Genre: Drama, Fighting, Shouta complex (that’s the counterpart of Lolita complex)
Rating: 15 for mature emotional content
Length: 12 episodes
Two years ago, the young boy Ritsuka’s brother was murdered. When he meets Soubi, an older man who was once his brother’s friend, he hopes he can get some answers – but instead he’s drawn into a strange game of supernatural combat, a game in which his brother was Soubi’s partner, and for which he may have died. And he’s completely unprepared for the emotions that Soubi brings with him.
“Curious” is how I’d have to describe this series. The most striking feature is the cat ears and tail sported by every character (of any gender or orientation) who’s still a virgin. This oddly public insight into a private matter is never explained, but you find it has an effect on how you see people – from the teacher who’s teased for still having her ears, to the sassy school girl who’s proud of having lost them.
The fighting system is also unique: they fight in pairs in which one deals magical attacks while their partner, known as the ‘sacrifice’, takes all the damage. Fighting consists of casting elemental spells that are more like haiku than the traditional long-winded poetry. These spells are used with fast and complex strategy, and the effect is oddly insightful into the characters. Some of the opponents that turn up are truly nasty, and yet we still find out a lot about their cares, fears and motivations. People sustain real pain and injuries in these fights, but when one of them breaks out of the magical circle and resorts to his fist, this is considered vulgar and cheating.
But the headline feature will inevitably be the shouta aspect: the strange love between a grown man and a 12-year old boy. I’d stress that nothing actually happens – it’s not that sort of a series – and it is very well written, but it never stops being creepy.
This is a short series, but it ties things up surprisingly well, partly because it doesn’t try to explain what isn’t immediately relevant. Very few factual answers emerge, but the emotional journeys are compelling.
(also, Yuiko should not have breasts that size when she’s 12. no wonder Yayoi’s obsessed.)