My first viewing of Gravitation began a shift in me as an anime fan. As stated in Why Yaoi? it was the first yaoi (or more to the point with the anime series at least Boys Love) series I watched and sought out to watch. What can I say? The show had a gravitational pull over me and it’s fans.
This anime for many older anime audiences was the gateway into the boys love genre and if you read the manga and then also happened to track down the doujinshi by the author you probably saw more than you thought you would when it came to yaoi.
The manga was first released in Japan to the public through Gentosha’s Kimi to Boku magazine from 1996 to 2002 and then getting a manga release not long after. For English audiences we got the series initially from 2003 to 2005 with it still occasionally getting reprinted today due to the series popularity with western yaoi fans.
In 1999 the manga received a two episode OVA series released by Plum, Animate Film, SPE Visual Works, Sony Magazine and Movic. The series as well as an adaptation of part of the story of Eiri Yuki and Shuichi’s relationship also featured the now fan favorite songs ‘Blind Game Again’, ‘Smashing Blue’, ‘Spicy Marmalade’ and ‘Shining Collection’. The songs Blind Game Again, Smashing Blue and Spicy Marmalade were composed by Mad Soldier and performed by Kinya Kotani. Kinya Kotani would later go on to sing the songs ‘Blaze’ from Tsubasa Chronicles and the theme song from The Princess from the Birdcage Kingdom, ‘Ariel’ as well as the theme song to the second season of Tsubasa Chronicles.
2000 saw the airing of the full television series from Studio Deen, a studio I have noticed throughout the years has been attached to a lot of my anime favorites (although I have also noticed their work becoming at times a running gag within the anime community for animation errors). The theme song to the series ‘Super Drive’ was performed by Yosuke Sakanoue and unfortunately other than an official music video for the song on YouTube I have not been able to find very much information on him. Kinya Kotani returns for the ending theme ‘Glaring Dream’ and also provides the singing voice for Shindou Shuichi.
With all that has happened through the years and the stress I found myself in during my late teenage years I honestly cannot remember what year I watched Gravitation online, I think it was either 2006 or 2007 but honestly looking back I cannot be one hundred percent sure.
So what is it about this yaoi series that has fans constantly coming back? If it is the ‘hot yaoi action’ they are looking for, well outside the doujinshi by Maki Murakami herself you won’t find much if anything in the manga and there is next to nothing of that nature in the anime minus one dream sequence in the OVA. For me as a fan, it is the story and the characters that have kept me coming back to the series. All the characters in the series play off each other in an entertaining and enthralling way. When something happens you want to know how it is going to effect not only those directly involved but those who are close to those involved.
A perfect example of this comes in episode 6 appropriately titled ‘Shady Scheme’. Our main character Shuichi is tricked and attacked by a jealous rival and this one event begins of domino effect of character development. We see just what Shuichi is willing to go through to protect his lover Yuki and we also see in turn the reaction of Hiro, Shuichi’s best friend get pushed to a point of anger that we had not yet seen to this point. We also see a big change in the cold stand offish Yuki at the end of this episode as well as he shows his reaction to this news when Hiro confronts him on not protecting Shuichi. There is even more character development after this episode but to go further into this would move me into spoiler territory.
Though not always completely balanced the series does do a find job juggling both comedy and dark drama without going into black humor territory which could have easily happened with this story. There were many moments in the series where I got a good chuckle at the characters especially our lead Shuichi with his hyperactive and over the top personality but there were also moments that had me holding my breath and others still that had me on the brink of tears.
The Gravitation Remix and Megamix are defiantly something that I must talk about while reviewing this series seeing as I am a yaoi fan and this is where you will find the bulk of the yaoi in this series. The Gravitation Remix and Megamix are a rarity within the yaoi and doujin world in of themselves, because they were created by the original author of the series Maki Murakami. The creator made these works based on her own work because she wanted to push the stories more hardcore scenes with the characters from her series. Remix and defiantly the Megamix Doujinshi are not soft fluffy yaoi works, they are very hardcore;. with themes of masochism, sadism, abuse, incest and rape not to mention this was for me at least the first time I came across ‘internal shots’ during a sex scene in any form of media. Basically what I am saying is that if you don’t want to read this kind of material within the franchise you do not have to because they do not add anything to the overall plot of the series but they are there as a bonus for fans of the series that enjoy these kind of stories. If you are interested in reading these I do recommend starting with the first remix as it is the tamest of the lot, but is not exactly tame by yaoi standards, be ready for some hardcore yaoi.
On the whole I believe that Gravitation is a perfect first yaoi for anyone new to the fandom, the anime series and manga can ease the viewer into these kind of stories and if they are left wanting to go further down the rabbit hole that is yaoi they can continue the Gravitation journey with the Remix and Megamix Doujinshi series which are easy enough to find online, if you know where to look of course. Also never watch the anime dubbed, just trust Mistress on this one folks. Till next time have a yaoitastic day!