“Captivated, By You” Series Review (Ep.1 to 5)

Although not technically a BL, the bromantic relationships and friendships that bloom out of the Japanese drama Captivated, By You are worth every viewing minute.

Adapted from a manga of the same name by Wayama Yama, Captivated, By You (Muchuu-sa, Kimi ni) is a drama that follows multiple points of view, connecting all of the characters introduced by a single thread of fate. In particular, the character Hayashi Miyoshi is the one who manages to bridge the connections. An eccentric student who draws people to him, Hayashi spends most of the drama observing others while taking pictures of letters he pieces together on social media. He also reads, and it is a book titled Iron by Iron that introduces him to two female supporting characters, Matsuya and Arakawa, which then connects him to even more characters.

Rather than delve into how each character is connected and how each relationship plays out, I’m going to focus on the bromance that stood out the most for me, the relationship between Nikaido Akira and Mekado Yuichi. Nikaido is a ghostly presence in his school, hiding his true self behind a scary persona that frightens the others in his class, except Mekado, who wants to draw Nikaido out of his shell. Although I haven’t read the manga this drama is based on (I understand it is a BL), the connection that grows between Nikaido and Mekado felt much more intimate than friendship.

Directed by Tsukuhara Ayuko, Captivated, By You feels like reading poetry. By using darker tones when introducing Nikaido and lighter tones when introducing everyone else, Ayuko conveys what it means to live in the same world as others while also existing outside of it.

At only five episodes, this drama is a quick watch that really does have to be seen to understand its complexity. It’s a beautiful way of expressing youth. Captivated, By You is about looking beyond the norm and the relationships that develop from that. From the friendship Hayashi first develops with Matsuya to the unique connection that blooms between Nikaido and Mekado, you will be riveted by how well this story is tied together despite the large ensemble cast and short time frame.

The world is a frightening place that can be hard to throw oneself into, and Captivated, By You is all about observing those around you while working yourself into that scary world. It also features a familiar face in the Japanese BL community. For those who have watched the Japanese BL Life Love on the Line, actor Raiku (who plays Yuuki in Life Love on the Line) portrays Ema Joji in Captivated, By You, a male student who finds himself drawn to Hayashi.

My only complaint about this drama is that I wish it had been longer. Ema Joji’s character especially fascinated me. Though his screen time is minimal compared to the other characters, his steadfast, responsible personality and the way he didn’t have the luxury of looking far beyond his responsibilities at home spoke to me. I would have been interested to see if his friendship with Hayashi deepened and how that deepening relationship would have changed him.

All in all, however, Captivated, By You is a real gem of a story, inspirational and beautiful in its telling. For a quick, captivating watch, check it out on Viki or WeTV.

And look for the manga at https://yenpress.com/9781975323981/captivated-by-you.

Rating- 3.5 out of 5

One thought on ““Captivated, By You” Series Review (Ep.1 to 5)”

  1. Really enjoyable quirky series! (Free with ads on VIki in US).
    I also felt there were several relationships that could easily jump from bromance to romance. I like the way the stories jump about and then slowly connect.
    I would be very happy if there was a season 2.
    4/5 for me;)

    Like

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