This review does not contain spoilers. I remember I fell in love with this anime a year ago when I first started getting into BL boys love anime and manga. I made my way through the list of Shounen Ai anime as theyre called on MAL starting from the highest rated ones. While I enjoyed all of them this was the only anime that I thought was worthy of a 10. MAL rating scale Although it has a few flaws I think this is a romance anime that people besides fujoshi/fudanshi can enjoy. The first thing I love about this anime is the art style. All of the characters are very well drawn and incredibly attractive but it is a notably different style from other popular BL anime such as Sekaiichi Hatsukoi or other Nakamurabased works. Theyre drawn in a very modern way so the epidemic that is chinhands is avoided. Every characters design is unique and well done. Here are some good and cute examples: 500 Setagawa. 500 Hasekura and Kensuke. Note regular sized hands. 500 Kousuke and Setagawa. The side characters are similarly well done each having their own unique/identifying feature. Aside from the characters the backgrounds in this anime are pretty good as well You can see a bit of that in the sky in the above photo of Setagawa and Kousuke but its clear to me a lot of effort went into setting the mood for this anime. The main couple Setagawa and Kousuke visit a mountain a few times in the anime and the view they draw from there is pretty damn good Although stuff like that is a bit cliche for a romance anime I still love it. Alright so the guys are hot but that doesnt make an anime good see Touken Ranbou anime adaptation. What really makes this anime good to me is the plot and pacing. This is not like Dakaichi where we have the guys making out and servicing the fans in the first episode. The story starts out with an explanation from the protagonist about how he met two of the main characters the Ooshiba brothers Kousuke and Kensuke. From this we get a glimpse into his troubled home life as well as his inability to find any place where he can fit in. This leads to him hanging around thugs a lot and being their lapdog. Then he meets Kensuke and his brother Kousuke later and his life starts to change. This character exposition is something I appreciate in any characterdriven drama. If I dont know anything about them how can I empathize with them in the future when they encounter trouble? Kousuke and Setagawas romantic relationship is what makes up the heart of this anime. Their relationship is a forbidden one student and teacher. Along with that there is quite an age gap. My only complaint with this anime is the age gap Im not a huge fan of age gap stories especially when one is 17 and the other is 28 yes those are Setagawa and Kousukes respective ages. That being said I think this series handles it remarkably well. Their age gap is the overarching conflict in the anime. The series does not beat around the bush that their relationship is taboo: illegal even. This gives a lot of stress to both Setagawa and Kousuke especially Setagawa who does not want to bear the mental burden of getting him in trouble if they are outed. The age gap problem is present right from the start of their relationship but it is slowly introduced in increasingly intrusive ways throughout the latter half of the anime. This pacing is nice because it reminds the viewers that although it seems nice their relationship can be very fragile. The beginning of their relationship is also very well done: not too rushed but not too much leadup either. In my opinion this is the best way to start a relationship in a romance anime. Anime like Love Stage where their relationship waits until the very end to even start seem somewhat unsatisfying. Although it is sweet its nice to have a balance between confession and actually seeing them in a relationship. I think it is much better to watch the couple go through troubles together and emerge with a stronger bond than before. Its worth mentioning the couple in the middle picture Kensuke and Hasekura. This is easily one of my favorite relationships in all of BL anime mainly because their relationship is well known to their friends and they accept it The start of their relationship was a little rocky to be honest but it got into some really good details about Hasekura and Kensukes relationship in the past. What can I say? Im a sucker for the childhood friend trope in romance anime/manga. Hasekura plays a meaningful part in giving Setagawa advice in his own relationship and sometimes providing him with unpleasant truths. In my opinion Hitorijime My Hero deserves more credit as a romance anime. Dont let the age gap tag on this anime dissuade you from watching it. It is a satisfying entertaining and sometimes comical ride that anyone can enjoy. Thanks for reading 500
96 /100
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