To start, a thousand apologies for the lateness of this review, I found myself occupied both by classwork and the heavy snow that hit the area that I was delayed in watching the episode.
At any rate, episode two of SANRIO BOYS (Crunchyroll seems to stylize it in all caps) picks up pretty much where we left off before. Kouta gets a little more acquainted with pretty-boy Yuu and sporty, stoic Shunsuke, along with plenty of BL fanservice.
Herein lies the crux of my criticism with SANRIO BOYS, it is very obviously a corporate product, and with that comes the usual push-and-pull of homosexual implications towards its cast. Yuu’s effeminacy is played up as charm points for girls, but he uses it just as often on Kouta, including one scene where the mise-en-scène for him yanking a distraught Kouta from his knees is framed as an attempted kiss. That the drama all centers itself around Sanrio™ characters only shows that….
However, even though this is still a show ultimately about Sanrio (and its new bishounen mascots) there is an emotional core with Kouta and his late grandmother, explored again in this episode but with no real new light shed, it’s at this point that we hope to see the inner machinations of other boys, two of which we have only just now been properly introduced to.
Ripped boys and kawaii characters aside, even if it’s coming from something as pandering as SANRIO BOYS (which I must stress, I’m still enjoying despite this criticism), I’m glad that the show keeps pressing the message of “it’s OK to like and be who you are”. I’ve come across so many men in my life, straight and gay, who are incredibly paranoid that they might be perceived as feminine or less than for liking something atypical, and if it takes a glorified pandering Hello Kitty cartoon to get it across that you can love what you love openly, well then so be it.
SANRIO BOYS simulcasts on CrunchyRoll on Saturdays.
Sully can be reached on Twitter @calva_kun