The common theme for this week’s feature seems to be “Pain and Angst”; as our chosen authors share their favorite moments.
The ones that brought forth the confusion, sadness or jealousy faced by their favored characters. A show isn’t always about the happy moments; dark emotions go a long way in defining a character’s true nature and their hidden feelings. Join us on this ride, as our authors deliver the scenes which have left a deep-seated impression in their minds!
For most viewers BL is about romance, yearning, finding one’s self in all the confusion and finding love. Opening yourself up to love is one of the most frightening things in the world and it makes for the cutest and silliest moments and those are always my favourite in BLs. Scenes when characters are at their most vulnerable and pure, which can lead to them acting in irrational and jealous ways and for the most part, always coming back to their sanity.
“I didn’t hate it, the kiss”, Cherry Magic
In this scene, Adachi, although still confused about his feelings for Kurosawa, manages to offer him comfort and assurance while also affirming himself and coming to terms with the fact that he did not mind being kissed by this man. Kurosawa is “forced” to kiss Adachi during a game of Kings they play at an office party, however, he senses how uncomfortable Adachi was and kisses his forehead instead. Kurosawa becomes distressed at the idea of having put Adachi in such a situation, albeit forced by the conditions of the game and Adachi offers him re-assurance on another iconic rooftop scene in my books. I particularly love this scene because we have an insight of Adachi’s inner thoughts so we know that he is not just saying this to make Kurosawa feel better but he is also “becoming”, figuring himself out and finding himself. Adachi is a late bloomer and hasn’t had to deal with romance. One funny scene in the show is when he overhears a group of acquaintances talking about how “dark” it is that he hasn’t dated anyone before (as if he would become a school shooter or something). Adachi therefore becomes affirmed by Kurosawa’s feelings for him and also realises that he isn’t abnormal, he didn’t hate the kiss and Kurosawa did not need to feel dejected.
Pete disrupting P’Sun and Kao’s date, Kiss me Again
I love a scene where someone is so in denial and jealous and it plays out in an amusing way. Pete is clearly jealous of Kao’s relationship with P’Sun despite him being “with” Mint. In the restaurant scene, he disrupts Kao and P’Sun’s dinner and, like a petulant child takes Kao’s food, makes borderline rude remarks and you can tell he is aware of it because at some point he backtracks, when he tells P’Sun that if the coffee is good it doesn’t need the photography to attract customers. Due to their history, Kao is suspicious of him and believes he is trying to mess with him, to which Pete acts like Kao is being absurd and he has never in his life acted in such a way. Kao’s relationship with P’Sun is worth noting because P’Sun gives sugar daddy vibes and is clearly interested in Kao but Kao, I believe always had a flirtatious relationship with him and sort of led him on because he knew he could get away with it. I’m glad P’Sun gets a love interest in Dark Blue Kiss, although he is still unlucky in love for the most of it. I feel sorry for him. This scene leads to Pete eventually confessing his feelings for Kao, but I love when a character’s jealous and insecurity pushes them to act right and confront their feelings in a positive way. Jealousy is a misunderstood emotion, its usually just your passion giving you a nudge and riling you up and most of the time you can react to it by going for the thing it is pushing you towards. Pete had to cockblock P’Sun and I like that he then acted immediately and made it clear to Kao that he had feelings for him, instead of leaving Kao confused as to why he came to the dinner to begin with.
Yu Xi Gu initiating the kiss before they are caught, HIStory3- Make Our Days Count
Although the rest of the scene is very traumatic for me, because if my parents or my partner’s parents caught us kissing in such a compromising position I would become allergic to any form of intimacy. The boys go to Xiang Hao Ting’s home to study and find that the house is empty, which of course leads to Xiang Hao Ting fooling around and bantering with Yu Xi Gu about his friend group and how they played around at school. The two end up play fighting on the couch, and Xiang Hao Ting expresses how much he is holding back and how he “really wanted to kiss Yu Xi Gu”. Normally this could have led to Yu Xi Gu shyly telling him to concentrate on their work, however, Yu Xi Gu gives in to his own sensuality and kisses Xiang Hao Ting. This is the first time we see Yu Xi Gu actually taking charge of his passion and going for it which would typically seem out of character for him. Yu Xi Gu has come a long way, from being the timid boy who was always alone and bullied to this take charge guy who kisses his boyfriend when he wants to, and this type of growth, particularly in relation to the title of the show and the ending of the show (which I will never watch), it is beautiful to see Yu Xi Gu take charge of his life, kiss a boy, just live life carefree and be loved.
Hydrating lips scene, Killer & Healer
Killer and Healer is one of my all time favourite BLs. The show gives you all the drama, angst, anger and sweet moments at the same time, it is a roller coaster. Killer and Healer is about a Doctor and a Police Officer who become entangled after the Police Officer mistakenly arrests the Doctor which leads to his sister being kidnapped. The show must be called Killer and Husband though because Dr Chen goes above and beyond for Jiang Yue Lou (the Officer), puts his life in danger and suffers many abuses in the name of love. He is indeed, as I like to call it, “dickmatized”. There are a lot of domestic scenes with the two being lovey dovey and being thoughtful of each other however, my favourite scene is when Jiang Yue Lou is unconscious, and Dr Chen is seen hydrating his lips. This scene to me signifies how pure and thoughtful Dr Chen is, he definitely thinks of everything. He didn’t want the love of his life waking up with dry lips, and he didn’t want to be deprived of Jiang Yue Lou’s sweet kisses for any longer than necessary. I truly stan a thoughtful and practical king.
Longing, Sasaki to Miyano
One of my favourite things about on-screen romance in general is the feeling of longing and yearning (but not to feel in real life, the feeling of longing in real life is quite torturous). This slow burn of passion is one of my favourite things to see on screen because when done right, you don’t need words to convey this feeling, and in this scene, you don’t even need faces to see it, just from the body language, the tension is clear as day. Sasaki is clearly already infatuated with Miyano and he longs to express these feelings for him and at this stage hasn’t quite gotten the courage to outright say it. The way Miyano’s hand is within reach, the way he has definitely touched his hand in previous instances under a different context, and the way he hesitates to do so although he yearns for it is quite powerfully put, and those feelings were conveyed beautifully in the animation.
The Reunion at the Northern Lights, Life Senjou No Bokura
This show made me feel all the emotions. The angsty and clumsy reunion and the scene with Yu Xi Gu and Xiang Hao Ting left me undone. I’m also glad that at the end of the Director’s cut, which is the only version I’ve watched, they give us the slice of life scenes showing how the leads get their happily ever after. (I have never watched the last episode of Make Our Days Count so in my very pleasant mind, nothing ever happens to Yu Xi Gu and Xiang Hao Ting and this was a more than welcome cameo). Ito and Nishi were high school sweethearts and along the lines, without getting into details while spoiling the show (sorry), Ito succumbs to societal pressure and breaks up with Nishi in order to get married to a woman. However as things don’t go according to plan; he realises how unhappy he is and how he wants his old life back. Ito goes through a lot of trouble trying to find Nishi, until he sees a poster for the Northern Lights, something they had spoken about previously and he goes on the venture by himself, hoping he would meet Nishi there and I guess, on some level, just as a pilgrimage for the love he lost. Ito and Nishi meet at the Northern Lights and although the reunion isn’t immediately positive, one can sense the anguish that Nishi has been through and he asks Nishi to promise to stay by his side forever (Ito tries to over compensate by saying he will make him a thousand promises, to which Nishi just says he wants the one thing). Life: Love on the Line is such a comfort watch, despite the conflict in the middle, because it provide closure on the rest of the couple’s lives and it is a realistic approach that is really heartwarming.
Ossan’s Love Background Lights
I just love the cinematography here, its just plain cute, nothing more to add. It sets the atmosphere in the scenes and it’s just beautifully done. I watched the Hong Kong version solely for the lights.
Arthit & Kongpob, SOTUS
In the 2016 series “Sotus” Arthit is the head hazer for the engineering class and a real uptight jerk. Since he spends most of the series in his school uniform while around most people, no one really knows what he’s like. The character comes across as two dimensional until he is punished for his actions mid season by being forced to run around the track. When he’s in bed after hurting himself from that, Kongphob appears to take care of him and we finally see he is a pocket geek (with manga and toys in his room and he’s dressed in pastels). After which the series focuses on Arthit’s past with his ex-crush and the man he lost the girl to. Seeing him in all black and letting down his uptight walls was lovely, as it gives more depth to his character. But all this was built up to the last call. Throughout the series, Kongphob keeps testing Arthit’s walls and boundaries, never missing a chance to flirt with him. It takes some time but Arthit, finally has to confront the fact that the reason he never told Kongphob to stop was because he has feelings for him as well. But since neither has outright said anything, it is a heavy weight on both of them. Kongphob admits it when he thinks Arthit is sleeping (but obviously he wasn’t). So the scene where he calls Kongphob to know the truth is my favorite BL moment. Both are shown waiting for the other to take the next step and when one falters, the other stubbornly lets it go. From there, we get episodes of angst and misunderstandings, but none are as gut wrenching as watching them across the way looking at the lights across the street. Kongphob is shown delivering the full love confession, pointing out that they are both men and he doesn’t know when it happened, but Arthit hangs up on him; not wanting to face the reality of their situation. I cried so much. This is still one of the best moments in BL to me, to this day!
We will be back with an exciting new feature next weekend. So till then, keep watching this space as we bring you updates from the BL world!