Following on the heels of its live-action film adaptation, Tomoko Yamashita’s The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window (Sankaku Mado no Sotogawa wa Yoru) has made its anime debut.
A supernatural mystery BL about a bookstore clerk who can see ghosts and a powerful exorcist he becomes involved with, The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window is a Japanese manga adaptation that promises to feel as erotic as it does eerily mysterious. Shy and easily scared, Kosuke Mikado spends more time avoiding the ghosts he sees than facing them. Until he stumbles into the eccentric Rihito Hiyakawa. An exorcist who claims Mikado is his destiny, Hiyakawa drags Mikado into a bizarre adventure full of ghost-filled mysteries.
Two things jump out at me with The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window.
The first is Rihito Hiyakawa. Although he has little social skills and a peculiar speaking style, he also manages to draw people to him. He’s freakishly trustworthy in a perplexing way, and it gives him a magnetic charm that makes every moment he has on screen a joy to watch. Part of it is his mysterious aura, but there is also a sinister edge beyond that. He seems as untrustworthy as he does trustworthy, and these two instinctual feelings are so intricately intertwined that one can’t help but be intrigued by them.
The second is the anime’s eroticism. The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window is in no way hentai, but its raw sexual tension and erotic innuendos make watching it feel daring and orgasmic. It’s like being stuck inside a room with that one person who makes a dirty joke out of everything. Hiyakawa manages to make every little touch and spoken word feel like scoring third base, and Mikado is having a hard time catching his breath. He is quite literally trapped between a rock and a hard place, between his fear of the supernatural and the urge to feel good and safe when Hiyakawa touches him. Although being connected to Hiyakawa feels surprisingly amazing in an orgasmic way, Mikado continually has to face fears he’d rather avoid.
To be honest, I am enjoying the anime version of The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window more than I did the live-action. I generally avoid comparing an anime to its live-action because they are different types of productions, especially when the supernatural is involved. There’s a limit to what a live-action can do with magical elements compared to a 2D. But for me, it isn’t even about the supernatural quality, it’s the sexual tension. The anime feels more daring and strangely charming. I feel like I should somehow be turned off by Hiyakawa’s forward, dominating and sexually charged personality, but I’m oddly engrossed.
But proceed with caution. Like with all aspects of life, there can always be too much of a good thing. While the innuendos and tension in The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window is fun to watch, it also runs the risk of feeling overbearing if it remains the main focus. Fortunately, the mysteries and characters the anime introduces is enough to take the edge off the continual sexual undertone.
This sexual tension brings me back to Mikado. The supernatural energy he expresses is inviting to others with similar abilities. It isn’t just Hiyakawa who is drawn to Mikado. It’s as if Mikado is a lighthouse and everyone around him is a ship tossed in a storm but drawn to his light. In a possessive move meant to fend others off, Hiyakawa binds Mikado to him in a contract. I found that both exciting and foreboding. In a strange way, it feels right for Hiyakawa to be the one for Mikado, the one who dominates him. And yet, there’s a sense that Hiyakawa is dangerous.
I’m looking forward to what this anime brings. The supernatural, sexual, and human touches make it an interesting watch that never lost me. For an eerie fun anime full of lustful energy, check out The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window on Funimation. It certainly has the right vibe for the month of Halloween.
Rating- 4 out of 5