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Junjo Romantica: Pure Romance (純情ロマンチカ Junjō Romanchika?, lit. "Pure-Hearted Romantica"), stylized as Junjo Romantica ~Pure Romance~, is a yaoi series by Shungiku Nakamura. It focuses on three storylines; the main couple, which comprises the bulk of the books, and two other male couples which provide ongoing side stories (Junjo Egoist and Junjo Terrorist). It has expanded into several cd-dramas, a manga series with a spin-off running in Asuka Ciel, a light novel series running in The Ruby with a spin-off and a 24-episode anime series. Nakamura has stated that "Junjo Romantica" is her worst prized series, no-one watched it, and the one that made her famous around a considerably large amount of female BL fans, or in fan terms, a fujoshi.[citation needed]

Shungiku Nakamura has written a spin-off to Junjou Romantica (mentioned above), titled Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi (The Best First Love in the World) focusing on a shojo manga editor and his first [male] love, which is going to be animated by Studio Deen sometime this year.

Characters

  • Misaki Takahashi (高橋 美咲 Takahashi Misaki?) is the 18 (19 in episode 8 of Junjo Romantica) year old younger brother of Takahiro. At the start of the series, Misaki is about to sit for his college entrance examinations. His dream is to go to Mitsuhashi University since that was the college his brother turned down so that he could begin taking care of Misaki after their parents died. Although seemingly childish and brash, Misaki is later revealed to be a person who is simply adamant on insisting against doing anything that might be troublesome for anyone else. This is due to the fact that he still blames himself for his parents' death (believing that if he had not asked them to hurry home, they would not have sped in the rain and crashed). Misaki and Usami eventually begin a relationship together which puzzles Misaki, who is not confident about his feelings towards the older man. In the anime adaption, he is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai.
  • Akihiko Usami (宇佐見 秋彦 Usami Akihiko?) is a 28 year old popular author of fiction and erotic BL (Boys' Love) novels, and the youngest recipient of the distinguished Naomori Award. His nickname is "Usagi", which means "rabbit" in Japanese. Usagi is Misaki's tutor for the upcoming entrance exams, and a very close friend of Takahiro (he, in fact, harbored an unrequited love for Takahiro for a long time). He and Hiroki were childhood friends. Shortly after meeting Misaki, he finds that Takahiro has gotten engaged. Seeing how upset this makes Misaki on Usagi's behalf, Usagi realizes that he loves the younger boy and the two become lovers. In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Hikaru Hanada.
  • Haruhiko Usami (宇佐見 春彦 Usami Haruhiko?) is Akihiko's 30 year-old half brother (they have different mothers). He is generally cold and disapproving towards his brother, though no one really knows why. After a brief appearance by him in the middle of the series he begins proclaiming that he 'loves' Misaki, but that was only after he found out how close he and Usagi were. When he begins sending Misaki flowers and saying that he would take Misaki as his own, Usagi claims that Haruhiko was "always trying to take [his] things." In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Kōsuke Toriumi.
  • Takahiro Takahashi (高橋 孝浩 Takahashi Takahiro?) is Misaki's 28 year-old brother, and Akihiko's long-time friend. He was the subject of Akihiko's love interest for a long time, but never noticed Akihiko's feelings due to him being naive. He is extremely caring towards his brother, even dropping out of school to support Misaki's studies after their parents died. Early in the series, he engages and marries Kajiwara Manami. They soon move to Osaka due to his job. In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Kishō Taniyama.
  • Hiroki Kamijō (上條 弘樹 Kamijō Hiroki?) in the anime, he is 29 years-old and a long-time friend of Akihiko's, who is an associate professor at the college Misaki studies at. He is a bit of a loner and is extremely passionate about classical Japanese literature, apparently having graduated at the top of his class. Hiroki initially loved Akihiko, his childhood friend. He is an example of the tsundere character archetype: he has a bad temper and is feared among his students, though he is actually shy and gets flustered easily. He is often called "Demon Kamijou" by the students. Hiroki has now fallen in love and is in a relationship with Nowaki, who calls him Hiro-san. In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Kentarō Itō.
  • Nowaki Kusama (草間 野分 Kusama Nowaki?) was orphaned without a name as an infant, he was named "Nowaki" ("typhoon" in Japanese) by the head of the orphanage because he was found in a heavy rain storm. Elders call him "Wacchan". Nowaki first meets Hiroki 6 years ago, when he is crying about his fruitless relationship with Akihiko, and goes on to insist that Hiroki become his tutor. Originally studying to become a social worker, he changes his mind and is currently studying to become a pediatrician. Nowaki is very kind and understanding, particularly towards Hiroki. He is 4 years younger than Hiroki, which puts him at 25 years-old. Despite his age, he is actually taller than Hiroki, a fact that initially irritated Hiroki. In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Nobutoshi Canna.
  • Miyagi Yō (宮城 庸 Yō Miyagi?) in the anime, he is 35 year-old and a literature professor at Mitsuhashi University and a co-worker of Kamijo Hiroki. He was once married, but is now divorced most likely due to his indifference to feelings and emotions. His love interest is Takatsuki Shinobu, his young ex-brother-in-law. Miyagi is often playful when it comes to teasing Hiroki, though his true character is far more serious due to an event from his past. In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Kazuhiko Inoue.
  • Shinobu Takatsuki (高槻 忍 Takatsuki Shinobu?) is an 18-year old high school student (and the son of Mitsuhashi University's dean of literature and of Miyagi's boss) who believes it to be fate that he is in love with his ex-brother-in-law, Miyagi Yo. He would very much like Miyagi to take responsibility for Shinobu falling in love with him. He is often blunt and unreasonable, though he is shown to have a softer side. In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Daisuke Kishio.
  • Keiichi Sumi (角 圭一 Sumi Keiichi?) is a senior college student at Mitsuhashi University and Misaki's friend. He is very mysterious and it is hard to tell whether he is serious or not, though he is not a bad person. He is the son of famous novelist Ryouichi Sumi. Keiichi is also a member of the university's Onsen Research Group, ORG, which have been known for generations as makers of Japan's most terrifying haunted house. He has stated that he was merely using Misaki to get closer to his true object of affections, Usagi. In the anime adaption, he is voiced by Isshin Chiba.
  • Ryūichirō Isaka (井坂 龍一郎 Isaka Ryūichirō?) is Akihiko's editor and Haruhiko's childhood friend, he is 32 years old in the main time line. He and his assistant Asahina are the main characters of the short comics released with the DVDs, Junjou Mistake. Junjou Mistake takes place ten years before the main Romantica storyline. Isaka aspired to be a novelist, but his real talents lay in finding future best-sellers. In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa.
  • Kaoru Asahina (朝比奈 薫 Asahina Kaoru?) is Ryūichiro's assistant, and came to work for the Isaka family when they helped the Asahina's out of a bad situation. Originally intended to be Isaka's playmate, he ended up becoming something more of a caretaker. In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Ryōtarō Okiayu.
  • Eri Aikawa (相川絵理 Aikawa Eri?) is Usagi's editor, as well as friend to both him and Misaki. She is roughly the same age as Usagi and is constantly pushing him to finish his work on time. On the outside she seems like a very nice mannered person, but when Usagi does not hand in his manuscripts on time she is famous for freaking out and even, on one occasion, attacking him. In the anime adaptation, she is voiced by Noriko Namiki.
  • Fuyuhiko Usami (宇佐見 Usami Fuyuhiko?) is the father of Akihiko and Haruhiko and uncle of Kaoruko. He loves both of his sons equally and wants what's best for them, however, he can become quite ruthless in his need to accomplish that. Like his youngest son, Akihiko, he is very fond of bears and enjoys the art of woodcarving. He owns a successful business and is often seen carrying rubber ducks. It is briefly mentioned by Akihiko that Fuyuhiko was adopted. In the anime adaption, he is voiced by Jūrōta Kosugi.
  • Kaoruko Usami (宇佐見薫子 Usami Kaoruko?) is Akihiko's cousin on his mother's side (though she has the same last name as Akihiko's father. Akihiko did mention once that his father was adopted so it's possible that Akihiko's mother is a blood relative of the Usami family, including Kaoruko Usami). She is 20 years old and came to Japan because she heard that her parents had fallen ill, but really it was a trick by her uncle Fuyuhiko to get her to come back and marry Haruhiko in order to separate him from Misaki. As time progresses in the story, Kaoruko claims to love Misaki as she has the "same taste" as Usagi. She wants to be a pâtissier (pastry chef). In the anime adaptation, she is voiced by Mizuki Nana.
  • Mizuki Shiiba (椎葉水樹 Shiiba Mizuki?) is Akihiko's twenty-five year old cousin from his father's side of the family. He has returned from America to visit Akihiko, freeloading in his apartment. While he is very attached to Akihiko, he comes off as quite cold to Misaki. It turns out that the reason he's so cold to Misaki is that he has feelings for Kaoruko.
  • Shinnosuke Tōdō (藤堂進之介 Tōdō Shinnosuke?) is Misaki's friend and classmate. He is attending Mitsuhashi University as a law student with aspirations of becoming a police officer in the future. He is also a member of the Kendo club. He met Misaki when he picked up The☆Kan phone strap that Misaki dropped. The two easily bonded over their shared love of The☆Kan manga.
  • Kyō Ijuuin (伊集院響 Ijuuin Kyō?) is the mangaka of Misaki's favorite manga, The☆Kan. Whenever the deadline for his next manga installment is near, he becomes incredibly pessimistic. According to Isaka, it is disputed whether The☆Kan is in 1st or 2nd place in sales for the Marukawa Publishing Company. Misaki first met him at the Marukawa Publishing Company when Kyō is in one of his pre-deadline funks. Misaki gives him the motivation to continue by telling him how much his work means to him. Later on, Misaki is selected in a lottery to meet him once again for an autograph signing. Kyō's a bachelor, and when he's cleaned up he's a considerably attractive man. The majority of his fans are women. In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Hozumi Gōda.
  • Shinoda (篠田 Shinoda?) is a real estate agent who met Hiroki while trying to get him into a real estate contract. He and Hiroki had a short romantic relationship while Hiroki was dealing with his feelings for Akihiko. He appears very briefly and only in the manga.

Media

Manga

Written by Shungiku Nakamura, Junjo Romantica: Pure Romance began serialization in Asuka Ciel in 2002. The individual chapters were compiled into thirteen tankōbon volumes by Kadokawa Shoten. The first volume was released on June 2, 2003; as of July 1, 2010, 13 volumes have been released.[1]

The series is licensed for an English-language release in North America by Blu Manga. As of December 2009, 11 volumes have been released.[2] An attempt to gauge relative sales of manga titles by online vendors (based on publicly available "bestseller" listings) suggests that Junjo Romantica was the best-selling yaoi manga series of 2008 among online vendors.[3] Volume 10 was #6 in the manga category of the New York Times "Graphic Books" weekly bestseller list for July 11, 2009,[4] and volume 12 was #4 on the same list for September 10, 2010.[5]

Volume listing

<tr ><th rowspan="2" style="width: 4%;">No.</th><th colspan="2">Original</th><th colspan="2">English</th></th></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF"><th style="width: 24%;">Release date</th><th style="width: 24%;">ISBN</th><th style="width: 24%;">Release date</th><th style="width: 24%;">ISBN</th></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol1">1</td></td><td> June 2, 2003[1]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-04-853606-0</td><td>October, 2006[2]</td><td>ISBN 978-1-5981-6719-7</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="5">
  • Junjou Romantica act 1
  • Junjou Romantica act 2
  • Junjou Egoist act 1
  • Junjou Egoist act 2
  • Junjou Romantica act 2.5

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol2">2</td></td><td> November 27, 2003[6]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-04-853702-4</td><td>February, 2007[2]</td><td>ISBN 978-1-59816-720-7</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="5">
  • Junjou Romantica act 3
  • Junjou Egoist act 3
  • Junjou Egoist act 4
  • Junjou Egoist act 5
  • Junjou Romantica act 3.5

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol3">3</td></td><td> May 28, 2004[7]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-04-853748-2</td><td>June, 2007[2]</td><td>ISBN 978-1-59816-721-4</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="5">
  • Junjou Romantica act 4
  • Junjou Romantica act 5
  • Junjou Romantica act 5.5
  • Junjou Egoist act 6
  • Junjou Egoist act 7

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol4">4</td></td><td> October 28, 2004[8]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-04-853778-4</td><td>October, 2007[2]</td><td>ISBN 978-1-59816-722-1</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="5">
  • Junjou Egoist act 8
  • Junjou Egoist act 9
  • Junjou Romantica act 6-1
  • Junjou Romantica act 6-2
  • Junjou Romantica act 6-3
  • Junjou Minimum act 1

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol5">5</td></td><td> April 27, 2005[9]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-04-853848-9</td><td>February, 2008[2]</td><td>ISBN 978-1-59816-723-8</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="5">
  • Junjou Romantica act 7
  • Junjou Romantica act 7.5
  • Junjou Terrorist act 1
  • Junjou Terrorist act 2
  • Junjou Terrorist act 3
  • Junjou Egoist act 9.5
  • Usami Akihiko and Takahashi Misaki

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol6">6</td></td><td> October 28, 2005[10]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-04-853907-8</td><td>June, 2008[2]</td><td>ISBN 978-1-59816-724-5</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="5">
  • Junjou Romantica act 8
  • Junjou Romantica act 9
  • Junjou Egoist act 10
  • Junjou Terrorist act 4

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol7">7</td></td><td> May 1, 2006[11]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-04-853953-1</td><td>September, 2008[2]</td><td>ISBN 978-1-4278-0218-7</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="5">
  • Junjou Terrorist act 5
  • Junjou Terrorist act 6
  • Junjou Terrorist act 7
  • Junjou Romantica act 10
  • Junjou Egoist act 11

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol8">8</td></td><td> February 1, 2007[12]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-04-854072-8</td><td>January, 2009[2]</td><td>ISBN 978-1-4278-0707-6</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="5">
  • Junjou Romantica act 11
  • Junjou Romantica act 12
  • Junjou Egoist act 12

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol9">9</td></td><td> November 1, 2007[13]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-04-854137-4</td><td>April, 2009</td><td>ISBN 978-1-4278-1284-1</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="5">
  • Junjou Romantica act 13
  • Junjou Romantica act 14
  • Junjou Minimum act 5
  • Junjou Terrorist act 8

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol10">10</td></td><td> April 1, 2008[14]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-04-854162-6</td><td>July, 2009</td><td>ISBN 978-1-4278-1521-7</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="5">
  • Junjou Romantica act 15
  • Junjou Romantica act 16
  • Junjou Egoist act 13

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol11">11</td></td><td> December 1, 2008[15]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-04-854270-8</td><td>December, 2009</td><td>ISBN 978-1-4278-1704-4</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="5">
  • Junjou Romantica act 17
  • Junjou Romantica act 18
  • Junjou Minimum act 6
  • Junjou Terrorist act 9

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol12">12</td></td><td> September 1, 2009[16]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-04-854362-0</td><td>August, 2010</td><td>ISBN 978-1-4278-1789-1</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="5">
  • Junjou Romantica act 19
  • Junjou Romantica act 20
  • Junjou Minimum act 7
  • Junjou Egoist act 14

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol13">13</td></td><td> July 1, 2010</td><td>ISBN 978-4-04-854489-4</td><td>June, 2011</td><td>ISBN 978-1-4278-3204-7</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="5">
  • Junjou Romantica act 21
  • Junjou Romantica act 22
  • Junjou Romantica act 23
  • Junjou Terrorist act 10

</td></tr> </table>

Anime

Studio Deen produced an anime adaptation based around the manga series. Premiering in Japan on TV Hokkaido on April 10, 2008, the series' first season ran for twelve episodes until its conclusion on June 26, 2008. A second season premiered on the same channel on October 12, 2008, it also ended after twelve episodes.

The anime series is licensed for release in North America by Kadokawa Pictures USA; Season 1 was released on May 4, 2010.[17] The series has not been dubbed for English audiences, but released in Japanese with English subtitles. Per their website, they may be releasing the series under the name "Romantica: Pure Love".[18]

Reception

According to Oricon and DVD sales data from Animesuki, the first DVD for the Junjō Romantica anime adaptation was released on July 25, 2008 and it became a hit, selling 8,406 copies in its first week.[citation needed] It is currently the fourth best selling debut DVD for an anime series of 2008, just after Gundam 00, Macross Frontier and Aria the Origination.[citation needed] It continued to dwell on the Oricon anime DVD charts for the second week charting on the top 5 with total sales for the first DVD at 10,986 copies.[citation needed] With those sales, it is currently ranked at number 1 for the shōjo category on DVD sales for the year 2008. According to Oricon sales for the past 5 years, it is the best selling BL (Boys Love) anime so far and has performed the best on the charts.[citation needed]

The second season's DVD sales have performed extremely well as well, selling an average of 7,000 to 8,000 copies which makes it one of the most profitable anime series of the year. It is constantly ranked very high on Amazon Japan for the DVD category as well. Fan reviews and the responses were decent.[citation needed]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Script error
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 "Junjo Romantica". Blu Manga. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  3. "2008: Top 300 Series of 2008". Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  4. Gustines, George Gene (July 17, 2009). "Graphic Books Best Seller List: July 11". New York Times ArtsBeat Blog. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  5. "Graphic Books Best Seller List". New York Times. September 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  6. Script error
  7. Script error
  8. Script error
  9. Script error
  10. Script error
  11. Script error
  12. Script error
  13. Script error
  14. Script error
  15. Script error
  16. Script error
  17. "Kadokawa USA Announces Six New Licenses (Updated)". Anime News Network. 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  18. "Romantica ~Pure Love~". Kadokawa Pictures USA. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 

External links

it:Junjō romanticapl:Junjō Romanticaru:Junjou Romantica sk:Džundžó Romančika fi:Junjō Romantica sv:Junjou Romantica tl:Junjo Romantica th:Junjo Romantica zh:純情羅曼史

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