Super Lovers is a 2016 Boys Love Romantic Comedy anime series from the longtime Japanese animation studio, studio DEEN. While some newcomers may not recognize this studio by the name, they most certainly have heard at least one of their creations, whether Vampire Knight, Fruits Basket (2006), or even Angel’s Egg, to name a few. But what is interesting is that when it comes to this particular anime series, it seems to have viewers divided due to the homosexual relationship. Could this be warranted, or is this just something overlooked within the anime genre that people are being too picky about. Whatever the reason, the real question is whether or not this anime is worth watching or just skipping it entirely?
Upon hearing that his mother was on the verge of death, Haru Kaidou – the family’s eldest son – flies to Canada. The moment he arrives, he learns that not only did his mother lie to him, but he is also supposed to take care of his mother’s new “puppy.” But to Haru’s surprise, that puppy turns out to be a small anti-social boy named Ren who doesn’t trust anyone and would prefer to hang out with Haruko’s dogs.
Due to his new brother’s distrustful nature, Haru initially has difficulty reaching out to Ren, but their relationship eventually grows. He promises Ren that they will live together in Japan after Haru graduates from high school. However, due to an unfortunate accident, Haru loses all memories of the summer they spent together, including his promise. Five years later, expecting Haru to keep his promise,
Ren arrives in Tokyo, but to Haru, Ren is just a random boy claiming to be his brother.
When it comes to the writing style of Super Lovers can easily be described as modern soap opera-style writing. Now some viewers may be turned off by that statement, but somehow this story and character development work better for the writing than anyone could have expected. The build-up is steady and easy to follow for most of the ten-episode series so that viewers will have an easy time connecting the episodes. An additional comment is that since so many twelve and even twenty-four-episode series have more challenging times connecting the episodes is a genuine compliment to the writers.
Another aspect is that the romance between the two main characters is written better than expected, and the problems that happened could easily be related to translation or cultural differences. If the viewers want some cute adorable moments of the two main characters, they will have their fill at a steady pace without being too unrealistic. From beginning to end, the lovely moments where the character’s bond grows stronger are better with each instance, and towards the end, it happens even more, which viewers will be thankful for.
However, this series has many negatives that may derail any enjoyment from the viewers. The biggest and most obvious issue is that this is a Boys’ Love or Yaoii, and if viewers are not comfortable with that genre, then this is not the place to start. Another aspect that potential viewers may not like is that much like basic soap opera-type shows. The pacing can be slower-than-life, which can bore some viewers because it is more dialog-focused than action; if this statement sounds boring to viewers, thenthen please watch something more eventful for your entertainment needs.
But the most prominent negative of the story may be the age gap between the two main characters, which can easily make or break the series for anyone. Considering that the two are eight years apart and there are undeniable sexual undertones in their relationship, what makes this even worse is that all the characters in the series are aware of the happenings between the two and are okay with it. Whether or not the age of consent has passed, in this case, it’s thirteen in Japan, does not make it right or at the very least easy to watch.
Outside of the plot and narrative, the art style was better than one would think. Is it perfect? No, but it does lend itself to be very appealing to a broad audience. The character designs are just one of the many positives this artistic team has given Super Lovers. While all the characters within the anime are well made, the two main characters are the ones that stand out the most. Though the designs are not outside the realm of typical when it comes to attractive characters, the attention to detail and flair that these two have is unreal at times.
Whenever the series decides to go from positive to negative or even happy to gloomy, the color tones are equally impressive, which is always a positive thing to have. What makes this even better is that the backgrounds within the series are similarly just as beautiful, specifically the nature scenes. While it may just be animation, sometimes they are too good to be true.
The animation production was expected from Studio Deen’s shows from that period. While some viewers may not enjoy the style, this was a splendid use of the production team’s time and resources. However, one criticism that needs to be stated is that the opening theme was not that good compared to the ending. While the opening theme was a decent choice to pick, compared with the lack of ambition towards the animation portion of the opener, it just stumbles around. Don’t be confused with that statement, as the opening credits are very appealing, but due to a majority of the animation being still frames from either the series or originally explicitly made for the opening credits is simply lazy.
Though the animation could have been way better, as seen by much other romance series of the era, this lacked any natural creativity. Unlike the opening credits, the closing animation had bright, cheerful colors and cutouts of the characters, which are just as lazy. However, the ending theme “Happiness YOU&ME” was sung by the Japanese voice actors of Ren, Haru, Aki, and Shima, which was a nice touch.
When it comes to Super Lovers’ characters, they are shockingly well written. Haru Kaido is a beautiful young man with platinum blonde hair and light green eyes. He is the eldest brother and the head of the household of the Kaido family. He is very friendly, intelligent, and defensive at times regarding his brothers. He is often regarded as slow in understanding other people’s intentions and emotions.
Ren Kaido is the fourth-youngest brother of the Kaido family. While he is the only adopted brother, that does not change anything about his thoughts and relationships with his siblings. Ren is a sincere, hardworking, straightforward boy who supposedly doesn’t remember anything from his past other than his name and age. He also tends not to hide his feelings and, most of the time, tells the truth. He rarely ever lies as well. Out of anyone in the family, he manages to keep his face as emotionless as possible. Though when he gets mad at Haru, he abnormally gets more obedient.
Aki Kaido is the second youngest of the Kaido family. He has a bold, stubborn attitude compared to his younger twin. He seems to have a slight brother complex regarding Haru and Shima. He isn’t very fond of Ren at first but gradually warms up to him, especially when they start living together.
Shima Kaido is the third brother of the Kaido family. He has a calm personality and is taller than his older twin brother. He is more understanding than his brothers regarding things concerning Ren. Out of all the brothers, he is considered the most mature.
For a series that is only ten episodes long, Super Lovers knows how to start and somewhat finish its story correctly without having any major plot holes. This may be an exciting and entertaining romance series if the viewer can get past the age gap between the two characters. Whether the viewer is within the LGBT community or not, this is a better-than-average anime than others. Would people recommend this series? Depending on the person, this was overall enjoyable, and perhaps viewers may continue to the second season if they wish. Still, by episode three, the viewer will most likely know if Super Lovers is a series for them or not.