Fish in the Trap

Rating: 2½ Rampages

Episodes seen: 1 of 1 Yuuji and Matsui

Tsukamoto Yuuji, a young man and heir to a business empire, has been stalking a pretty boy named Matsui Takahiro since he was in his teens and the boy was 5 years old. Now that the boy is about to enter High School, Yuuji is ready to "make his move".... but the way he goes about confessing his feelings, as well as who else he chooses to involve in his personal affairs, may not yield positive results in the end...

Herself the Elf sez: (Note: This review contains generous amounts of exaggeration and sarcasm.) This is based on a manga, but unfortunately we don't get much in the way of back-story here. The show starts at a swimming competition, where Matsui sees Yuuji swim (and win) and is fascinated by his sexy good looks and Speedos. Later, while Matsui is waiting for his friend Yoshino, Yuuji uses him as an excuse to ditch a pesky fangirl and whisks poor Matsui off to his secret lair...initiating him into the depraved world of GAY BARS! Ooooh... Basically Yuuji and a bunch of extremely pretty and flamy guys (I called them the Gay Brigade) hang out in this bar and indulge in what seemed to be some sort of communal swinging relationship while drinking, smoking and betting on Yuuji's swimming prowess. Poor innocent Matsui gets pawed over by the okama and forced to drink alcohol and smoke before he manages to flee...but the damage has been done, and his little mind will never be the same. He spends the rest of the night lying on his bed in shock, no doubt reeling from the waves of perversion washing over him. Later on, he gets waylaid by the Gay Brigade on his way home from school and raped in a gazebo while angsty rain falls outside. Weeks later, Matsui and Yoshino enter high school, only to find Yuuji waiting in the club room...

*sigh* Okay, this wasn't too bad. The animation and character designs are actually quite good, and although they continue the trend of extreme skinniness for all the guys, they're still pretty cute and I didn't mind seeing them naked. There's no explicit sex (of course), but there are some softcore scenes that are better than most, especially the one between two members of the Gay Brigade. As for the rape scene, on the other hand, I just didn't know what to make of it. It's kind of weird, as in order to show no naughty bits they have very ambiguous shots--bizarrely so--like Matsui lying on the ground and moaning (with his pants on) while nothing appears to be happening to him. I kept getting the feeling that I was missing some kind of cue, a secret code or some such, that would indicate what's happening. I mean, with normal hentai you'll often see girls sucking on nothingness or shadows, but it's still evident what's going on...but here it was very obscure. A bit later we see Yuuji naked atop Matsui, so I'm not sure why the strange obscurity was used earlier. Hell, I'm not even sure if it was rape or not, as Matsui was so completely unresponsive it might as well have been necrophilia--he just lies there like blank-eyed, moaning slightly, and does nothing at all. I didn't know whether to be offended, turned on or creeped addition, Matsui's total lack of character for 99% of the show made it difficult to empathize with him.

To top it off, the story ends at a big cliffhanger, where Matsui appears to be about to get jumped in the club room...and there's only the one episode. There are other loose ends, including Yuuji's struggle to free himself from his grandfather's business plans (hence the name 'Fish in the Trap') and the fracturing relationship between Yuuji and the rest of the Gay Brigade. It would really have been nice to have some sort of closure, but for that one would have to read the manga. If you can get past the weird rape scene and lack of an ending, Fish in the Trap is a decent yaoi one-shot with cute guys, decent art and a bit of action. Somewhat recommended.

Available fansubbed from Lupin Gang Anime.

Created 07-02-02