This episode begins with a man (Keisuke Tachibana) having a vivid dream about being held prisoner as a child, while being held his abductor tries to feed him cake but he refuses. Then when the man awakens he tells his parents that he is quitting his job at a top company to start up a sweets shop, and his parents even vow to invest in the venture. Then we fast forward to the present day where a pastry baker (Yusuke Ono) is showing off his skills to Tachibana to try and win the bakers job.
When the two guys were in high school together Ono once confessed his love to Tachibana, and Tachibana rejected him in a very brutal manner, now Tachibana wonders if Ono has forgotten the incident. Later, Keisuke asks Ono why there are always fights over him at his past places of employment and if that is the reason he always get fired, and Ono replies it’s because he’s devilishly gay. Tachibana laughs when Ono says this, but Ono changes his clothes and asks Tachibana to follow him somewhere. Upon hearing this Tachibana is curious so he agrees to follow him. Then we move to a scene inside a boxing gym where a young fighter (Eiji Kanda) is told by his coach that he must quit boxing because of an eye injury, the coach tries to help break the news by offering him some yummy cake.
As the night draws near, Ono leads Tachibana to the gay section of town and takes him to his favorite gay bar where Tachibana sees the power that Ono has over other gay men and he also finds out that every straight man that Ono is around is also drawn to his power. Later Ono tells Tachibana about his coming out to a guy in high school and being rejected, and that he even thought about killing himself after the rejection, but that rejection led him to be able to admit and accept his lifestyle, and now he doesn’t even rem amber that guy’s name or face anymore, and soon Ono leaves the bar for a while with one of the young guys.
Later when Tachibana and Ono are walking home Ono refuses the Job saying that since he has taken an interest in Tachibana it will end up like all the rest, and he tries to kiss Tachibana. But, Tachibana refuses the embrace telling Ono that it was him that refused his advances in high school. At first Ono doesn’t believe him, but eventually he is convinced and Ono agrees to work for the only man who ever refused his charms, and Ono tells him that he has no hard feelings about high school saying that because of his rejection he was able to live freely. After their talk, the younger guy who Ono was with earlier shows up again and Ono leaves with him. But while they are walking away we see a flashback where Ono clearly hasn’t forgotten the trauma of Tachibana’s rejection. Well, that’s all for this episode.
Before I review the episode content I’d like to make mention of the opening and the ending animations, they are both different from the way a normal anime would be done. The opening sequence features drawn cutouts of characters moving around the digital background of the Antique Bakery, and the ending sequence features the characters and backgrounds done in a jigsaw puzzle fashion with pieces falling into water, I don’t know what to make of it but it’s different.
Well, here goes my first blog review of a boy’s love/ shonen-ai anime, I’ve viewed this genre of anime before but with never much enjoyment. Let me explain, I’ll watch almost any type of anime as long as the character development and storyline is good. Years ago, when I was involved in a local anime club, every time a boy’s love/ shonen-ai/ yaoi movie or series was shown, I could never follow or let alone try to enjoy the viewing because of the squealing and howling of the fangirls, it would get so loud that it would drown out the audio system (I’m not lying about this).
If I had ever shouted out some of the very same comments about the female characters in a harem anime series that I’d heard during those boy’s love/ shonen-ai/ yaoi showings, I would have probably have been banned for making sexually inappropriate comments. Oh well, that’s life.
First of all, I found the initial plot and character development to be interesting, but a little slow for my liking. Also I found the story to be a little dark for my liking, all of the featured characters seem to harbor a dark cloud circling around their hearts, they try to keep this locked inside but every now and then it shows itself.
Tachibana is an interesting contradiction between experience and actions, he clearly still harbors a almost post traumatic stress disorder like reaction to his childhood kidnapping but he chooses to quit his job and open a sweets shop. Maybe his attempts to run a sweets shop is an attempt to conquer his fear of sweets that he incurred during his kidnapping.
Ono’s character is also interesting, the gay boy who mustered the courage to confess his love for one of the most popular heterosexual males in his school, then who was brutally rejected, manages to bounce back and become one of the most desirable gay male around. Ono is now working for the only male who ever rejected his love, this plot-line is typically used in shojo style storytelling where a cute, nice, normal girl rejects or is rejected by the most popular guy around only to have him either change his ways, or see her better qualities, then they hookup to find true love.
The mood and the feel of this series is almost Gothic in nature, a vast majority of the episode occurred in darkness or dimly lit environments, and the background music was also in a Gothic style. The feeling I got when watching this series is that it could have easily been set in a Victorian time period. Overall, I find this series to be moderately interesting, and I will continue to watch it as long as they pickup the pace a little bit.