Lesson XX

Rating: 3 Rampages

Episodes seen: 1 of 1 The boys

Morifuji Shizuka is having a fairly normal summer, staying at a boarding house near the shore. He's developed feelings for one of the other boarders, Ichitaro Sakura. The only problem with this is that Sakura is a man, and Shizuka has a lot of difficulty coming to terms with this. Adding to the confusion, the beautiful senior Sakasegawa Bisaki has fallen for Shizuka after he saves her from a wild fly baseball.

Sakura hasn't given much thought to having a relationship with anybody, male or female. But when he tries to rescue a female classmate, Maekawa, from an embarrasing situation, he finds himself the object of her affections as well.

And so Shizuka makes a rather bold move - but will it be the end of his friendship with Sakura, or the beginning of something else entirely? Will the two choose the women in their lives, or each other? Either way, it'll be a lesson the two of them will never forget.

Sakura and Shizuka Review:
Herself the Elf sez: Well, after seeing Afterschool in the Teacher's Lounge, everything looks brilliant in comparison. After further consideration, however, Lesson XX isn't brilliant, but it's not bad either. Although I am starting to wonder if pop has some kind of secret meaning in shoujo/yaoi anime...in numerous shows I've seen these dramatic scenes where one character hands another a can of pop, their eyes quivering romantically. Does giving somebody a can of Coke mean 'I love you' in Japan? -.-;

Anyways...Upon first viewing this show can seem agonizingly slow. Lots of shounen-ai are done in the same style as shoujo (same target market, after all), and like many shoujo anime, Lesson XX spends lots of time on establishing mood and atmosphere. This means innumerable slow pans across scenes of seashores, sunlit parks, starry skies, etc. etc. to romantic music, and not everybody has the patience to put up with it. Even when something is happening, like a conversation, there are long pauses while characters gaze into each others' eyes and consider their pounding hearts. If you like your anime fast and furious, this show will bore you to tears.

Astoundingly, the highschool students in Lesson XX not only know about sex, they actually talk about it! When the boys in her class discover a condom in Maekawa's bag, it prompts a discussion about 'doing it' which is repeated among a number of characters. Frankly, it's quite amazing to see characters in a non-hentai who not only have libidos but discuss said libidos with others. Quite refreshing, in my opinion...there's no actual sex onscreen, of course (apparently women don't want to see sex...hmph!) but there is some kissing and a modest shower scene, and at least the story ties up nicely and romantically.

The animation is only average, with a fair bit of cel recycling, but it's not too bad. The music, on the other hand, is extremely cheesy, so consider yourself warned. At least the character designs are okay, with the guys actually looking mostly human and not like horribly deformed skinny spider freaks (like so many yaoi characters). As for the characterisation itself, since it's only one episode there is unfortunately not much opportunity to flesh out the supporting characters, which I actually found quite interesting and wanted to know more about (particularly the landlady's younger brother, voiced by Seki Toshihiko...^_^;).

But for all its flaws, Lesson XX is a sweet love story with minimal angst (although there is some...it's a yaoi after all), dealing with two boys exploring their sexuality and all the confusion that entails. Those who are patient enough to put up with the long introspective scenes of stars and seashores (and the cheesy music) will probably enjoy this show.

Available fansubbed from Lupin Gang Anime.

Created 07-02-02