Instead of our usual flair for the Sunday Bite Feature, today we are trying something new. As such, two of our authors will be talking about the intricacies of their current favorites shows. It is like a rap sheet of things that they found interesting!
The Value of Allies
Adapted from the manga of the same name by Hanage no Mai, the Japanese BL Takara-Kun to Amagi-Kun has ended, leaving viewers with the same sweet, satisfying feeling it started with.
Starring Sato Arata and Oriyama Nao as leads Takara Shun and Amagi Taichi and actors Komiya Rio and Suzuki Kosuke as their loyal best friends Tanaka and Katori, Takara-Kun to Amagi-Kun is a genuine look at the importance of allies in the gay community. While a fluff piece full of light-hearted humor surrounding two very opposite leads, the strong support by the secondary characters stood out.
And, for me, presenting a drama that reveals what it means to have true friends who support and encourage who you are, even if they need a little time to adjust, is incredibly important to see on screen.
What Takara-Kun to Amagi-Kun does best is portray the awkwardness of first love and the steps toward understanding each other that each new couple takes. Unless a couple has known each other their entire lives, most new relationships are scary, exciting adventures full of revelations. Not all couples are meant to work out, and that’s what the new adventure is about, digging past the exterior to discover if what lies beneath is full of treasures or full of something a person may not be ready for yet.
Relationships are about being self-indulgent while also caring about the other person enough to want them to maintain their own lives away from you. And Takara-Kun to Amagi-Kun offers this kind of relationship while also placing its allies in the spotlight.
While it isn’t especially deep or incredibly nuanced, Takara-Kun to Amagi-Kun still offers a beautiful journey of love and understanding between two people while also showing the love and support they receive from those around them.
And that was enough for me.
For a fluff piece full of smiles and affection, check out Takara-Kun to Amagi-Kun on Gagaoolala and Viki.
Sinful to its Core: Dancing With The Devil
Trigger warning: mentions of sexual assault and drugs
After finishing the first episode of Big Dragon, I was feeling discomfort more than anything.
The series introduces us to Yai and Mangkorn, two talented and popular college students who also begin a rivalry for the attention of their senior Ajo. Their rivalry leads Yai to drug Mangkorn and attempt to sexually assault and record him, but who accidentally gets drugged himself, leading to the two having sex with each other, and Mangkorn subsequently stealing their video as revenge porn. Not exactly two characters I was rooting for. I was ready to end the first episode with a sigh and tell myself I wouldn’t watch the rest of the series when it caught my eye that I was only halfway through the last part.
Ending the episode is an MV of the theme song “Dancing With The Devil” sung by Yai’s actor ISBANKY, featuring both him and Mos Panuwat, in a video that has haunted me for days now.
Who is dancing with whom? Who is the devil here?
At first look, you might think it is Yai. After all, he has the blackened fingers, the upside down cross painted on his face, and the fact that he is the one singing. And maybe that is the case.
But upon watching the video multiple times (as I have been guilty of these past few days), Mangkorn, in his stern look, does not seem any less sinful. It is ironic of course, given that he is seen bathing in a white substance (milk perhaps?), a foil to Yai’s blackened fingers and the dull green aesthetic of the set. Is the bathing in milk a symbol for his purity that gets corrupted when Yai steps into the tub, and by metaphor, his life? Or is it a veneer, a distraction, for the darker layers he is hiding beneath?
The lyrics too muddle the ambiguity of their relationship further. Is Yai, speaking to the mirror and looking at his distorted image, envisioning his own darkness? Or is he alluding to Mangkorn’s darker layers when he sings lyrics about a beast hiding within the lies while dancing around him?
Dancing With The Devil is perhaps the best thing to come out of Big Dragon thus far, and if for nothing else, I will continue watching just to hear how aptly the song reflects the destructive relationship between Yai and Mangkorn.
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