truly representative of the queer experience. We have to, unfortunately, look outside of the genre to truly find stories that bring light and become representative of the true queer experience for both genders. Sasaki to Miyano is a great example of a well-paced story that just so happens to involve romance between two men. However, it still appeals in some way to its target audience whether intentional or not. This thing of reading BL and still wanting to be straight is starting to rot inside of me and just rubbing me the wrong way.

I would understand the occasional venture into BL as a straight guy, once in a blue moon so to speak. Nevertheless – Miyano is a hardcore fudanshi. It would have been the perfect opportunity to show how much doubt and panic someone like Sasaki can cause to a young gay boy. And when finally Miyano would reach his limit and confess to Sasaki to stop being obnoxious and just stop it already. Sasaki would confess back and so it would be the start of a beautiful romance. My take – how it is currently. It’s unrealistic, and further develops and ingrains this idea that gay relationships are tokens. Straight men are prizes for gay men.

Usually, how it goes, you think everyone is joking or lying to you, even if they give you small hints of not doing so

Miyano could be quietly out and proud, minding his own business, instead, the story heavily focuses on Sasaki having already accepted and come to terms with his feelings for Miyano, thinking nothing bad of it. And so the ball is in Miyano’s court, yet he hasn’t made a single play, and he probably won’t, not for a little while at least. Making Sasaki suffer in the process.

Author: FJ

A young fantasy writer during the night, motion graphics and illustration during the day. Currently living in Mexico. Aspiring to make a feature film.

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