I must admit, going into this one I was slightly worried. Looking at the promotional artwork released for this series and having not read the manga yet at the time before it’s release… I had my concerns this series would not do well because of it’s hints of shota in a yaoi story. Not that I have a problem with these kind of stories, after all Loveless is one of my favorite animes. I was just worried if this series was going to be more bordering on Boku no Pico or Shounen Maid Kuro-kun than Loveless. Though not a huge fan of shota myself, I know there are fans within the yaoi community. But that being said can someone who is not a shota fan enjoy Super Lovers?
The first season of Super Lovers tells the story of Haru Kaido, a man that is obsessed with his brothers. He is very nonchalant to just about everything in life concerning himself and those surrounding him, that is until the subject of his beloved little brothers comes up then he becomes this positive energy, but perhaps this light he has for his brothers is just to hide the darkness of loneliness that hides just below the surface of his personality. Haru is the kind of character that seems to keep everyone at arms length and this includes his beloved little brothers, but upon meeting Ren the small child seems to find a way passed his barriers and lets himself into Haru’s heart.
Ren Kaido is the wild child that Haru’s mother adopted in Canada who’s past is a mystery to everyone, but there are obvious mental scars there on the boy as he has trust issues with other humans and the only thing he really knows about himself is that he is Japanese and his age. He adores Haru’s mother and over the time of just one summer grows a strong attachment to Haru to the point that when Haru promises that one day they will live together as a family in Japan together he makes sure that Haru keeps that promise five years later.
The series minus the first episode takes part in this five years later of the story only there is one catch, Haru does not remember his brother Ren because after arriving home that faithful summer he was involved in a car crash with his Father and Step Mother that had both the parents lose their lives.
This is definitely a series that cranks the melodrama up to eleven right off the bat and upon watching the first three episodes of the series I could not help but be reminded of watching a day time soap and don’t worry that is not exactly a bad thing. I myself am completely addicted thanks to my mum to watching Bold and the Beautiful, so when I say it at least it does not necessarily mean it’s bad show it just mean it’s a bit melodramatic.
Ren throughout the series in his own way teaches Haru to be honest with himself when it comes to his feelings and in turn Haru helps Ren adjust to socially with other people, this brotherly relationship seems to blossom very quickly however into something a bit more romantic and this aspect of the story could easily be a turn off to some viewers. This series explores the taboo of an incestral relationship without exactly being an incest story because technically the two ‘brothers’ are not blood related.
Brotherly love and twincest is a trope that comes up often within the genre of yaoi, perhaps this is because there is a dangerous sense of romance with exploring this taboo and other times it can be taken as a joke; an example of this could be say the relationship between Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin in Ouran High School Host Club. Here the whole taboo love is played out for comedy but there is also a darker side to their relationship because they chose for a long time to close themselves off from the rest of their classmates.
Here in Super Lovers it is not so much the brotherly aspect that makes the love taboo. It is the age difference as Ren is a teenager and Haru appears to be in his late twenties. To put it bluntly this relationship could be seen as Haru grooming Ren for something more inappropriate. This could be either a cultral difference or my age talking but there were parts of Haru and Ren’s relationship that though most the time adorable a few times I felt myself feeling uncomfortable.
This biggest feeling of uncomfortable came while watching episode 9, you my readers who have watched the series will know what scene I am talking about. I could not help myself but after I watched the episode I had to rewatch the later half of the episode a second time to make sure I had just watched what I just had. Maybe if Ren was a couple years older I would not have felt so uncomfortable watching that scene.
Other than episode nine I found the series a fun watch and it definatly pushed some bounderies with it’s subject matter, had some very adorable moments and others that I was unsure of. I will most likely watch the second season when it comes out and will also be looking into reading the manga to see how far these themes of love and taboo are explored out of curiosity.
This is definitely as series for yaoi veterans and I can’t say I would recommend it to newcomers to the genre as I would probably turn them towards Junjou Romantica, Gravitation or if you want a series that explores age difference then I suggest Loveless.