The first time I experienced disappointment (though perhaps that just isn’t strong enough a word for how to let down I was) in the genre of yaoi was a sad one for me because it just did not fail, it stumbled at the starting line and immediately alienated any chance of newcomers coming into what at its heart and in the source material is a sweet yet quirky unconventional love story.
Sex Pistols (Love Pistols to us readers outside of Japan) by Tarako Kotobuki is one of my absolute favorite mangas full stop lets just forget the genre and let that sink in. A fascinating premise that pulled me in within the first few pages, the manga series world building within the story uses a lot of tropes found within the yaoi genre, but it also expands upon many of the normal and not so normal ones, I mean how many yaoi stories out there in the yaoi genre bring up the subject of male pregnancy actually give a believable reason behind the phenomenon and take an almost realistic approach to it and does not just turn it into a punchline?
The anime however throws the viewer straight into the deep end of the story with no set up and gives us a comedic situation and punchline that fail to explain fully why the characters are even having this conversation, if anything the opening scene of ep one has the feeling of walking in midway on someone else’s conversation and immediately alienates the viewer if they have not read the manga beforehand and know why this conversation is taking place and though the situation itself is amusing as you have a cute male high school student in a skirt talking to two hot brothers, all you are really getting from this scene is fan service if you have a thing for cross-dressing. (popular with yaoi fans yes, but not everyone’s cup of tea)
What is not fully explained in this opening scene that really should be is the existence in this world of zooman and what exactly they are. In this universe, some humans are descendants of monkeys and a small percentage are not. Unfortunately, this small percentage can have not only their own health problems different from other humans but also breed differently from other humans. Not as fertile as other humans they are encouraged to breed when young so relationships with multiple partners are not uncommon.
Bring in the boy in the skirt in this opening scene Norio, he is a rare breed of zooman known as a returner to ancestry, this means he is very fertile and can breed very easily but also means every zooman will want him. He needs the help of the two brothers to help protect himself from being raped as several attempts by both genders has happened already (this is never really explained in the anime).
What follows is a tale where Norio learns what it is to be a zooman, he see’s the society they have created from an outsiders point of view. The anime attempts to tell the first three stories of the series in its two-episode run. Norio discovering his heritage and what he really is, the older brothers own sexual confusion and the impregnation of Norio’s best friend with a stranger from overseas.
All these stories are fascinating within the manga, but in the anime felt beyond rushed and the only story that really feels fully explained is Norio’s sempai’s story and even that is rushed, the series also seems to not be able to decide who the main character of the story is. With a series like Baccano or Durarara this kind of storytelling intrigues and works but here it is a mess.
This is one yaoi anime I have to say read the manga over watching the anime and once you have read the first two volumes then you can follow the anime easily enough. As a stand-alone adaptation is a sad fail big time and it really did not need to be.